Texas drivers have a duty to drive carefully, as well as to respond to dangerous situations in a reasonable and thoughtful manner. This means that Texas personal injury plaintiffs may be able to recover compensation if another party fails to operate a vehicle with due care or act reasonably, even when that party is responding to a dangerous situation.
Under Texas law, the sudden emergency doctrine (or the imminent peril doctrine) concerns the response of a defendant to a sudden and unexpected emergency. A defendant may be protected under the doctrine only if the defendant can prove the following. First, that there was a sudden and unexpected emergency, and that someone was in actual or apparent danger of immediate injury. Second, that the defendant did not cause the sudden and unexpected emergency. Third, that the defendant acted as a reasonably careful person would have acted under the circumstances, even if another course of action would have been safer. The doctrine is applicable if a driver who was acting with reasonable care was suddenly and unexpectedly confronted by an emergency situation that the defendant did not cause. Essentially, it protects a person who acts in response to a sudden emergency, and it later becomes clear that another course of action would have avoided an injury.
However, the doctrine applies only in cases where an unexpected physical danger comes about that is so sudden that it deprives the driver of the ability to use reasonable judgment. In addition, a party cannot be protected by the doctrine if that party’s negligence caused or contributed to the dangerous situation.
Head-On Crash Results in Two Deaths
Two people were killed in a recent head-on multi-vehicle crash in Comal County, Texas, according to one news source. The Texas Department of Public Safety reported that the two killed were in a Hyundai Accent, when their car was hit head-on by a Ford truck. The truck reportedly veered into the lane of oncoming traffic for an unknown reason, sideswiping two other vehicles before colliding head-on with the Hyundai. After the collision, another car then struck the car from behind.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said that the two people killed were a man who was 42 years old and a woman who was 21 years old. They died at the scene of the crash. One other driver was hospitalized but was in stable condition.
Contact a Texas Law Firm to Assist You with Your Case
The law firm of Carabin Shaw has been serving Texas injury victims since 1992. Our goals are to aggressively represent our clients to protect their rights, and to level the legal playing field against bad actors and negligent parties. What sets us apart from other law firms is that we provide our clients with the best of both worlds: big firm ability with small firm compassion, creativity, care, and commitment. If you need legal representation in a personal injury case, call us at 800-862-1260 or fill out our online form. We represent clients in all types of personal injury claims including Texas motorcycle accidents and other motor vehicle claims.