What If No One Is at Fault?
Some personal injury cases have clear-cut culprits – drunk driving accidents or medical malpractice, for example – while other cases are a bit murkier. Some accidents may initially seem to be nothing more than an accident, but on closer examination somebody can be found responsible after all.
Slip and fall accidents may seem like just that, an accident, but a closer look may show that the floor was freshly mopped but no signs warning of wet floors were in place at the time. Even in natural disasters such as hurricanes or tornadoes, for example, injuries caused by debris from falling buildings may seem to be an act of God but instead are found to be the result of shoddy building construction, which was the reason why the structure was unable to withstand the natural disaster.
According to experts, it’s unlikely that someone isn’t ultimately at fault in most accidents, so speaking to a personal injury attorney should be your first step after seeking medical help for any injuries you suffer in any accident.
Acts of God Can’t Stop Lawsuits
An act of God is considered an event that occurs without control, such as floods, earthquakes, storms, lightning strikes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other events. But that doesn’t mean incidents that happen during such events might not result in a personal injury lawsuit.
Product liability or construction defects may lead to personal injury lawsuits, and negligence may also erode an act of God defense.
For example, after hurricane Katrina, numerous lawsuits were filed when nursing homes and hospitals were not evacuated in advance of the storm, putting patients in harm’s way.
If you are injured in a car accident after another driver hits your car after having a seizure, that driver cannot be held responsible, because the seizure was out of the driver’s control. If the driver had a history of seizures, however, and still chose to drive, they would be held legally responsible for your injuries and you could file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver and his or her insurance and would likely be successful in court.
One example of no one being responsible for injuries sustained in a car accident would be if two vehicles were traveling on a road and a deer came out of the woods, causing the vehicles to collide as each attempted to avoid hitting the animal. Neither driver could be found negligent for the accident, because the deer was ultimately responsible, and obviously can’t be held liable.
That doesn’t mean that insurance companies won’t cover the medical costs and property damage associated with the accident, although there may be some need for prodding from a personal injury attorney to establish a fair settlement that adequately covers the costs associated with the act of God incident.
If you are seriously injured in an accident with no one apparently at fault, it’s important to consult with a personal injury attorney all the same.
In many cases, someone is ultimately responsible for the accident, and if there is any proof of negligence, the right attorney will find it, providing an avenue to pursue the costs associated with your injuries.
If you have questions about a personal injury case and how to pay your medical bills, call a personal injury lawyer today.