Brandon Stein Law: Florida Supreme Court Affirms Existing Law Surrounding Rear-End Car Crashes

Brandon Stein

By: Brandon Stein

If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, contact our Pembroke Pines personal injury lawyers today.

Many car accident lawyers in Fort Lauderdale are wired to think that the best possible auto case is the collision when their client was rear-ended.   While I am not disputing this opinion, and in many circumstances the best cases are those with rear-end crashes, they are not always a slam dunk on liability.  In fact, Florida courts have gone so far as holding that the driver rear-ended may incur some form of liability.

This past November, the Supreme Court of Florida heard arguments on a case out of the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Florida regarding this very issue.  The Supreme Court reiterated that in Florida recovery for personal injury cases are governed by the principles of comparative negligence.  Simply stated, comparative negligence means that even though a party is primarily responsible for causing injury to another, juries can hold the injured party partially liable if that injured person is found to be negligent in causing the car accident.  Nevertheless, in Florida when a rear-end collision occurs, a presumption of negligence against the rear driver arises.

So, this past November the question of law to be decided by the Supreme Court was whether this presumption of negligence can be rebutted if the rear driver shows some negligence on the part of the front driver.  The Florida Supreme Court concluded that a rebuttable presumption of negligence exists in car accident cases involving rear-end collisions.  Ultimately, if the rear driver is able to produce evidence supporting some negligence on the part of the front driver, then a jury may apportion some blame for the accident on the front driver.

As a Fort Myers car accident lawyer that handles personal injury, this is not the type of case law that I typically like to see, nor would ever rely upon.  Yet, I cannot completely disagree with the court’s rationale in making this ruling, for a perfect example of the necessity of this rebuttable presumption arises during staged car accidents.  In my post from January 8, 2013, I fully explained staged car accidents and the increasing number of these fraudulent claims sweeping across Florida.

Nonetheless, this holding set down by the Supreme Court on November 21, 2012, is more ammunition for Florida auto insurance companies and their lawyers to utilize during claims involving rear-end collisions.  And for North Miami Beach car accident lawyers, this is case law that certainly must not go unnoticed.

Injured in an accident?  Contact our Aventura personal injury lawyers today!