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Michigan Accidents Involving the Amish

A funeral home in Algansee Township recently identified three children who were killed after the horse-drawn carriage in which they were riding was struck by a drunk driver.

These three children were among five children and their parents who were involved in the accident. The driver in the accident has been charged with drunk driving resulting in death and serious injury.

There are Amish communities through Michigan as well as several other states including Iowa and Ohio. Unfortunately, a large number of accidents involving the Amish occur because motor vehicle drivers cannot spot buggies on the road.

If you are involved in an accident with the Amish, it helps to understand some of the details that make these accidents different from others. 

Lawsuits Involving the Amish

One of the most common questions asked by people who are involved in accidents with the Amish is whether state and federal laws apply to the Amish. The answer is that the Amish still must follow these laws.

As a result, following an accident with an Amish person, it is often the case that you will be able to initiate legal action against the Amish individual, but that the Amish are not as likely to pursue legal action against you.

If you decide to pursue legal action against an Amish driver, you will still need to serve the responsible driver in the way that you would anyone else. Many people who pursue compensation from Amish drivers discover that while the Amish are able to pay for the resulting damage, payment can take months or even years to come through.

If you cause an accident with Amish individuals, however, it is not likely that the Amish will pursue legal action in an “English” court of law. In many situations, however, the Amish still end up facing large medical bills, buggy repair costs, and numerous other debts.

What Makes Accidents With the Amish Unique

There are a number of factors that make accidents with the Amish unique. Some of these factors include the following:

  • If a female member of the Amish community caused the accident, you will likely be required to pursue legal action against both the husband and wife because the Amish believe that a husband is the head of a household. In many cases, the husband will even speak for the wife.
  • Amish children as young as 8 are sometimes taught to operate buggies, which means that the other driver in your accident could be a child.
  • Amish do not use seat belts or place young children in car seats. As a result, accidents involving the Amish often result in very serious injuries and fatalities.
  • The driver of a buggy does not have as many windows and mirrors available as other drivers, which means that buggy operators have limited visibility when out on the road.
  • Because horses that pull Amish buggies are not as fast as motor vehicles, it is common for accidents to occur when a motor vehicle operator attempts to pass a horse. Always drive with caution when sharing the road with a horse-drawn buggy.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle accident with an Amish driver, you should not hesitate to contact a lawyer. Speak with a Clare, MI injury attorney from Jay Trucks and Associates, PC today to schedule a free initial consultation.