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Sudden Emergency Doctrine

Definition

A rule of law which states that a person confronted with a sudden and unexpected peril, not resulting from that person’s own negligence, is not expected to exercise the same judgment and level of care the law requires of a person in calmer and more deliberate moments. The person confronted with the imminent peril must, however, act as a reasonable person would under the same conditions. This doctrine should not be used unless a court finds that the particular and peculiar facts of a case warrant more explanation of the standard of care than is generally required.

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