Everybody hates excuses. They are self-serving, after-the-fact justifications for jerky behavior. In the law, a “legal excuse” can allow a wrong-doer to avoid responsibility for their own conduct.
Ohio law recognizes several legal excuses, including the sudden medical emergency excuse. Quite surprisingly, The Ohio Supreme Court allowed drivers who break the law by driving the wrong way on a highway or going left of the center line and cause car wrecks to avoid responsibility for wrongful death or personal injuries to innocent drivers and passengers as long as there was some unexpected, sudden medical issue.
The medical emergency excuse often comes in to play with elderly drivers who claim to have had a heart attack, complications from diabetes, or other condition that caused them to lose control and break the law.
What does it mean to you:
Drivers who cause a crash and then claim their conduct is excused due to some “sudden medical emergency” can still be held accountable. A lawyer investigating the case will need to look into the driver’s medical history to determine whether the driver had similar medical problems in the past and should have taken steps to ensure this did not happen again.