Epilepsy & Driving: Seizure-Related Crashes

Epilepsy is a condition that affects millions of people globally, including approximately three million individuals in the United States. The question of whether individuals with epilepsy should be allowed to drive and whether they can be held liable for car accidents caused by seizures is an important one. At Roden Law, our specialized car accident lawyers have extensive experience in handling complex cases involving medical conditions or medication. If you have been involved in an accident related to seizures or have experienced a seizure while driving, our knowledgeable attorneys are available to provide a complimentary case evaluation. During this evaluation, we will explain your rights and assess your eligibility for compensation.

Risks of Driving with Epilepsy/Seizures Driving with epilepsy carries significant risks, even if you are currently taking medication to manage your symptoms. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2015, less than half of individuals on medication were seizure-free. Seizure episodes can occur unexpectedly, and the following symptoms associated with seizures can impair your ability to drive safely:

  • Confusion induced by seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Uncontrollable body jerking
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Anxiety
  • Staring spells or feeling “spaced out”
  • Headaches
  • Temporary paralysis after a seizure
  • Memory lapses
  • Temporary loss of bowel control

Driver’s License Requirements for Seizures In many states, individuals with epilepsy can obtain a driver’s license if they have not experienced a seizure within the last six months. Those who exclusively have seizures at night may be eligible for a limited license that permits daytime driving, even if a seizure occurred within the previous six months. To learn more about the driving laws related to epilepsy in your state, please refer to the specific guidelines.

Related Article: How Much You Could Receive Compensation In Whiplash Injury

Reporting Medical Limitations While doctors may not be obligated to report patients with epilepsy, they can report anyone with a known condition that impairs their ability to operate a vehicle safely. Additionally, concerned individuals such as relatives, courts, judges, law enforcement officers, or citizens can submit non-anonymous letters expressing their concerns. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may then require the individual to undergo a medical evaluation and provide documented proof of their ability to drive safely.

Determining Liability for Accidents Involving Seizures If a person has a seizure and causes an accident, it does not automatically make them legally responsible for the collision. Various factors are taken into account when determining liability, including the individual’s history of epileptic events or seizures, whether they were under the care of a doctor for epilepsy, and whether they had been seizure-free for at least six months. While the involvement of a seizure in the accident may attribute some fault to the person with the medical condition, the issue remains complex, particularly if they had no prior diagnosis or seizure history.


Comparative Fault and its Role In Georgia, a modified comparative negligence system is used to allocate fault between two or more parties whose negligence contributed to an accident. According to this system, if you were less than 50 percent at fault for the accident, you can still pursue compensation for the damages you suffered.

However, your recovery amount will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found 10 percent liable for the accident, you can only receive 90 percent of the total value of your damages. If it is determined that you are more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, you cannot recover any damages.


Leave a Reply