Currently, Nevada laws can regulate the driving rights of individuals with epilepsy. In fact, doctors in our state are required to report epileptic seizures to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, and the DMV will revoke the patient’s driver’s license for a time in an effort to prevent seizure-related auto accidents.
While five other states have a similar mandatory reporting law, all states require doctors to recommend that patients wait three to 12 months after a seizure before driving again. Studies have shown that these requirements greatly reduce the risk of seizure-related crashes, but studies also show that the requirements can place restrictions on drivers with epilepsy who would not have crashed.
Doctors don’t know about a patient’s seizures unless the patient seeks medical attention. A person with epilepsy may be less likely to report a seizure for fear of losing his or her driver’s license, even temporarily.
Of course, epilepsy isn’t the only health issue that can impair a driver. A study done by the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry indicated that the crash risk for drivers with epilepsy is not significantly greater than the risk for drivers with other medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, either of which could also cause a sudden loss of attention when driving.
If death or serious injury results from a car accident caused by a health issue, several parties could face liability for compensation. The driver or even a doctor who failed to disclose medical information to the DMV could end up as the defendant in a lawsuit.
A personal injury attorney can assess whether any of these parties are responsible for damages. Compensation for serious injury or other losses can ease the burden on those affected by accidents related to medical conditions.
Source: AOL Autos, “Laws Determining Whether Epileptics Can Drive Raise Thorny Questions,” Erin Marquis, Jan. 31, 2014