Many Californians develop some kind of injury or medical condition during their driving years, especially as they age. Unfortunately, some kinds of conditions could make recovering from an accident harder.
If you have a preexisting condition, whether it might be a disability, broken bone or disease, it is important to be prepared for a possible accident.
Does your condition impact your driving safety?
Sometimes, drivers disagree about how an accident happened. In a dispute, your medical records may become part of the discussion. If your medical record suggests that driving is not a safe activity for you, the other party may be able to hold you liable for the accident – unless you can prove otherwise.
According to the California DMV, types of medical issues that may affect your ability to drive include:
- Vision impairments, such as blindness
- Cognitive impairments that affect consciousness, perception or memory, such as Dementia
- Diabetes, particularly if you do not receive proper medical treatment
- Conditions requiring treatment that may cause fatigue or other dangerous side effects
The DMV often evaluates drivers who have these conditions. If you have symptoms that affect your physical or mental wellbeing, it is important to talk to your doctor to determine whether you are safe to drive.
Simply having a medical condition does not guarantee that you are at fault, but it can complicate the legal process. Medical and driving exams, witness testimony, crash scene reconstruction and other evidence can help protect you.
Insurers often dispute aggravated conditions
Insurance companies are not loyal to you; as businesses, they are working to protect their profits above all else. This means that they often deny or minimize claims as much as possible.
Insurers might contest aggravated conditions, which are preexisting conditions that an accident worsened. For example, if you already had a hip injury before the accident, but the crash caused further damage to your hip, the insurance company might deny your claim.
If insurance companies use a preexisting condition against you, getting a fair result can be hard. X-rays, expert medical testimony and other evidence can help explain how your health changed after the accident. Proving this difference could help you get the compensation you need.