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What is a Sudden Medical Emergency Defense?

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Roxell Richards

It’s no secret that being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience. In the aftermath of an accident, it’s important to know your rights and what steps you need to take to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. However, in some cases, car accidents can be even more complicated than they first seem. If you are injured as the result of a sudden medical emergency suffered by the other driver, you may not be able to file a claim against them.

So, what is the sudden medical emergency defense? Keep reading for more information.

What is a Sudden Medical Emergency Defense (SMED)?

A Sudden Medical Emergency Defense or SMED is a defense that can be used by at-fault drivers to avoid liability for a car accident. This defense can only be used when the cause of the car crash is a medical emergency.

Of course, a driver shouldn’t be slapped with multiple damages if they had an unforeseen medical situation that caused the auto accident. Now, the next question is, what are the types of medical emergencies that are applicable to this defense?

A factor in a sudden medical emergency is the driver’s loss of consciousness. Here are some examples:

  • Stroke
  • Heat Stroke
  • Heart Attack
  • Fainting
  • Delusions
  • Sudden change in driver’s blood sugar

However, having these medical conditions does not automatically mean that the at-fault driver is not liable for damages. At-fault driver suffering is not going to be taken as a guarantee for sudden emergency doctrine. There’s a need to determine whether the medical condition happened suddenly during the car accident. The burden of proof is on the at-fault driver, and it’s not just as simple as providing medical records.

How can SMED help you in court?

Being able to prove that you, the at-fault driver, lost consciousness during an unforeseeable medical emergency without a doubt could lead to dismissing of car accident charges. It would also mean that you don’t have to pay for damages–which could be massive when the settlements are calculated.

But this isn’t something that you can simply pull off by yourself. Yet, you don’t have to worry! You can have a successful sudden emergency defense through a good car accident attorney.

There are factors that an auto accident lawyer must help prove for your sudden medical emergency defense. These are:

  • The time frame of the accident
  • Confirmation of lost consciousness for the driver
  • Unforeseeable medical conditions

All these factors must be considered to ensure the driver will not be held liable.

Hire a trusted lawyer for your defense.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there was a 4.17% increase in Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes from 2020 to 2021. There were also 239,539 people injured in those crashes. Out of those crash injuries, there were 3,597 statewide car crashes where the driver was ill.

Facing insurance companies that have resources to investigate your medical history can be brutal. So, it’s really important that you are backed by a trusted lawyer to build up your defense.

If you find yourself in a car accident and are facing liability, don’t worry. There is a defense known as the sudden medical emergency that could help to get you out of this situation. This defense may be available to you if you can prove that you had a sudden and unexpected medical emergency at the time of the accident.

Don’t try to go through this process alone – contact an experienced car accident lawyer who can help guide you through the legal process and protect your rights. At Roxell Richards Injury Law Firm, we have more than 15 years of experience helping people just like you get the justice they deserve. Contact us today at the local number (713) 974-0388 or toll-free 1-855-GOT-INJURED for a free consultation, and let us fight for you!

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