The ultimate question in a New Mexico truck accident case is whether the truck driver was negligent, and whether any such negligence was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. Over time, courts have come up with various legal doctrines to help make these determinations. One such doctrine is called the “sudden emergency doctrine.” A recent case illustrates its application.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff was rear-ended by a truck driver after another motorist aggressively passed the vehicle in front of the plaintiff and then slammed on the brakes. Based on the aggressive driver’s conduct, the car in front of the plaintiff also slammed on their brakes, causing the plaintiff to do the same. The defendant, however, was operating a fully-loaded semi-truck, and despite his efforts to come to a safe stop in time, he crashed into the back of the plaintiff’s vehicle.
The plaintiff filed a personal injury case against the defendant truck driver, who claimed that he had not acted negligently because he was merely responding to the “sudden emergency” created by the aggressive driver slamming on his brakes.