Sudden emergency is a legal doctrine that says that, if someone is confronted “suddenly” with “an emergency”, then that person’s negligence is excused, since they could not foresee that the “emergency” would happen.

It’s a favorite defense of adjusters, second only to contributory negligence. It does, sometimes, apply, but very rarely.

It’s just another example of why, if you’ve been injured in a car accident, you MUST be careful when you speak to insurance adjusters.

The defendant’s insurance company can claim that their driver faced a sudden emergency in your wreck. If they prove sudden emergency, then you don’t recover anything. When companies raise this defense, if they have any rational basis at all, they aren’t going to get in trouble, no matter how much time and money they waste.

That’s where we come in. Contact us today by calling 919-348-4361 or clicking here for our website contact form

Sudden emergency doesn’t always apply, in fact, it almost never applies. A true sudden emergency defense is only valid in perhaps one case out of few hundred.

The event MUST be an emergency (like a heart attack) and it MUST be sudden (if the defendant’s been driving for 30 minutes with severe chest pain, that’s not sudden.) Plus the defendant can’t contribute to the emergency: a stop sign on a country road may come up suddenly, but if the defendant is driving too fast to stop, then it’s not really sudden. If they’re texting or driving drunk then there’s no sudden emergency. Yet we see those defenses often.

Our lawyers have over 50 years of combined experience and have over 100 trials. We’ll give you free, no-risk evaluation of your claim. If the defense applies, we’ll explain your options. If we think you’re being conned, and it’s worth your time to pursue, we’ll sign your case on a contingency fee, so we ONLY get paid if we get you a recovery.

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