Rear-end collisions occur all too often and can result in serious injuries and damages. For instance, victims of these crashes could suffer from debilitating back or neck pain requiring ongoing medical care.
If you have been involved in a rear-end collision, it is important to understand that under Florida law, the rear driver is presumed to be the at-fault driver. However, this does not necessarily mean that the rear driver is the only one responsible for the crash and any resulting injuries and damages.
Our West Palm Beach car accident lawyers are ready to examine your situation and help determine if you have a valid claim during a free, no-obligation legal consultation.
Presumption of Negligence in Rear-End Accidents
Generally, when a car accident victim takes legal action against another driver, he or she must establish that the driver’s conduct was negligent and that this negligence directly caused the victim’s injuries.
However, Florida law imposes what is known as a presumption of negligence. Under this legal doctrine, the judge or jury in a rear-end collision case will assume that the rear driver is at fault unless the rear driver is able to present evidence showing why he or she was not at fault for the crash.
This means that the victim in a rear-end collision case only needs to prove that an accident happened and that he or she was injured and suffered damages. The burden of proof is left on the rear driver.
If the rear driver cannot provide evidence that the crash happened in a way that contradicts the other driver’s version of events or evidence showing how the crash was unavoidable, then he or she will be unable to overcome the presumption of negligence. In other words, he or she will be found at fault.
When the Lead Driver May Be At Fault
It is important to note that a rear driver is not automatically at fault for a rear-end collision. Certain legal evidence could prove otherwise. In certain circumstances, the lead driver may have been negligent by:
- Making an abrupt stop to turn but did not turn
- Unexpectedly reversing his or her car
- Slamming the brakes for no good reason
- Driving recklessly, causing a driver to rear-end him or her
- Suddenly cutting in front of a driver without time for the driver to break
- Having non-working brake lights so a driver cannot detect him or her breaking
- Getting a flat tire but failing to pull over or use hazard lights
Pursuing Compensation in a No-Fault State
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. Instead of pursuing compensation from the insurance company of the at-fault driver, drivers must go through their own insurer. However, some exceptions do exist.
Depending on the severity of a victim’s injuries, he or she may be able to pursue damages against the at-fault driver. The issue of negligence plays an important role in cases where the injuries involved in a crash require extensive treatment, result in permanent disability, or cause a victim to be unable to work at all.
Contact Our Firm for Trusted Legal Help
Reach out to Gordon & Partners today if you have been injured in a rear-end collision. Our team of attorneys are prepared to review the facts of the case, conduct a detailed investigation and gather supportive evidence to help prove negligence and determine liability on your behalf.
A legal consultation with our firm is complimentary. You are not obligated after this initial meeting to take legal action. We charge no fees up front or while representing you. We only get paid if we help you obtain compensation.