If my wife had an epileptic seizure while driving, can she be deemed to have been at fault?
Question Details: My wife was driving home from work and had an epileptic seizure that caused her to hit another car and veare off and hit a pole and total our car. The police said it was not her fault due to the seizure. She has followed all the state laws with epilepsy, check up, blood work, MRI's and been approved to drive. Our insurance company says it's still her fault and kept the $1000 deductible and raised our rates saying she was still at fault because she was driving and the "Sudden Medical Emergency Law" does not apply. I told them that they are discriminating against someone covered under the ADA but they said not they are not; it is her fault because she had a pre-existing condition. I reminded them that under state law she has followed the guidelines and was seizure free for over 2 years and had been cleared to drive. The claims adjuster said that does not matter because she was still driving. Can they do this? Is this discrimination by blaming her Epilepsy? PS She was injured, however did not require a hospital stay.
It does not appear to have been your wife's fault since, as you write, she "followed all state laws . . . and been approved to drive." Fault depends on carelesness or negligence (or on deliberately doing something wrongful), so if you wife had not followed the rules or not been cleared to drive, she would be at fault. But driving when one has followed all the rules, been tested and examined, and been approved by the state to drive--that is, when the state says it is legal and safe for her to drive--is not negligent. It appears the insurer is failing to follow the law or honor its policy, and if you deem it worthwhile, it appears that you could take legal action against the insurer.