This Fourth of July weekend marks the first summer holiday weekend when drivers will be hitting the highways and facing congested traffic and long periods behind a wheel. For those people traveling in California’s Central Valley, a summer holiday weekend usually also includes summer temperatures of 90 degrees Fahrenheit plus and a relentless sun beating down on them as they travel along State Route 99 in Modesto, Interstate 5 in Sacramento and State Route 4 in Stockton. For those persons who suffer from a medical condition causing them to become easily dehydrated or take medication that causes dehydration, dehydration can become a major concern for those drivers when deciding whether to operate a vehicle in these conditions.
Unfortunately, over the years, our firm has been compelled to represent victims of car accidents caused by dehydrated drivers who had become dizzy or fainted resulting in head-on motor vehicle crashes or rear-end collisions. These crashes can be catastrophic given that the dehydrated drivers tend to lose control over a fast-moving vehicle and not only cause great injury or death to others but may also cause severe injuries, if not even death, to themselves.
A dehydrated driver may attempt to defend himself or herself by contending that he or she suffered from a sudden onset of dehydration, a condition not known to the driver before he or she decided to drive. In this way, the driver will seek to avoid liability since a jury or judge may determine that the driver acted reasonably since he or she could not prevent this serious medical condition.
In response, the accident victim will need to argue that the adverse driver knew or should have known that he or she was susceptible to dehydration. The accident victim usually must subpoena the driver’s medical records to show that the driver was susceptible to dehydration due to various factors, e.g. prescription medication or a pre-existing medical condition.
Although a dehydrated driver may seek to block the accident victim from obtaining these medical records by claiming such records are protected by to his or her privacy rights, these privacy rights may give way under the law to the accident victim’s right to discover the truth as to whether or not the driver’s medical condition caused the accident. At Curtis Legal Group, we fight to get these medical records to help accident victims.
If you are someone who suffers from dehydration or takes medication that may cause dehydration, then reconsider whether you should be operating a motor vehicle for long periods and on hot days. Please stay safe this Fourth of July. Call the Heavy Hitters at 1-800-LAW-3080 or contact us by email if you wish to discuss the facts of your case. The consultation is free.