Determining Liability in a Rear-End Collision

Determining Liability in a Rear-End Collision

July 24, 2020

Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents, but determining who is at fault isn’t as easy as it might seem. While sometimes it’s pretty clear who is at fault, having a skilled attorney on hand to help you (and the court) determine fault in a rear-end collision in Miami, FL is incredibly helpful.

How to tell who is at fault in a rear-end collision

In Florida, it’s presumed that the driver of the following car is responsible for the accident. However, that presumption can be rebutted in several specific ways:

  • The car in front unexpectedly and suddenly changed lanes: Everyone has been cut off by another driver. If you can stop in time, the worst that happens is usually uncharitable thoughts and maybe a rude hand gesture—but if you can’t stop and hit the car in front of you, they will be deemed at least partially at fault. (If you were following too closely or there was another mitigating factor in play, you may bear some of the rear-end collision liability in Miami, FL as well.)
  • There was a mechanical failure: Sometimes rear-end accidents happen through no fault of the drivers themselves. Accidents due to mechanical failures do happen, and as long as you can show that you’ve kept up with your car maintenance and weren’t knowingly driving around in a dangerous car, you will bear little to no responsibility.
  • The car in front unexpectedly stopped: We’ve all had pedestrians, pets and objects unexpectedly dart out in front of us. Whether the front driver was trying to avoid hitting a road hazard or a person, they will likely be held at least partially responsible if they stopped unexpectedly. Again, if you were following too closely, you’re more likely to share that legal responsibility.
  • Multi-vehicle collisions: If your car was pushed into another during a pile-up involving a number of vehicles, you will not be held liable for that accident (unless you were doing something unsafe that contributed to the collision).

What to do if you’re in a rear-end collision

If you were in a rear-end collision, either as the front or back car driver, it’s important to call an attorney as soon as possible. They can help you prove your case and raise issues with the presumption that the rear driver is automatically responsible, which will allow them to mount an appropriate defense. Similarly, if you had to unexpectedly stop due to a third party’s negligent or reckless behavior, you’ll need an attorney to help you prove that you had no choice but to stop or switch lanes suddenly.

Have you been involved in a rear-end collision in Miami, FL? Ruben J. Padron, PA can help you assemble your evidence, talk to your insurance company and prove that you weren’t at fault—call today for a consultation. Our firm handles a wide variety of personal injury claims and will fight for a fair outcome in your case. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

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