Do I Have a Claim if an Act of God Caused My Injury?
At a time when extreme weather events such as floods, tornadoes, and wildfires are becoming more severe and more frequent, it’s important to understand the legal implications of damages or injuries you suffer due to an “act of God.” The legal terms act of God or “force majeure” refer to an event caused by natural forces that cannot be controlled or prevented. Your medical, renter’s or homeowners’ insurance will cover some of the damage, but some events require additional specialized insurance. For example, residents in an earthquake-prone state like California have the option of purchasing extra earthquake insurance. Acts of God provisions in insurance policies limit or eliminate liability for injuries or other losses resulting from force majeure events.
A personal injury lawsuit following an act of God can be difficult to prove. If you have been seriously injured, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney. In personal injury law in Texas,
the act of God defense applies when a violent natural event causes the plaintiff’s damage, with no human intervention. To be a valid defense, the act of nature must be the sole cause of the accident, not just a contributing factor, and the harm must be inevitable and unavoidable by any reasonable care or foresight.
According to the Insurance Journal, a plaintiff in Texas could argue that an act of God consideration doesn’t apply in a case alleging that some negligent act or omission was a cause—but not necessarily the only cause—of damage or injury. For example, in a case in Galveston, the plaintiff argued that a train derailment during a cyclone was not the result of an act of God. It was instead the result of the defendant railroad failing to properly maintain its facilities and negligently driving its locomotive into harm’s way during the cyclone.
The costs to insurers can be very high after a significant act of God, and it’s no surprise that some insurance companies have tried to limit making payments based on force majeure. Acts of God can include environmental damage by businesses transporting hazardous materials, or injuries and deaths caused by destroyed buildings.
At Hudson Law Firm, we put PERSONAL back into Personal Injury Law. For an injury claim evaluation, call us at (972) 360-9898, or visit our website to chat with an associate. We understand and care about your injury, and look forward to helping you with your accident claim.