The Colorado Supreme Court recently abolished the long standing “Sudden Emergency” doctrine in automobile negligence cases. In an automobile negligence case in Colorado a jury could be instructed that:
A person, through no fault of his or her own, is placed in a sudden emergency, is not chargeable with negligence if the person exercises that degree of care that a reasonably careful person would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances.
This instruction could only be presented if some facts support the defense. (e.g. a large object in the roadway dropped from a truck).
Though this argument can be made by a defendant alleged to be responsible for a collision, no special jury instruction is available for the jury. Many times special jury instructions can mislead a jury that the court has made a conclusion that certain facts to exist and confusion may result as to how a jury is to use that instruction along with basic negligence principals.
Regardless, this will be more beneficial to a plaintiff seeking damages for his or her injuries in a motor vehicle accident because it removes an advantage for the defendant who caused the accident.
We serve clients charged with crimes or injured anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County and beyond.