If you were in a car accident caused by a sudden medical emergency, it is essential to understand who is liable for the damages. In most cases, whether you were the driver who had the medical emergency, or another involved party, you will have to seek compensation from your own insurance provider.
If you suffered damages in an accident caused by a medical emergency, it is critical that you understand your rights to recover compensation. At Vaughan & Vaughan, we have a long history of helping accident victims secure the compensation they need. Contact us today by phone or online to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our Indiana car accident lawyers.
Sudden Medical Emergency Defense
When attempting to recover compensation after an accident where the other party was incapacitated due to a medical emergency, it is critical to understand whether you are able to pursue damages from the liable party or your insurer.
In these cases, the party that caused the accident is likely going to argue that they were a victim of a sudden medical emergency, which couldn’t have been predicted or prevented. If this defense is successful, your only option for recovering damages will likely be filing an insurance claim with your insurance provider.
However, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help determine whether the sudden medical emergency defense applies to your case. If there are grounds to beat this defense, they can work to overcome it and secure the compensation you need and deserve through a lawsuit against the liable party.
Reasons to Pursue a Lawsuit if Possible
The main reason you would want to pursue a lawsuit rather than filing a claim with your insurance company is that the amount of money you are eligible to claim will likely be far higher in a personal injury lawsuit. Depending on your insurance coverage, you will likely be severely limited in your options for recovering non-economic damages through an insurance claim.
However, if you qualify to file a lawsuit, you could claim a wide range of damages sorted into economic, non-economic, and punitive categories.
Economic damages cover all of the financial costs associated with your accident and will likely be available whether you are pursuing a lawsuit or filing an insurance claim with your own provider. The economic damages most frequently available to car accident victims after collisions include:
- Medical costs
- Future medical bills
- Property damage
- Money spent on daily tasks you can no longer do yourself
- Lost income
- Diminished earning power
Non-economic damages cover every other type of loss you suffer because of your accident. Most of these damages will likely only be available if you are filing a lawsuit against the party that caused your accident. The non-economic damages most frequently available to car accident victims after collisions include:
- Permanent disability
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lowered quality of life
Punitive damages are used to punish the liable party for their part in causing an accident. In a car accident resulting from a medical emergency, these damages are unlikely to be awarded unless the medical emergency was the result of drug use or some other form of criminal negligence. Punitive damages will not be available if filing a claim with your insurer.
Personal Injury Lawyers Work on a Contingency Fee Basis
When you hire an experienced personal injury attorney to help you pursue compensation after an accident involving a medical emergency, you don’t have to worry about the cost. These attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis, which means that they don’t get paid unless they succeed in recovering compensation on your behalf.
Furthermore, the payment they conditionally receive will be paid as a single fee at the end of your case. This payment will be assessed as a fixed percentage of the compensation you recover and will come directly from the settlement or court-ordered payout. That means you will never pay your car accident attorney a single cent out of your own pocket.
Because of this fee structure, you should not hesitate to contact an attorney even if you are unsure whether or not you will be eligible to file a lawsuit. Your lawyer can evaluate your case and advise you of your options going forward.
Use Caution When Dealing With an Insurance Company After an Accident
Whether pursuing compensation from your own insurance provider or from the other party’s insurer after an accident caused by a medical emergency, you need to be careful with what you say. It is critical that you don’t accept a settlement offer from the insurer until you have spoken to an experienced attorney.
The thing you need to remember when dealing with these companies is that their number one priority is to protect their own financial interests. That means they are going to do everything they can to deny or devalue your claim. Declining to speak with the insurer until you have retained legal counsel is the best way to protect your financial interests after a collision.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney After a Crash Caused by a Medical Emergency
Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer will significantly increase your chances of getting the money you need after a collision. Your attorney can help determine whether or not the sudden medical emergency defense is likely to apply to your case and uncover if the emergency was the result of actions taken by the driver, such as drug use.
At Vaughan & Vaughan, we have been helping accident victims recover the money they need and deserve for over 100 years. Contact us today to schedule a free case review with a member of our legal team.