Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that can make people fall asleep at unexpected times throughout the day. This can increase the chances of a car accident if the person falls asleep while driving, and many people with narcolepsy are left wondering if they would be held liable for a car accident if such an incident should occur. Talk with a Jackson auto accident lawyer if you have questions about whether you could use the medical emergency defense.
How Narcolepsy Impacts Driving
The sleep disorder called narcolepsy causes severe periods of drowsiness throughout any given day. This can come in the form of extended drowsiness throughout the day or periods of sleep attacks. What happens during sleep attacks is the person suddenly falls asleep without warning.
These sleep attacks may last a few seconds or as long as half an hour. A person may also experience sleep paralysis, sudden loss of muscle tone, and hallucinations during these sleep attacks. This is because the body and brain are going into a period of the sleep cycle normally associated with dreaming.
When this period of the sleep cycle happens during the day, the person may become temporarily paralyzed and experience hypnagogic hallucinations. Some hallucinations can be so frightening that people react to them in abrupt ways. A driver with narcolepsy who hallucinates something on the road may overcompensate with their vehicle and experience a car accident.
Drivers with narcolepsy who have a sleep attack while driving may also lose motor functions long enough to cause an accident. They may wake up and find themselves in a serious car accident with another driver. This can be a shocking experience to go through, but you may not have to go through this alone. Try contacting a Jackson accident lawyer for guidance.
When Can the Medical Emergency Defense Be Used?
Many people with narcolepsy are left wondering if they can use the medical emergency defense to escape liability for a car accident. The medical emergency defense is designed to be used when a driver has an unexpected medical emergency. This medical emergency must have caused them to lose control of their vehicle right before the accident.
However, for this defense to work, the driver must also not have expected the sudden medical emergency. What makes narcolepsy difficult to use in the medical emergency defense is whether the drivers knew about their condition. If a driver was diagnosed with narcolepsy and warned not to drive, then that driver may not be able to use the medical emergency defense.
Drivers who were not diagnosed and did not know they have narcolepsy might be able to use this defense, as some drivers have their first sleep attack while driving.
Auto Accident Attorney in Jackson
Defending your car accident claim is not something you have to do alone. Reach out by calling the Germany Law Firm, PLLC, PLLC today at (601) 487-0555 to speak with a Mississippi multi-vehicle accident lawyer for a consultation. Our team of attorneys can help you obtain compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses.