Am I At Fault If I Was Rear-Ended in Florida?

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personal injury law

Most of us have heard the general rule that the person who rear-ends another car is always the person at fault.  The must be the law in Florida, right?  Hmmm, not so fast.

When it comes to rear-ending accidents, it is sometimes not so simple as to just blame the driver doing the rear-ending.  Given that Florida is a “comparative negligence” state, the question of liability for the car accident will depend upon the circumstances of your particular accident.

In this article, we are going to discuss liability in rear-end car accidents, and then discuss Florida’s comparative negligence rule.  If, after reading this blog, you have additional questions about your own situation, then we welcome you to contact an auto accidents lawyer in Stuart, FL, at our firm, Crary Buchanan.  At Crary Buchanan, we are proud of our standard of excellence, which has allowed us to thrive as one of the oldest law firms on Florida’s Treasure Coast.

Find a car accident lawyer in Stuart who is passionate about giving you the highest quality representation.  Call us today at 772-287-2600, or schedule a free estate planning to consult online with our online contact form.

General Rule on Rear-End Collisions in Florida

As you might expect, generally speaking, the person who rear-ended another car is the at-fault party for the rear-end accident.  That is because, as we were all taught when we took driver’s ed, a driver should never follow another car so closely that he or she is unable to react in time to avoid a collision if the driver in front needs to stop abruptly.

When it comes to figuring out who the at-fault party is, police officers and insurance adjusters will be able to glean much of what they need to know by looking at the damage to the vehicles, as well as testimony from the drivers and eyewitnesses, if any.

So, you can feel comfortable in the knowledge that if you were rear-ended, then the person who rear-ended you will be liable for the accident . . . most of the time.

We say “most of the time” because, like most things, there are always exceptions to the general rule.

Exceptions to Who is At Fault in a Rear-End Collision

There have been many scenarios in which the driver in front – thinking that the general rule about rear-ends collisions always applies – will drive recklessly, “brake check” the vehicle behind him or her, or otherwise engage in road rage-type driving.  That kind of negligent, or even reckless conduct, will result in partial blame falling on the driver in front who was rear-ended.  The negligent driving on the part of the driver in front could be established by testimony from the driver in the rear and eyewitnesses, or even street cameras.

Another scenario in which the driver in front could be at least partially liable for a rear-end collision is if that driver’s car had faulty brake lights.  Thus, the car in the rear was not aware that the person in front was braking.

Florida’s Comparative Negligence Rule and No-Fault

As noted above, Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means that fault can be assigned to all blameworthy parties based on what percent they were at fault.  So, if you were rear-ended, but your brake lights were broken, then it is possible that you could be found partially at fault, and any damages for which the rear-ending driver is liable will be reduced by the percentage of your fault.

That said, Florida is also a no-fault state, which means that each driver’s insurance is responsible for paying for that person’s injuries.  So, in most rear-ending accidents, the amount of fault is irrelevant, unless you suffer a severe injury for which you would pursue a personal injury lawsuit.    

Find an Experienced Car Accidents Lawyer in Stuart Today – Call Crary Buchanan

Vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury and wrongful death in the nation.  Many factors can contribute to a traffic accident, but as noted the primary reason is negligence.  Drivers are negligent in a variety of ways.  A driver who falls asleep may be considered negligent.  When a careless driver causes an accident, you can pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

It doesn’t matter what type of injury you sustained.  You have the right to seek compensation if another driver caused you injury – even if you were partially responsible for the accident.   Automobile and truck accident injuries can lead to a variety of expenses, and a personal injury claim can compensate you for these costs.  Yet, you need the right legal advocate on your side to get full and fair compensation for your damages.  If you or someone you love suffered an injury, speak with a Stuart, Martin County personal injury attorney from Crary Buchanan.  We want to help you recover the money you need.

At Crary Buchanan, we are committed to providing clients with exceptional service in every aspect of personal injury law.  You can depend upon our 85 years of experience in the Florida legal industry.

Our legal team is passionate about maintaining the high standards of professionalism and legal service that were established and practiced by founding attorneys Evans Crary Sr. and Evans Crary Jr.  Evans Crary Sr. began his law practice in Stuart in 1927 at a time when Martin County was only two years old.  He became a municipal judge at the age of 25 and served as County Attorney for 23 years.

During his time as County Attorney, he was elected to represent Martin County in the Florida Legislature.  In 1945 he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives.  He served in the House for nine years and even served as Speaker of the House before he went on to become a member of the Florida Senate.  Today, the Crary Buchanan law firm continues to practice the example of integrity, professionalism, energy, and devotion that was clearly illustrated in the lives of both Evans Crary Sr. and Evans Crary Jr.

Our clients are more than case numbers; they are people. We recognize that you are an individual with unique needs and expectations.  Our team is here to meet your need and exceed your expectations.  When you work with us, you can have confidence that a caring legal advocate is on your side.

If you have more questions or want a dedicated car accident lawyer in Stuart to help you, call 772-287-2600 or schedule a free consult online with our online contact form.  You can always depend on Crary Buchanan for community, experience, and trust.  Call today.