What does Act of God mean in personal injury terms?

John is driving down the road to take his daughter to college. As they are traveling, a massive storm hits. Rain and dangerous winds beat down on the windshield, making it increasingly difficult to see. As they get closer to town, everyone is driving slower and being as cautious as possible. But in the blink of an eye, a bolt of lightning hits a nearby utility pole and causes it to splinter. A car traveling next to John’s is hit by the falling debris and pushed into John’s car, which careens off into a ditch. John and his daughter sustain mild injuries due to the accident.

Many people might assume the other driver is liable for John and his daughter’s personal injuries. Although that is usually the case, this scenario is likely the result of an Act of God and could lead to no one being named at fault.

What is an Act of God?

An Act of God in the legal sense is an unforeseeable natural event or action that cannot be prevented by human intervention — regardless of the amount of extreme care or precaution someone takes to avoid an accident. So in the case above with John, it is possible that the other driver could use the Act of God defense. The lightning caused the utility pole to hit his car and force him into John’s car. If successful, he would not be held liable for the accident and would not pay any damages.

A few examples of what is generally considered an Act of God are:

  • Tornado
  • Hurricane
  • Earthquake
  • Flood
  • Tsunami

Is the Act of God defense foolproof?

While no one can be held responsible for a legitimate Act of God, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney to make certain that your personal injury was not the result of someone else’s negligence. Believe it or not, but there are circumstances where despite an Act of God taking place, it was not the primary cause of the accident. The other party may have made the situation worse through their action or inaction.

For example, had the driver above who hit John and his daughter been speeding in such dangerous conditions, the accident may have been preventable. As a result, it is likely that they could be found at fault. Drivers are still responsible for being as safe as possible on the roadways, and that includes following all traffic laws.

Call Nelson Law Group today!!

Nelson Law Group, PC brings over two decades of experience to each personal injury case we handle. We have an extensive bench and jury trial experience in personal injuries arising from a variety of causes that result in a wide array of injuries. Nelson Law Group will devise a comprehensive strategy. It is based on our years of experience, intuitive legal skill, and the desired outcome of your case. We will be available to answer your questions or respond to your concerns as they come up.

If you have been injured in an accident and feel someone else is a fault, contact us today to talk about your personal situation and gain the information you need to know to make good decisions moving forward. Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC a call if you have any further questions regarding this or any other issue. Our staff is always available. Give us a call today! For more information about Brett A Nelson, click here.

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Source: Nelson Law Group

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