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Calgary Car Accidents: Mental Health, Medical Issues, and Liability

Posted in: Blog // Written on behalf of Cuming & Gillespie
August 31, 2015

A tragic car accident on Stoney Trail, apparently caused by a moment of mental distress, has left one man dead.

In this case, the only serious injuries caused were to the driver who, according to initial reports, lost control of his vehicle due to some form of mental health issue. A similar loss of control in a different situation could easily result in serious injury to others on the Calgary roads, however, and that raises the question:

What happens when someone isn’t technically responsible for their actions due to a sudden mental or medical incapacity, but they nonetheless cause serious injury to others?

This kind of case exemplifies why it is the responsibility of every Calgary motorist to carry proper insurance. By doing the responsible thing before a car accident takes place and causes others serious injury, you are protecting yourself and others in the event that you are suddenly incapacitated and/or otherwise unable to control your vehicle. The insurance is there to cover any liability.

In short, mental distress or a medical problem does not necessarily erase your liability for injuries resulting from a car accident. While there are cases in Alberta where a defendant has escaped liability relying on the defence of “inevitable accident”, such circumstances are rare and essentially require the defendant to prove that there was nothing they could have done to avoid the accident, such as pulling over at the first sign of symptoms or taking medication for a known condition. Given the rarity of such a defence succeeding, keeping the mandated insurance in place and current offers protection to you and to any potential injury victims.

If you have been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s loss of control, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact Cuming & Gillespie and get the help that you deserve.

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