The north Spokane fixture, Spokane's Donut Parade, re-opened in March 2020 following an accident in which a car collided with the building. The collision occurred when the driver left the road, drove into a street sign, and crashed into the Donut Parade building. Staff working at the location at the time of the accident experienced minor injuries, while the car's driver was killed in the collision. The accident occurred shortly after midnight, and a medical issue by the driver is believed to have played a role in the accident. The driver was the only occupant of the vehicle.
Various factors can promptly result in car accidents. One common but often overlooked factor that can suddenly result in car accidents is a medical emergency, which in a few moments can leave a motor vehicle operator unable to safely operate a vehicle. The following reviews some critical issues involving medical emergencies and Washington car accidents.
Determining Fault in Medical Emergency Accidents
In Spokane as well as the rest of Washington, when a person experiences a medical emergency that causes an accident, the driver is sometimes found to be not legally responsible for the accident. Instead, to establish fault in these cases, an accident victim must establish that the driver was negligent, which means there must be sufficient evidence to establish the driver either recklessly or carelessly caused the accident.
This means that the driver must have been unaware that a medical condition existed that could cause them to become unconscious. Conversely, a driver who causes an accident due to a medical condition that he or she knows to exist can be found responsible for the accident and required to pay for the resulting damage.
For example, if a driver blacks out while driving due to a condition he is not aware he has, he likely could not be found liable for the accident. If a motorist knows he has a heart condition that results in an increased risk of heart attacks and later experiences a heart attack while driving, however, the driver could be found liable for the resulting accident and injuries.
Compensation in Accident Caused by Medical Emergencies
Unfortunately, an unpleasant consequence of how Washington state treats medical emergencies is that sometimes accident victims are left unable to receive compensation. If the law does not hold the driver accountable, that driver's insurance carrier will also not pay compensation.
In these situations, if an accident victim has either uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, the victim might be able to pursue a claim under their own insurance policy. Because this coverage is not required in Washington, drivers should think carefully about whether this additional protection is worth purchasing.
Speak with a Spokane Accident Lawyer
When vehicles strike property, the resulting damage is almost always substantial. If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, remember that you have a right to pursue compensation. Contact West Law Office today to schedule a free case evaluation.