An inevitable accident is an unforeseeable injury that could not have been avoided even with the defendant’s reasonable care. An unavoidable accident is one that no wise person can avoid, even if they take all reasonable precautions. Under Tort Law, it may be a viable defence.
Inevitable accident can be used as a defence if the defendant can prove that he or she had no intention of injuring the plaintiff and that despite their best efforts, they were unable to avoid the accident. In order for an accident to be unavoidable, the following elements must be present. The mishap should have been unexpected. The occurrence was beyond defendant control and defendant had no way of avoiding it. Reasonable caution and attention should be exercised.
HOLMES V. MATHER
In this case horses of defendant was driven on the roadway by his servant. The defendant’s horses were frightened enough by a dog’s bark that they lost control of themselves. The defendant’s horses harmed the plaintiff despite the best efforts of servants to manage the horses. In this case, it was held that the defendant was not responsible since the accident was unavoidable and beyond the defendant’s control, despite the fact that the defendant’s servant attempted to control it in every way possible.
ASSAM STATE COOP., ETC. FEDERATION LTD. V. SMT. ANUBHA SINHA
In this case premises of the plaintiff was given on rent to the defendant. The defendant (tenant) requested the plaintiff to repair the electric wiring which was defective but the plaintiff did not pay heed to his/her request and there occurred fire on the premises of the defendant (tenant) which was accidental. And it was found that there was no negligence on the part of the defendant.
Afterward, the plaintiff tried to claim compensation from the defendant (tenant) but the court held that it was a mishap that cannot be prevented. The defendant (tenant) cannot be held liable since it was an inevitable accident.
FIRE & GENERAL INS. CO. LTD V. RAJ RANI
This was the case of negligence, rather than an inevitable accident. In this case, the front right spring and patta of the truck broke down all of a sudden, the vehicle lost control and slammed into a tractor approaching from the opposite way. The truck’s driver and owner were unable to demonstrate in court that the truck was in proper working order and that they had taken all reasonable precautions while driving it. There was also a mechanical problem in this truck that could be discovered. As a result, it was held that it was a case of carelessness rather than an unavoidable accident, and the defendant, in this case, was found responsible.
Inevitable Accident was unavoidable is a viable defence if a person can show that the accident could not have been avoided even with the defendant’s due attention and care. And the accident means an unexpected injury that could not have been foreseen and avoided by the defendant.
LAW OF TORTS (BY DR. R.K. BANGIA)