A serious accident occurred at the Southland Center parking lot recently when a SMART Bus was struck by a smaller vehicle, injuring nine people. Due to the collision, the bus driver struck his head and was knocked unconscious. With the bus without a driver, a nearby passenger attempted to gain control of the vehicle. The bus proceeded to crash into multiple parked cars and then came to a stop. Law enforcement quickly responded to the accident and is still performing an investigation to determine exactly how the accident occurred.
When medical emergencies occur to a driver behind the wheel, like the driver’s loss of consciousness mentioned here, deciding responsibility for the resulting Michigan car accidents can be quite complicated. In these situations, it is critical to obtain the assistance of an experienced accident attorney. It also helps to understand some important details about how medical emergency cases work.
Sudden Medical Emergencies
Sudden medical emergencies can occur on the road and lead to serious accidents. In the 2014 Michigan Court of Appeals case of Dyson v. City of Detroit, a driver was seriously injured when he experienced a heart attack while driving a bus and subsequently ended up in a serious accident. The court noted that the “sudden-emergency doctrine” applies whenever a collision occurs as the result of sudden emergency that is not of the defendant’s creation. To excuse fault, the court held that the emergency must be completely unexpected, like having a heart attack or losing consciousness as the result of a collision. Subsequently, the Court of Appeals held that because no evidence existed to suggest a cardiac arrest would occur, the “sudden emergency doctrine” applied and the driver in Dyson was not responsible for the accident.
Fault Issues in Michigan Car Accidents
After a car accident occurs, Michigan’s No Fault Act decides which parties are able to pursue legal action. This law distinguishes between cases initiated against injured motorist’s insurance companies and lawsuits against drivers who are responsible for accidents. When it comes to issues with insurance companies, issues of fault are often not important because the accident victim should first contact his or her insurance carrier, which is required to provide compensation regardless of who caused the accident.
When a person’s medical condition causes an accident, insurance carriers frequently deny coverage if the condition is pre-existing. When a person’s condition is made worse or brought on by an accident, however, insurance companies are often required to pay compensation. In situations in which a driver suddenly loses consciousness or the ability to safely operate a vehicle, the court will often find that the accident is not the fault of the unconscious driver. Because issues involving medical complications are often serious, it is a wise idea in these situations to speak with an experienced accident attorney.
Contact an Expert Accident Attorney Today
No matter what type of car or truck accident you were involved in, the implications can be particularly serious. While it can be overwhelming to decide how to proceed, one of the best first steps that you can take is to obtain the assistance of an experienced accident attorney. Contact Jay Trucks & Associates today to schedule an initial free consultation.