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Epilepsy & Driving: Liability for Seizure-Related Crashes

Epilepsy is a serious condition that can significantly impact a person’s life—currently affecting 1.2% of the US population. The neurological disorder is defined by recurring seizures, which can debilitate a person’s ability to drive safely. While people with epilepsy can still lead fulfilling lives, the potential threat of a seizure while driving raises questions about liability in the event of seizure-related crashes.

Read on to learn the legal and ethical implications of epilepsy and driving and the responsibility of both epileptic people and society as a whole. A Breit Law Hampton Roads auto accident attorney is here to help.

What Are Epileptic Seizures?

Epileptic seizures spawn when there is a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain, leading to a wide range of symptoms ranging from mild to severe. These seizures can cause temporary loss of consciousness, muscle spasms, or distorted sensations. Not all people with epilepsy experience seizures while driving, but the potential risk of having one is still not ruled out.

Legal Perspectives on Driving with Epilepsy

Epilepsy and driving laws vary across different jurisdictions. Many counties impose restrictions on people with epilepsy, requiring them to pass certain criteria before granting permission to drive legally. These criteria often involve a seizure-free period to suggest they are not seizure-prone—usually ranging from months to years. The law also strictly demands regular medical assessments to suggest medical validability. Violating these laws can impose serious legal consequences that may result in driver’s license revocation.

Liability for Seizure-Related Crashes

Determining liability for seizure-related crashes can be tricky, considering it’s a medical issue that has caused the crash. The law generally expects all drivers to exercise reasonable care and take necessary precautions to avoid accidents—despite their medical conditions. For people with epilepsy, this means following their unique driving restrictions, booking regular doctor’s appointments, and effectively reporting any changes in their condition.

From a legal perspective, liability may attribute to the epileptic person if they fail to disclose their condition or violate their imposed driving restrictions. In these cases, the person should be held accountable for any injuries or damages caused during a seizure-related accident.

Retrospectively, it’s not always the epileptic person’s fault, despite their medical condition causing the crash. Liability might also extend to healthcare providers or licensing agencies if they fail to evaluate or advise epileptic people about their driving eligibility properly. If a Hampton Roads auto accident attorney can prove that medical experts have been unable to inform a patient about the risks associated with driving and epilepsy (or if they provided wrong advice), it’s on them, too.

Societal Considerations and Supportive Measures

While the legal framework seeks regulation for epileptic driving, it is important to consider broader societal implications. It is society’s responsibility to provide support systems and offer resources to people with epilepsy to ensure their well-being and abolish the risks associated with driving. By raising public awareness campaigns, education programs, and support groups, we can do our part to educate the community.

Furthermore, technological advancements like seizure detection devices and vehicle automation hold promise in changing the nature of driving safety for the better. This progression can help give us early warnings for high-risk people, allowing drivers to pull over safely before a seizure or even notify other drivers to help during emergencies.

Seek Breit Law for a Dedicated Auto Accident Attorney

Dealing with an epilepsy-related auto accident can be complex. That’s where Breit Law comes in. We have the expertise to advocate for your justice—from small claims to large jury cases. Consult a car accident lawyer in Virginia Beach, VA, who cares. 

Ready to start your auto accident claim? Contact Breit Law for a trusted Hampton Roads auto accident attorney.

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