Sudden-Peril Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

Sudden peril doctrine is a principle of torts law that a person confronted with a sudden emergency is not obligated to exercise the same degree of judgment and care as someone who is acting under normal conditions. It exempts a person from the ordinary standard of reasonable care if that person acted instinctively to meet a sudden and urgent need for aid. The doctrine applies when the sudden emergency is created in any way other than the actor's own conduct, as where the emergency is created by the unexpected operation of a natural force or by the innocent or wrongful act of a third person.