What Is An Inevitable Car Accident?

Posted on: 25 October 2018

If you are pursuing a car accident case, the inevitable accident defense is one of the claims the defendant can invoke to try and avoid liability. With this defense, a driver will claim that they didn't cause the accident and they couldn't have prevented it – in short, the accident was unavoidable. Here are three elements a driver may use to prove that an accident was inevitable:

The Driver Couldn't Foresee the Accident

Many forms of car accidents are foreseeable; that is, it is easy to see or imagine the accidents happening. For example, a driver going over the speed limit while approaching an intersection knows or should know that they can crash into other road users. Such a driver cannot claim the inevitable accident defense if they do crash into you.

However, other road accidents aren't foreseeable. For example, few people will imagine a deer jumping onto the road without warning when driving in a city. Therefore, if a stray deer jumps in front of a car and causes an accident, they may be able to claim the inevitable accident defense.

The Accident Was an Act of God

An act of God or nature accident is one that is not caused by a human being but rather the forces of nature. For example, a sinkhole that appears without warning in the middle of the road and causes an accident can be labeled an act of God. Another example of such an accident is when earthquake aftershocks cause a car to lose control and crash into other road users.

In this case, the law will examine whether the driver was driving reasonably safe just before the accident. For example, a driver going over the speed limit is likely to cause a more serious accident when they fall into a sinkhole than a driver driving at a reasonable speed.

The Driver Suffered an Unexpected Health Condition

Unexpected and sudden medical conditions can cause serious car accidents by interfering with a driver's control of the car. For example, an unexpected heart attack can cause a driver to lose control of their car and swerve into other road users. In this case, the driver can only use the inevitable accident defense if they had no history of heart attack at all. For example, a driver who had been warned by their doctor about the risk of a sudden heart attack cannot use this defense because it is something they should have expected.

As you can see, an inevitable accident claim can be a strong one depending on the circumstances of the accident. This means you also need a strong claim to prove that the driver you are accusing should compensate your damages. An auto accident lawyer from a firm like Seiler & Parker PC can help you mount such a claim.