Elkridge, MD asked in Car Accidents and Insurance Bad Faith for Maryland

Q: An “Excluded driver” in Maryland was Driving his wife’s vehicle and hit two parked cars.

Her insurance company is refusing any responsibility of coverage because husband is an “Excluded Driver”. The issue is that he is an excluded driver because of a medical problem. Seizures. He’s been excluded for approximately ten years. He has what his Dr. Describes as “Walk about”, seizures. Meaning he is going about his day normally when without warning, he starts seizing. But you would not know it to see him. He continues to walk, even continue a task for example that he was doing before seizing started. However, while the seizure is occurring he has no conscious awareness. When he finally stops seizing, he has no memory of anything that occurred during seizure. He is not aware of anything going on during seizure but still physically functional. When he took car this day at 5am, his wife was asleep, totally unaware of the situation. He had no wallet, money, not even shoes. He crashed into two parked cars. When police came he had no idea of location or why he’s there. Help please

1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Was he charged with traffic violations? Does he want representation for that? Most traffic violations are written as strict liability which do not depend on intent of the driver, so they may be difficult to defend based on medical conditions. However, a judge may grant a "probation before judgment" under the circumstances so that he does not have any convictions or guilty findings on his record and he would receive no points. As far as liability for the vehicle damage he caused, if he can prove that he was experiencing a seizure at the time of the accident, and that he had no conscious control over the vehicle due to the seizure, there may be a complete defense to the negligence claim against him for civil property damages if the owners or insurance companies for the two cars he hit sues him or his wife. There will be issues as to what precautions he and his wife could have or should have taken to prevent his access to the car keys since they knew it was possible for him in his condition to go off on his own without conscious control over himself (especially if anything like this ever happened before, with him taking the car during a seizure). As far as the policy exclusion for his and his wife's car, that will be upheld and will preclude coverage for both the damages caused to the other vehicles as well as to their own vehicle. There may be a question as to whether the policy requires that the insurance company pay to defend the wife in the event she is sued, but that will require a careful review of the policy. Ordinarily, a driver exclusion relieves the insurance company of any responsibility to defend.

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