Act of God While Driving

By Michael Goldberg

I saw a recent article about a woman who caused a motor vehicle accident when she passed out at the wheel. Most people believe that a driver is responsible whenever he or she loses consciousness and hits someone but that is not always true. Under the law, the injured party must prove that the driver was negligent. In other words, the claimant must show that the accident could have been avoided by the driver. If the passing out episode occurred suddenly and without warning then it is an Act of God and no one is at fault. It is important for the lawyer to show that either the person had a history of passing out and therefore should not have been driving or that she had symptoms of passing out either immediately before or during driving so that she should have pulled over before she lost consciousness. If neither of these things can be proven, the case will be dismissed because the driver could not have forseen that the episode would occur and could not have done anything to avoid it.

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