Driver Impairment - Physical Impairment
While most people are aware that drivers can be impaired due to drugs and alcohol, many people fail to consider how a driver’s physical impairment can affect his or her driving. Chronic conditions and acute injuries can diminish a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle in a safe manner, however, and they often lead to car accidents. If you were involved in an accident caused by the physical impairment of a driver, you may be able to recover compensation for any injuries that you sustained due to the accident. You should speak with an experienced New Hampshire car accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case. At Peter Thompson and Associates, our attorneys have over 60 years of collective experience representing people injured in car accidents in their pursuit of damages.Examples of Physical Impairment
While any health issue could affect a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle, some conditions are common causes of driver impairment. Physical impairment can be caused by physiological deterioration due to age. For example, older drivers frequently suffer from diminished sight and hearing or dementia, which can compromise their judgment and reaction times. Several chronic conditions can impair a driver’s ability to drive safely as well. Neurological conditions, such as narcolepsy, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease, even if managed with medication, can result in unpredictable episodes that greatly decrease a driver’s ability to drive in a cautious manner. Diabetes can also result in a sudden onset of symptoms that render a driver unable to drive safely.Negligence Claims Based on Accidents Caused by Physical Impairment
Even if a driver is physically impaired in some way, he or she generally still has a duty to operate his or her car in a safe and reasonable manner under New Hampshire law. If a driver’s physical impairment causes an accident, anyone who sustained a loss due to the accident can seek compensation from the driver. Lawsuits filed to recover damages suffered in an accident caused by a driver with a physical impairment typically argue that the injured party sustained harm due to negligence. A negligence claim requires the injured party to show that the defendant owed the injured party a duty, which the defendant breached, and that the breach of the duty caused the accident and the injured party’s harm.Liability of Doctors
In addition to holding the impaired driver liable for any damages caused by the accident, the injured party may be able to recover damages from the driver’s physician as well. While the laws of New Hampshire do not require physicians to report drivers who may be impaired due to health conditions, physicians are encouraged to advise the department of motor vehicles if they feel that a driver cannot safely operate a vehicle. As a result, if a driver’s treating physician knows or should know that a physically impaired driver poses a risk of harm to others, an argument can be made that he or she has a duty to report his or her concerns to the department of motor vehicles. If the doctor does not voice these concerns, and the impaired driver subsequently causes an accident, injured parties may be able to pursue damages from the doctor as well.Meet With a Skilled New Hampshire Attorney Following a Serious Crash
All drivers have a responsibility to account for any condition that limits their ability to drive safely. If you were injured in a car accident caused by a driver with a physical impairment, you should not need to bear the financial burden caused by the accident. You should meet with a skilled New Hampshire attorney as soon as possible to discuss the circumstances surrounding your accident and to develop a plan for pursuing compensation. Our attorneys are adept at litigating New Hampshire car accident cases and can aggressively fight for any damages that you may be able to recover. We have a high rate of success and a history of favorable verdicts. We have offices in Bedford, Nashua, Portsmouth, and Manchester, New Hampshire, from which we represent injured individuals throughout the state. Contact us at 800.804.2004 or via our online form to set up a meeting at no cost.