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Accidents Caused By Sudden Illness

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 4 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Accidents Road Traffic Accident Illness

Road traffic accidents occur due to many reasons. Most commonly they are due to driver error or poor road conditions, however in some cases accidents may be caused by sudden illness of the driver. In these rare instances, there are specific rules and laws in place to deal with the event. Hopefully you will never need to know them first hand, but it’s worthwhile being aware of them in case you need them in the future.

Sudden Illness & Accidents

There are a variety of medical situations that are considered ‘sudden illness’ in the case of an accident behind the wheel. Most commonly, heart attacks, strokes and epilepsy fits are those that can occur unexpectedly behind the wheel leading to a road traffic accident. If you do suffer one of these while driving, there is a good chance that you won’t be prosecuted for the way you were driving, as you have no control over the car at that stage.

Insurance, Compensation & Sudden Illness

In some situations, if you’re unfortunate enough to suffer a sudden illness and thus accident while in control of a vehicle, you will need to pay compensation to the other driver. This is entirely dependent on your insurance coverage and in some cases will be covered. Your insurance company will explain your liability to you and you should contact them as soon as possible. Some insurance companies won’t pay out if you have previously had a condition that you haven’t declared on your insurance form. If you have, there may be limited payouts dependent on the condition.

Seeking Help From Appropriate Agencies

If you’re not finding much help forthcoming from your insurance company, you can consider contacting your local Citizens Advice Bureau for further information. They can explain your rights as the driver who suffered the sudden illness, or can tell you what your entitlements are as someone who is on the receiving end of such an accident. Even if you’re in the car with a driver who suffers this kind of fate, you may have the ability to claim and your local Citizens Advice Bureau can help you with this.

What To Do at The Scene

If you are involved in a road traffic accident due to sudden illness, you may be unable to act at the scene. Do not panic and try and stay near the scene of the accident, rather than wandering off. Someone will call for help and if you’re able to do so yourself, please do, using a mobile phone. If you believe you’ve suffered a heart attack or a stroke, inform anyone in the vicinity if you’re able to and let the emergency services know as soon as possible.

If you’re injured from the accident as well, try to remain calm and let the emergency services do their job when they arrive. At this stage it is unlikely you’re able to take in much of the scene of the accident, so don’t worry overly about what has happened. Hopefully there will be eyewitnesses available and if you are proven to have suffered sudden illness at the wheel, you most likely won’t be prosecuted for the accident.

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