When you are in a car accident that is the fault of another driver, you expect that driver to be held liable for your medical expenses, property damages, and other damages such as lost wages. However, in some cases, the perpetrator of an auto accident cannot be held liable for negligence. Here is what you need to know.
What Is Sudden Emergency Doctrine?
Florida law requires that all drivers act responsibly and take reasonable care in operating their vehicle. When someone causes an auto accident, it would stand to reason that these laws would protect the car accident victim. Yet the state of Florida recognizes that emergencies can happen that can put drivers and others in danger. These emergencies are not considered negligence, and they can stop a personal injury claim.
Examples of Sudden Emergency Doctrine
Not just any emergency can be considered a defense for liability in a car accident. Some examples of successful defenses include:
- Speeding to get someone to the emergency room for a medical emergency
- Being attacked by a dangerous insect or animal while driving
- Having a medical emergency such as a heart attack, stroke, or seizure
However, these are not absolute. If you have a bee in your car but do not have a stinging insect allergy, the defense is probably not going to work for you. Likewise if you are diagnosed with a seizure disorder and told not to drive but do so anyway, this defense will also be unsuccessful.
What It Means to Your Case
If the person that caused your auto accident can use the sudden emergency doctrine defense, it could limit your ability to get compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and property damage. While all drivers must have insurance and the other driver’s insurance should cover your immediate expenses and damages, additional awards may not be given by the courts.
If there is a chance that the other driver will use the sudden emergency doctrine defense, you need to make sure that you have an attorney to represent you to ensure that you get the maximum compensation possible. Contact us today for more information or to schedule your free consultation.