WHO’S AT FAULT WHEN YOU ARE HIT FROM BEHIND?
Many people assume if they are rear-ended in a Florida car accident, the person behind them is automatically at fault for the accident. However, that is not always true.
It is true that there is a “rear-end collision” rule in Florida which was adopted in 1959. The rule is the driver of the rear vehicle that collides with the back of the lead vehicle is presumed negligent unless the rear driver presents evidence that fairly and reasonably tends to show that the presumption is misplaced. That means in most situation, if your Florida car accident was a rear-end collision, the rear vehicle is at fault.
However, there are three categories that may excuse the fault of the rear vehicle and may effectively rebut the presumption of negligence. These categories are as follows:
- An abrupt and arbitrary stop in a place where it could not reasonably be expected or an unexpected change of lanes.
- A mechanical failure (sudden brake failure) that causes the rear driver to collide with the lead driver.
- The lead vehicle is illegally and, therefore, unexpectedly stopped.
If any of the three categories exists, the jury will have to ultimately decide who is responsible for the car accident. However, if none of the 3 categories exist, the Judge can determine that the rear vehicle was at fault as a matter of law.
If you have been involved in a Florida car accident wherein you sustained injuries, it is important that you discuss your claim with an attorney who handles personal injury claims. Attorney Matthew Noyes’ law firm has been representing those injured in Florida car accidents for over 52 years. To contact Attorney Matthew Noyes to discuss your rights after a Florida car accident, simply click here.