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Truck Crash Act of God Defense Fails in $21 Million Lawsuit


September 21, 2020

GEORGIA- Landline.media writes that a tragic pedestrian truck crash resulted in a 21 million dollar verdict against a truck company. The truck company's insurers attempted to challenge the massive verdict arguing various potential defenses, including that the collision was an "act of God" for which they should not be held liable.*

The accident occurred when the driver and owner of the truck was heading westbound on Highway 369 in Gainesville. The victim was walking on the side of the road. According to reports, the driver was moving erratically in the truck and swerving before he ultimately lost control of his vehicle. The large truck rolled, and the trailer detached from the cab. The rolling trailer tragically struck and killed the victim. 

According to the insurance company, the driver had suffered an unforeseeable illness, which caused him to lose control of the truck and ultimately kill the victim. The insurer also argued that they should not be required to provide coverage because the driver did not inform them of medical issues and the fact that he was on painkillers as a result. The insurance company failed to produce a medical expert to support this theory.

Large truck crash-related deaths, which are some of the more devastating collisions on the road, rose in 2019. While these crashes increased, all other types of accidents dropped. Part of the reason could be the fact that large trucks are not being outfitted with the same level of safety equipment as are are passenger vehicles. In many cases, the features that are being used to make passenger cars less likely to be involved in collisions, such as blind-spot alerts and frontal collision warnings, could also help make truck crashes less likely. More technologically advanced semis are likely to be rolling out soon, but so are autonomous trucks, which may also help to prevent many collisions. 

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Sources:

https://landline.media/cypress-insurance-act-of-god-claim-fails-in-21m-crash-case/

https://www.ttnews.com/articles/fatalities-crashes-involving-trucks-increased-2019-nhtsa-estimates#:~:text=Fatalities%20in%20crashes%20involving%20at,Highway%20Traffic%20Safety%20Administration%20estimates.

https://www.trucks.com/2019/10/22/trucking-fatalities-reach-highest-level-30-years/

https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/7/1/21308539/self-driving-autonomous-trucks-ups-freight-network

Category: Personal Injury

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