Medical Conditions Can Contribute to Car Accidents

Recently, Burnet County prosecutors indicted Troy Dean Klaerner on three felony charges stemming from a fatal car accident. According to a report by a Marble Falls newspaper, The Highlander, the accident occurred in February 2010 when Klaerner's 2002 Nissan allegedly swerved into oncoming traffic, hitting a 2004 Chrysler Sebring and pinning the car to a guardrail. The driver of the Chrysler died at the scene.

Klaerner, who has epilepsy, was charged with recklessly causing the death of another, aggravated assault, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Prosecutors explained that Klaerner should have known he was a danger to the public when driving, given his condition.

Drivers Have a Duty to Use Care When Driving

Aside from the criminal context, this story also has civil implications. All drivers have a duty to use reasonable care in operating a vehicle. This duty includes abiding by speed limits and traffic laws, accelerating and stopping safely, making safe lane changes, and most importantly, not creating extraordinary risks for other drivers.

Drivers failing to drive safely breach this duty of care, and can be held liable for injuries they cause. Much like driving recklessly, driving with certain medical conditions can put other drivers in danger. Drivers who knowingly drive with epilepsy, narcolepsy or certain types of diabetes can lose consciousness behind the wheel at a moment's notice, and are much more likely to cause a car accident.

If you are injured in a car accident, an experienced attorney can review the offending driver's medical history to discover whether he or she suffered from medical conditions that would have led to them losing control of the vehicle. Knowledge of such a condition alone is not proof of fault, but it can be very helpful in advancing your personal injury claim.