Have you ever heard that if you rear end another vehicle, the accident is automatically your fault? Not necessarily. Until recently in Florida, there was a rebuttable presumption that the rear driver in a rear end collision was the sole proximate cause of the accident. In layman’s terms, that essentially means that the rear driver will be responsible for all of the damage caused in the accident. You might have noticed that I said there was a rebuttable presumption, but in order to rebut the presumption, the rear driver had to prove that they were completely and utterly without fault in the accident. This was a near impossible feat and Florida courts would regularly refuse to hear any evidence presented by the rear driver. Many Florida courts also refused to allow the rear driver to sue the lead driver at all.
In 2012 that all changed with the Florida Supreme Court’s decision in Cevallos vs. Rideout. The Court held that rear driver could shift some or all of the blame to the lead driver, as the facts warranted. In the Cevallos case, the rear driver was able to show that the lead driver bore responsibility for the car crash because she was talking on her cell phone and driving improperly.
What does this mean to you? Have you rear ended another car that:
– Suddenly entered your lane and then abruptly slammed on the brakes?
– Abruptly stopped without warning or reason?
– Stop suddenly to execute a turn, but failed to actually turn?
– Suddenly put their car in reverse?
– Had malfunctioning or no brake lights?
– Was being operated in a negligent manner (swerving, talking on the phone, etc.)
The injuries sustained by the rear driver in these types of accidents can be significant and commonly include the following:
– Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
– Fractured or broken bones
– Spinal cord damage
– Neck and back injuries
– Lacerations and contusions which may have been caused by either the air bags or contact with the actual components of the vehicle.
Have you been involved in an auto accident which you believe might not be your fault? Contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Jones Law Group today.
If you have been involved in a rear end car crash, you should immediately call Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.
Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St. Pete, FL 33707