Can I Sue if the Other Driver Had a Heart Attack and Caused a Car Accident in Charlotte?
When it comes to car accidents, it’s important to know which driver is responsible. Sometimes, it’s clear cut. Other times, it’s not so easy to tell. This is also why it’s important to retain an experienced Charlotte car accident lawyer.
Most car accidents are caused by negligence. Negligence just means that one person didn’t behave the way they should have. As a result, somebody gets hurt. If you are the victim of negligence, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries.
Proving a negligence case can be difficult. It gets even harder when the other party has a lawyer. Both sides are going to work hard to prove that the other party is at fault. Sometimes, the only way to determine who is liable is to go to court.
Thankfully, very few cases actually go to court. Most are settled with the insurance company. Others are settled out of court. A skilled Charlotte car accident lawyer will be able to get you a fair settlement.
North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Know How to Prove Negligence
As we said earlier, most car accidents are caused by negligence. In fact, most civil cases come down to negligence. The law is pretty clear on what is required in a negligence case. You need to prove each of the following:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- They breached this duty
- You were injured
- Your injuries were proved by their breach of duty
The hardest element of negligence to prove is causation. Most people would agree that someone has a duty of care. We can’t just act recklessly all the time. And, in most cases, the injuries are pretty apparent. It really comes down to proving the defendant breached their duty and that this breach caused your injuries.
In a car accident, all drivers owe a duty of care to everybody on the road. This extends to other drivers and pedestrians. If someone doesn’t exercise this duty of care, they can cause a car accident. Some common breaches of this duty of care include:
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Speeding or driving recklessly
- Drinking and driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Operating a vehicle that you know isn’t safe
- Distracted driving
- Lastly, Texting and driving
If your attorney can prove that the defendant was doing any of these things, you should be able to prove negligence. And, if this is the case, you should be compensated for your injuries.
Your Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer May Have to be Creative
Some cases are easier to prove than others. If someone drives without their headlights on, most people would agree that they were negligence. The same is true if someone drives after being up for three days straight.
But what happens if it’s not obvious that someone was negligent? A common scenario in which this is the case is when suffers a medical condition that causes their accident. A few examples of this include:
- Someone has an epileptic seizure and loses control of their car
- Also, an elderly driver suffers a heart attack and crashes into you
- Lastly, a woman goes into labor and ends up swerving into your lane
In all of these scenarios. It’s clear what caused the accident. If it weren’t for the seizure, heart attack or labor pains, there wouldn’t have been an accident. However, should the other driver be held responsible for the damages that ensue? And, if not, how are you supposed to be compensated?
How Will Your Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Deal with a “Sudden Emergency” Defense?
Most states, including North Carolina, recognize something called a “sudden emergency defense.” This defense basically states that a person is not responsible for a car accident if they suffered a sudden medical emergency at the time of the accident.
To qualify for this defense, the other party must prove the following:
- He or she lost consciousness before the accident occurred
- This loss of consciousness caused him to lose control of the vehicle and
- This unconsciousness was caused by an unforeseeable medical emergency
In order to qualify, the defendant must prove all three of these things. The burden of proof for this defense is on the defendant.
Your North Carolina auto accident attorney will work hard to prove that this defense isn’t accepted. Call and schedule your free consultation today so you can discuss your case. The other driver will also have an attorney by his side and you should too!