Can The Rear Driver In A Rear-End Accident Sue The Front Driver For Damages?
It’s well known that the driver of the rear car in a rear-end accident is generally presumed to be at fault for the collision. Does this mean, however, that the rear driver in a real-end collision can never sue the front driver for damages? For example, what if the driver of the front vehicle was negligent and, therefore, partially at fault?
The Florida Supreme Court addressed this issue last year and clarified what this presumption of fault on the part of the rear driver in a rear-end collision means. The Court held that, while a rear-vehicle driver is presumed to be at fault, this presumption is a rebuttable one. This means that if you are the driver in the rear vehicle of a rear-end collision, you can present evidence to the jury that shows that the front-vehicle driver was negligent and, therefore, at least partially at fault for the accident.
Florida is a comparative negligence state. Comparative negligence means damages are based on the proportion of fault of each of the individuals involved. Even in a rear-end collision, if the evidence presented persuades a jury that the rear-end driver was not wholly at fault, the jury can find that the front-vehicle driver shares some of the blame and deliver a damage verdict that reflects this finding.
The issue of who is at fault in a rear-end collision can be complex. If you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision, whether you were driving the vehicle in the front or the vehicle in the rear, speak to an experienced Florida rear-end collision attorney to discuss your legal options.