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Car accidents: Should a medical condition disqualify a driver?

Many medical conditions suffered by Ohio residents threaten their lives, particularly if they are operating a motor vehicle. The question is whether those conditions could threaten the lives of other motorists by causing car accidents. Should a driver be disqualified from driving if he or she suffers from a medical condition?

This question may arise in the aftermath of a deadly crash that took place on a recent Thursday at approximately 1 p.m. An ambulance was transporting a patient when it left the roadway. It then flipped over and came to rest in a ravine. The 76-year-old patient died in the impact, and the nurse attending to him in the back of the ambulance suffered severe injuries, as did the driver.

The patient's wife, who was following the behind the ambulance, saw the whole thing. Its movements became erratic shortly before the crash. The supposition is that the driver of the ambulance may have suffered from a medical condition, but that theory has yet to be confirmed. If it is, questions may arise regarding why an employer would allow the driver to transport patients under those circumstances.

The driver's medical condition could play a role in any wrongful death claim resulting from the crash. If an Ohio civil court rules that the evidence proves negligence on the part of the driver, and possibly the employer, an award of damages sought in other cases involving deadly car accidents. While no amount of restitution could ever replace a loved one, it could help with the inevitable monetary losses that occur when a loved one dies suddenly and without warning. 

Source:, "Patient being transported by EMS dead after ambulance overturns into ravine in Vermilion", Bretton Keenan, March 15, 2018

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