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“Act of God” Defenses

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2016 | Personal Injury

While it may seem like a joke at first, most insurance companies, as well as states, have loopholes called “Act of God” defenses or clauses. For instance, if a tree in a neighbor’s yard falls onto your house and causes damage, you may be able to sue the neighbor for negligence if they knew the tree had the potential of falling. However, if a hurricane comes through town, blowing the tree down onto your house, that could be considered an “Act of God.”

Is It Possible A Traffic Accident Could Be An Act Of God?

In a 2013 case, the federal district court in Minnesota found that, even if injuries are present and caused by a truck accident discussed in the case, the accident was actually a case of an “Act of God” and dismissed the case. When a truck driver passed out and hit another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle sued the truck driver. However, the Mayo Clinic tested the truck driver after the accident and proclaimed that he had passed out due to a sudden decrease in blood pressure, known as a syncopal episode.

The medical testimony presented in the courtroom explained that the syncopal episode is likely to occur once in a lifetime, and prior symptoms were not always present. Because of this testimony, the court found that the “Act of God” defense did, in fact, exist in the case. Therefore, they determined that the truck driver was not liable for the truck accident.

State Act Of God Laws

Every state and every insurance policy is different regarding the Act of God defense or clause. For example, in Texas courts, the Act of God defense is presented to juries after “proximate cause” is defined and before the court asks if either of the parties involved in a case were negligent. Many of the cases are not as cut-and-dry as others, including poor construction which is undetectable until after extreme weather occurs. Is the construction company liable or was it an Act of God? The answer will lie in whether the construction is deemed adequate for the area in which it is built.

Contact A Legal Representative

If you have been injured in a truck accident and the insurance company or a defendant is claiming an “Act of God” defense, contact an Oklahoma truck accident lawyer to help you protect your rights. The attorneys at Frasier, Frasier & Hickman, LLP are on standby to discuss your case and you can contact them by calling
(918) 992 7743


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