vertigoI represented a driver charged with reckless driving after he passed out from syncope (fainting) and drove his car into a tree.  The medics arrived and noticed that he had low blood pressure and was dehydrated.  In cases where there is a sudden illness or sudden medical emergency, such as a heart attack, fainting, or blacking out, where the driver had no warning of what was about to happen, defense attorneys should argue for the case to be dismissed.  I was glad to get a dismissal for my client.

The case law is different though where the driver fell asleep and should have known better than to over exert himself.  For example, a driver should know better than to drive if he hasn’t slept in days.  Still, in cases where a driver fell asleep and caused an accident, there may be mitigating factors that the judge should hear about, such as a sleep disorder or a hard day at work.  A judge may be willing to find a driver guilty of improper driving, rather than reckless driving, if his culpability is not as great.

Please don’t wait until the last moment to hire an attorney.  If you are charged with reckless driving for failure to maintain control of your vehicle and had a medical emergency, it may be advisable for you to get medical tests done before your court date so that your attorney can explain to the judge what caused the accident and make the best argument for you at your trial.

photo credit: bark via photopin cc
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