I found this sentence:


I know what it means, but I can't understand the grammar behind "にあった時".


目に[遭]{あ}う (not ある) is a set phrase meaning "to suffer/go through/'meet with' a bad experience".

The 目 is often preceded by negative descriptions (esp. adjectives) such as ひどい・苦しい・不快な, etc. In this case, it's just 死にそうな.

The 時 is inconsequential here; just a normal "when ~".

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