Caring and Experienced Oakville Personal Injury Lawyers
Kotak Law firm has earned a reputation in Oakville for fighting for our clients’ rights, and winning cases that other lawyers turn down. If you haven’t heard about us from someone you know, feel free to check out the countless success stories from Oakville and the surrounding area.
You shouldn’t have to suffer the pain of an injury that wasn’t your fault. Kotak Law is renowned in Oakville for winning personal injury cases, and will review your case for free.
Kotak Personal Injury Law
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Personal Injury Risks of Driving With a Medical Condition
A 60 year old man recently sustained injuries when he crashed his SUV into a tree in Oakville. The incident occurred during the late afternoon when after losing control, the SUV mounted a curb and crashed successively into two trees. Oakville police on the scene did not divulge specific details, but voiced suspicions that the collision was due to a medical condition on the driver’s part.
Driving with a medical condition that can impair one’s judgement and/or abilities in any way, is a serious concern. This action may endanger not only the driver’s safety but the safety of passengers, other motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. This is why Ontario law requires that individuals disclose any medical condition that can impair their ability to drive safely, when applying for or when renewing a driver’s license. Failure to disclose a known medical condition may result in a charge of negligence in the event of an accident. And sometimes a negligence claim is still filed against a driver, even when the condition is disclosed.
This was the case in Johnson v. Carter, 2007, where the 50 year old defendant, Mr. Carter, collided head-on with an oncoming vehicle after veering into the opposite lane. The crash resulted in the death of a passenger in the oncoming vehicle. The defendant was a diabetic and he argued at trial that at the time of the incident he was not fully in control of his vehicle, as his blood sugar level was low. Mr. Carter had been a Type 1 diabetic for 27 years at the time of the accident.
In the 2007 trial, the judge ruled that the defendant had the means and ability to monitor his blood sugar and failure to do so was irresponsible and negligent on his part in the accident. Dr. Johnson, the 62 year old man who tragically suffered fatal injuries in the accident, was a prominent ophthalmologist and a pioneer in laser eye surgery procedures. In this trial, the court awarded damages of $6,400,000 to Mrs. Johnson for the potential lost due to Dr. Johnson’s death, as well as costs.
The above case is a testament to how important it is for a driver to ensure, as much as is possible, that they do not get behind the wheel without a certainty that their medical condition is stable and will not interfere with their ability to drive safely. Further, drivers are obligated to disclose any medical condition that can in any way impair their ability to drive. In Oakville and throughout Ontario, medical practitioners are required by law to report any individual with a medical condition that may impair their ability to drive. Commercial drivers, owing to the types of vehicles they drive and the heavy equipment and cargo they transport, must submit a medical evaluation before receiving their license or having it renewed.
There are many medical conditions that may affect one’s ability to safely handle a vehicle, including:
- Vision Impairment
- Hearing Loss
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Seizures & Epilepsy
- Physical Disabilities
- Psychiatric Disorders
- Chronic Pain
- Chronic Fatigue
- Neurological Disorders e.g. Parkinson’s disease
- Medical drug use
It is important to note that some medical conditions can show up unexpectedly while an individual is driving, such as strokes and heart attacks. While there are signs that indicate a high risk for these conditions, they sometimes occur in individuals who have received a clean bill of health from their physicians and therefore cannot reasonably predict such an event.
Most medical conditions which can significantly impact a person’s ability to drive and handle a vehicle are diagnosed conditions. Further, for anyone who has been formally diagnosed with a serious medical condition, it is in their long-term interest and in the interest of everyone’s safety, that they avoid driving unless their condition has stabilized. Even after a physician has given you a clean bill of health, it is most prudent to remain vigilant about your condition, to ensure that recurrence is unlikely.
Giving up the independence of being a driver is certainly a difficult thing for the vast majority of Canadians. For anyone for whom driving is a necessary part of their job, a loss of driving privileges may result in economic losses if one is no longer able to work. If the alternative is to be a danger to yourself and others, a choice to drive while you are unfit to do so, is not likely to end well.
At Kotak Law, we understand how emotionally and physically challenging it can be as a recent accident victim. If you or someone you love was seriously injured in an accident caused by a driver’s medical condition or possible negligent driving action, please contact our office. The Kotak team is experienced in providing legal advice on personal injury claims and in handling legal issues pertaining to accident and disability claims. We will give you an honest assessment of your best legal options, and guide you throughout your claims process.