Thursday, October 15, 2009

[Blog Action Day] Climate Change Related Car Accidents through the Act of God Clause

Climate change is inevitable. We’ve come to a point that we cannot really reverse the effects and we will have to adapt to the new environment it will create.

According to the United Nations, every year sees an increase in the occurrence of storms, floods, and even earthquakes.

If climate change continues to have adverse effects, we may see more car accidents that can be considered “acts of god.”

What are car accidents that are considered acts of God? For one thing, they are accidents that you never thought would happen to you.

Act of God in US law refers to accidents that are caused by natural disasters or uncontrollable weather conditions.

This includes earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, lightning and tsunamis.

In these cases, there is really no liable party to be blamed thus the term “Act of God.”

And with the current trend in climate change, these could happen a lot more often than we think.

However, identifying car accidents that are caused by an “act of God” from accidents that are caused by negligence can sometimes be tricky and not all insurance policies cover acts of god calamities, so be sure to check yours.

The car accident claim becomes complicated if the accident was caused by both a natural disaster and negligence.

Generally, the courts decide based on whether the car accident would have happened regardless if the negligence was present or not.

For example, a truck took a shortcut on roads that it is not allowed to pass through and then gets damaged in a flood on that area.

The courts may decide that if the driver did not pass through those roads illegally then the truck should not have been damaged .

Therefore the negligent and liable party is the driver.

Another example would be if a tree falls on a parked car because of an earthquake; the courts may decide that the driver could not have reasonably known that the tree would fall on the car and could have not predicted the earthquake as well.

Therefore the car accident may be considered an act of God.

This car accident clause can be very complicated and insurance companies like to use this as an escape to not cover personal injuries and property damages claims.

The best thing you can do is review your insurance policy about accidents caused by “acts of god” and consult with an expert car accident attorney for advice.