Rear End Accidents in South Florida
Florida has a presumption in rear end accidents that, if a driver rear ends a car (i.e., a following driver collides with a leading car) the following driver is presumed to have been driving negligently and is thus at fault for the accident. This is a rebuttable presumption, which means that the following driver must bring enough evidence to disprove liability. Specifically, the driver must prove that he or she was driving with due care. In other words, that he or she was driving at a safe distance from other cars and was paying undivided attention to the road. If the other driver fails to satisfy this duty, the presumption remains and the following driver may be held liable for a victim’s injuries, including economic and non-economic damages. For example, if the following driver struck a leading car in a rear-end collision in Fort Lauderdale, he or she may still be liable even if the leading car suddenly stopped. The key factor supporting a rebuttal of Florida’s presumption is that the stop occurred at a time or place in which it would not be reasonably expected. In fact, the Fourth District held that the following driver did not rebut the presumption when the leading car stopped suddenly, but it was a rainy day, and the drivers were stopped at a red light. Thus, the stop, although sudden, was not unexpected.
An experienced car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, such as the attorneys at Rosen Injury Law, may help you rebut Florida’s presumption of negligence.
For more information, see Ferguson v. Disalvo, 775 So. 2d 414 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001).