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Act of God St. Louis Car Accident

Missouri is an at-fault state, the party or parties responsible for a crash is liable and must pay compensation for damages. Drivers are also legally obligated to carry insurance, so the payment will often come from the driver’s insurance carrier.

At-fault implies one party was negligent, and, as such, responsible for the incident. But what happens if an “Act of God” may have caused the driver to wreck?

What is an Act of God?

Insurance companies often use the “Act of God” defense in car accidents that are related to adverse conditions. What many drivers aren’t aware of is that in some cases, this justification is wrongfully used and it should be fought in court by a good lawyer who knows how to use the term correctly.

Missouri courts recognize that in some instances, personal injuries can be caused by “Acts of God”. These are special circumstances that may lead to a driver causing an accident.

“Acts of God” include natural phenomena like storms and hurricanes, as well as certain medical issues, like seizures, heart attacks, or other disabling health events.

An individual causing an accident because of an Act of God may not be negligent, and therefore not liable for compensation. Missouri courts have also conceded that some circumstance may reinstate the responsibility of the driver who caused the accident.

For instance, the driver may have had a seizure, which led them to lose control of the vehicle and hitting a pedestrian. The pedestrian was hurt, and they wish to seek compensation for the injuries. If his condition was un-diagnosed before the accident, Missouri courts may not hold them liable for damages.

But, if that individual had a history of seizures, was receiving medical treatment for them, and failed to take proper precautions on the day of the crash, the courts may hold them responsible for the incident.

When Is It Wrongfully Used?

Insurance companies often use the “Act of God” defense in car accidents that are related to adverse conditions. What many drivers aren’t aware of is that in some cases, this justification is wrongfully used and it should be fought in court by a good lawyer who knows how to use the term correctly.

Insurance companies may also invoke an “Act of God” incident and, therefore, not pay compensation when weather conditions or natural causes are exclusively to blame for a car accident.

But, if natural causes are only partially to blame for the accident, the driver who did not adopt the driving to the circumstances could be held accountable for the damage. That is the nuance between wrongfully and correctly using the “Act of God” defense.

Is Rain an “Act of God”?

Because the “Act of God” implies that the natural conditions were unforeseen and that they are exclusively to blame for the outcome, dense rain rarely qualifies as an Act of God. Car collisions that happen when someone is behind the wheel are most likely caused by the driver not adapting the speed or driving style to the bad weather conditions.

If, for example, you drive in dense rain conditions and another traffic participant crashes their car into yours from behind, they cannot invoke an act of God to avoid paying the damage, because the human factor is partially responsible for the accident. Dense rain requires preventive driving, and it simply does not appear so suddenly that it cannot be foreseen.

At Fault Driver Claiming Act of God

St. Louis car accidents can be complicated. When an accident involves an Act of God Medical Emergency or weather event, it is even more so. Immediately following any accident, the best thing to do is call The Hoffmann Law Firm’s 24/7 FREE help line at (314) 361-4242!

Updated: March 19, 2021