Recently, a Louisville car accident case was heard in a Louisville Circuit Court. A car accident occurred in September of 2005 that was finally brought to trial in December of 2007. The facts are that a driver of a truck was rounding a blind curve when he came upon a few cars stopped for a light. Not having time to stop, he slammed on his brakes causing him to avoid the accident in front of him, but causing his trailer to swing into the opposite lane of traffic, striking the vehicle of a Ms. Carroll, significantly injuring her legs. At trial, the court allowed the jury to be given jury instructions on the sudden emergency doctrine. Ms. Carroll lost at trail and brought the appeal by her Louisville car accident lawyer.
The common-law doctrine of sudden emergency for a Louisville car accident attempts to explain to a jury how to judge the allegedly negligent conduct of a person, plaintiff or defendant, who is suddenly confronted with an emergency situation that allows no time for deliberation. The sudden emergency doctrine does not excuse fault; it defines the conduct to be expected of a prudent person in an emergency situation. (See Carroll v. Wright, 2009 WL 414064 (Ky.App.))
When a defendant is confronted with a condition he has had no reason to anticipate and has not brought on by his own fault, but which alters the duties he would otherwise have been bound to observe, then the effect of that circumstances upon these duties must be covered by the instructions. The trial court gave the normal standard of care jury instructions, but also included the sudden emergency instructions as well.
Ms. Carroll’s Louisville car accident lawyer argued that the driver of the truck had every reason to anticipate what may be around the blind curve and the accident was brought about by his own negligence, namely, not heeding the sign warning of an upcoming intersection and not reducing his speed when entering the blind curve. Further, the driver of the truck testified that he was familiar with the area and knew of the sign. So, the appeals court held that the presence of stopped vehicles waiting to turn was a normal traffic condition that the truck driver could have anticipated and thus the giving of the sudden emergency instructions to the jury was reversible error. Accordingly, the case was remanded back to the trial court for a new trial. So, Ms. Carroll’s Louisville car accident lawyer will have to re-try the case, unless a settlement can be reached.
If you have been the subject of a Louisville car accident matter, please call and speak to a Louisville car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew S. Alitowski at 888-ASK-ANDREW (275-2637) or contact us online. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are injured…Ask Andrew!!!