Rear End Accident
No one sees it coming when they are involved in a rear end accident. A rear end accident occurs when a vehicle approaches another from behind and collides with it. When this occurs, passengers of the vehicles can experience various types of injuries. The most common injury is whiplash, a spinal injury that affects the neck, caused by the sudden movement of the vehicle lurching forward and then stopping suddenly. However, victims have been known to experience more serious spinal cord injuries due to the sudden impacts.
Florida law does presume that the driver that hit a vehicle from behind is at-fault for the accident, but this driver is allowed to present evidence to the contrary. Before the recent Supreme Court cases that have decided otherwise, Florida used to adhere to a presumption of fault rule. This rule presumed that the driver that hit another from behind was automatically at fault. The Supreme Court has since recognized that there may be other factors that cause rear end collisions, such as mechanical failure or the sudden unexpected stop of the driver in front, and therefore this presumption is rebuttable. For instance, in the case of Cevallos v. Rideout, the Florida Supreme Court wrote that “the presumption of negligence attaches to a rear driver in a rear-end motor vehicle collision case can be rebutted or avoided by the production of evidence from which a jury could find negligence on the part of the front driver that contributed to bring about the injury-producing collision.”
Since rear end collisions have this rebuttable presumption, it is important to discuss the implications further with an experienced legal professional. Whether you are the driver in the front or the back, you will need someone on your side to defend you in court. Florida law allows each driver to provide evidence in court of the other driver’s fault so that blame can be apportioned accordingly. Since Florida law allows a party to recover even if they contributed to the cause of the accident, this party will be able to recover damages less the percentage of fault attributed to him or her. This percentage is determined by a jury.
Causes of Rear End Accidents
Rear end accidents have become more frequent because of distracted driving. People are texting, e-mailing and web browsing while operating their vehicles. Others have been known to be distracted by their GPS devices and car radios. This careless and inattentive driving causes accidents such as rear end collisions.
Prompt Medical Care
Sadly, the few seconds that this accident takes to occur can potentially change the lives of passengers forever. Regardless of who is at fault of the rear end collision, passengers can be somewhat consoled by the fact that they can receive medical care immediately after such an accident. Florida law requires drivers to carry no-fault insurance for reasonable and necessary medical expenses. If you are involved in such an accident, do not wait to determine who is at fault before seeking medical care as you can receive the no-fault coverage medical benefits right away.
Ask A Lawyer
Also, in the aftermath of the accident, when immediate medical needs are addressed, be sure to contact an experienced Florida car accident attorney to ensure your legal rights are protected.Were you rear-ended? Call for a free attorney consultation at 954-961-5100 in Broward or 1-877-961-5100 in Florida.