Car accidents are always scare, and we often think that, for all accidents, there is a negligent party. In other words, for every car accident, there is someone to blame and hold liable. However, a recent local tragedy has highlighted that not all motor vehicle accidents are necessarily caused by another’s negligence.
According to the Fair Lawn Police Department, the Paramus, New Jersey, 61, woman was driver her 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee on Saddle River Road. At around 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, at about the corner of the Century Road extension and Fair Lawn Avenue, she lost control of her Jeep and careened into a traffic control box and telephone pole. These obstructions did not stop the Jeep though, and it continued through that intersection, and then slammed through a fence into a tree.
The force of the impacts caused the telephone pole to fall into a westbound Mercedes-Benz on Saddle River Road, just past Fair Lawn Avenue. It also sent the traffic control box flying into yet another vehicle, a 2018 Toyota, which was stopped at Fair Lawn Avenue.
According to FLPD, the Jeep’s driver suffered a severe medical event that caused here to lose control of her vehicle. It is suspected that she died instantly when she impacted the tree, but she was pronounced dead at 7:10 p.m. FLPD did not release whether any other injuries occurred as a result of the car accident.
After an accident
For most, they may believe that the Jeep driver is liable for the accident. After all, she impacted the pole and box. However, the liable party may actually be the insurance companies because, generally speaking, to be negligent, one has to act negligently, and having a medical episode is not a negligent act.
Of course, if the Jeep driver knew she had a medical issue that could cause her to lose control over the vehicle, she could nonetheless, still be held liable. Not because of her negligence in the accident itself (because the accident was caused by the medical event), but for her negligence as it relates to not taking reasonable steps to mitigate her medical issue to protect others on the road.
This accident is a prime example why anyone who is involved in a car accident should contact an attorney immediately. Car accidents can be complicated and the law is not always intuitive or straight forward.