Lawyers who handle automobile accident cases should be sure to understand that they will likely receive extremely unusual and creative explanations from defendants as to how automobile accidents happen. Unfortunately, there are many individuals who think that if they are involved in an accident, they can simply excuse their behavior or blame the other driver who sustained injuries. This is not usually the case.
The Sudden Emergency Defense in Truck Accident Cases
A common excuse of those who cause accidents involves what is known as the “sudden emergency” defense doctrine. Specifically, the doctrine provides that if a defendant is faced with a sudden emergency that is unsuspected and unusual, and the situation is not of his or her own making, and that the defendant used ordinary care but was not able to prevent a crash, his or her negligence can be excused.
What Defendants Need to Establish a Sudden Emergency
The defendant must establish that the sudden emergency was unexpected and not in view for a small period of time. In essence, that the peril was not expected. This defense must be brought forth by a defense attorney as an affirmative defense so as to prior notice to the plaintiff before a trial begins.
The doctrine has been asserted by both dishonest and honest defendants alike, and may be raised for anything such as sun glare, inclement weather, oil slicks, icy road conditions, a stalled vehicle, and to avoid an accident with an animal on the road.
When this doctrine is raised, the attorney for the plaintiff must try and assert that the sudden emergency was of the defendant’s own making. A way to defeat this defense is to establish that the defendant did not exercise ordinary care in the moments for the accident occurred.
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