Posted on Monday, April 10th, 2017 at 2:20 am    

It may not happen often; however, it does happen. Someone has a sudden emergency or a medical emergency while driving, and that driver causes a car accident. Does the emergency excuse the liability for the car wreck? Under California law, an emergency may be a legal defense to a car accident claim in some very narrow circumstances.

California’s Sudden Emergency or Medical Emergency Defense

Under California law, if a person has a sudden emergency or a medical emergency and causes a car wreck that person may not be liable for damages if he or she can prove the following things:

  • There was a sudden or unexpected emergency;
  • The emergency placed the driver or someone in immediate threat of injury;
  • Whatever created the emergency was not the fault of the driver;
  • The driver’s actions were like the actions of a reasonable person who was in a similar situation.

The key is to prove that the person acted reasonably given the circumstances, but this can be difficult to prove. The burden of proof is on the driver. Therefore, the driver must prove each element in order to win with this type of defense in a car accident claim. The victim does not need to provide any evidence to disprove the driver although an experienced attorney may develop a strategy to fight this type of defense.

One exception to the medical emergency defense deals with mental illness. The medical emergency defense cannot be used to argue that a mental illness or mental health condition waives liability for a car accident claim.

Filing a Car Accident Claim for Damages

Proving fault is essential when you file a car accident claim. You cannot recover damages from the other driver unless you prove that the driver was at fault for the collision. An experienced Sacramento car accident attorney conducts an independent accident investigation to determine the cause of the accident. He identifies evidence to use in court to prove the other driver caused the collision.

Sometimes the insurance company for the other driver may try to say that you are partially at fault for the wreck. This tactic is used to decrease the amount of money the company must pay to settle your claim. In these cases, your attorney may utilize an expert to recreate the accident to prove beyond a doubt that the other driver was solely responsible for the crash.

Call for A Free Appointment with A Sacramento Car Accident Attorney

If a negligent driver injured you, you might be entitled to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Your first step is to contact our office to request your free consultation with an experienced Sacramento car accident attorney.

Call the Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or visit our website to request your free, no-obligation case evaluation.  Our law firm serves clients in SacramentoFolsomRoseville, El Dorado Hills and other communities in the greater Sacramento area.

Client Testimonials

Hanna Padilla Testimonial

From the very start of my case the Tiemann Law Firm was wonderful. Perter came all the way to my home to sit down and talk to me about my options. He made me and my partner feel very comfortable and promised us he would take the very best care of my case. Peter kept me informed every step of the way and was always on top of things. everything was done in a timely manor and I always felt like I was the only case he was working on because he was so fast. In the end Peter got me back way more money than I ever expected. I would recommend this law firm to everyone. I am very happy with the outcome of my case thanks to the Tiemann Law Firm! Thank you!

Star Fire Testimonial

It is hard to put into words the care and dedication that I received from the Tiemann’s. They have been here for me every step of the way and were always available when I had questions or concerns. My husband and I will be forever grateful for everything they have done for us and our family. Thank you so much for all of the hard work and time you have put into my case, we greatly appreciate it and your friendship. We highly recommend this firm and will always be thankful for everything they have done. Thank you so much again, Kim

Maye Ly Testimonial

I just saw my lawyer Jelena Tiemann on a t.v ad, which reminded me how much she helped when I was in a desperate situation. I just love her! That is why I feel a need to tell everyone. I had a situation that happened & didn’t know what to do, our where to go. I didn’t even know if she could help me or if any lawyer could. All I wanted was it to go away & was afraid most lawyers wanted to drag it out & possibly go to court. For one she was very professional but was very personable (maybe b.c she’s a lady). She didn’t make me feel embarrassed or self-conscious that I did something wrong or was the cause of the situation. She immediately said we should try our best before going to court. Let me handle some paperwork, if at the last we do go to court we have documents. She gave me all the details, pros and cons but reassured me she deals with these cases all the time. She came through and made it as painless as possible. I now have my life back.

Jennifer Birdseye Testimonial

Tiemann Law Firm helped us with an injury case for my nephew. They were very knowledgeable and we are very happy with the service they provided. The entire staff is topnotch!

Elizabeth Ochoa Testimonial

I chose Tiemann Law Firm to help me after a car accident I was involved in. Throughout the entire process, Moe made sure to keep me updated, he always responded quickly whenever  I had questions about anything. My case won thanks to this law firm and its dedication. My experience with Tiemann Law Firm was amazing! 10/10 recommended.