Last Clear Chance Law and Legal Definition

Last clear chance is a legal doctrine used in some jurisdictions that holds a defendant liable for a plaintiff's injuries, despite contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff, if the defendant had the opportunity to avoid the plaintiff's negligence by exercising ordinary care. Therefore, a plaintiff may recover if the plaintiff is in a situation of helpless peril, and thereafter the defendant had a fresh opportunity to avoid injury to the plaintiff and negligently failed to do so. It is based on the theory is that although the plaintiff may have been negligent, his/her negligence no longer was the cause of the accident because the defendant could have prevented the accident.