Can a car crash death that resulted from a heart attack be compensated for in a lawsuit?

Eighty-five-year-old Adbulla Kassem was driving home from a family dinner in Dearborn, Michigan, when he rear-ended a tractor-trailer. It was a minor, low-speed crash and it didn’t cause any direct physical injuries. Nevertheless, after the accident Kassem suffered a sudden cardiac arrhythmia and died.

Kassem’s family sued the trucking company, and the Michigan Court of Appeals allowed the suit.

The court first said the trucker could be responsible for the accident because it was a dark and rainy night and the truck driver had failed to place the trailer’s rear bumper in the “down”position, which prevented Kassem from seeing the truck’s taillights until it was too late to avoid the crash.

The court then said there was medical and scientific evidence that Kassem’s heart attack was directly caused by severe fright from the collision, which resulted in a sudden surge of blood pressure and adrenalin. In other words, the trucker could be held liable for causing an accident that literally scared an elderly man to death.

If you’ve experienced an injury or loss, or a loved one has been the victim of a car crash death, call us at 864.233.7200 or 1.800.903.8101 for a free telephone consultation.