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Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller, P.A
 

The driver of the car who rear-ended me is at fault for the accident right?

Auto accidents are unfortunate, yet frequent consequences of driving. Some of the most common types of car accidents occur when a car is rear-ended at a complete (or near complete) stop by another vehicle. While the question of who is at fault in such a scenario may seem cut and dry, there are some important exceptions to the general rule that the driver who rear-ended the stopped vehicle is responsible for the crash.

In most cases when determining who is at fault is useful to ask who was ticketed, although a citation issued after an accident may not be admissible in a civil trial. If this sounds confusing, that's because it is even some lawyers have a tough time grasping this concept! So what should you do? Call a lawyer who practices in the area of personal injury law as quickly as possible to answer your questions.

Given the particular circumstances of the accident, the rear driver can refute the presumption of his or her negligence by presenting evidence supporting a reasonable explanation of why he or she was not at fault. This is called Rebuttable presumption of negligence by rear driver. A case brought before Florida's 5th District Court of Appeals in March 2012 illustrates the practical application of this term.

In the collision at the center of the case, a woman stopped her car going southbound on U.S.1 after the car in front of her slowed to avoid colliding with another vehicle. A cement truck then rear-ended the womans car while she was still stopped, causing considerable damage. However, at trial the driver of the cement truck was found not liable in the crash verdict that was subsequently overturned by the Court of Appeals. You may wonder how it is possible that the rear driver was initially cleared of wrongdoing. According to the 5th District Court of Appeals, there are four types of legitimate explanations as to why the rear driver was not negligent:
If a mechanical failure in the rear drivers vehicle occurs
If the lead driver makes a sudden stop
If the lead driver makes a sudden lane change
If the lead driver makes an illegal or improper stop

Upon appeal, it was found that the rear driver in this case did not provide any of the above explanations for his involvement in the crash, and was thus held liable for the collision. Dianna Douglas-Seibert v. Louis Ricucci and Tarmac America, LLC, 37 Fla. Weekly D600 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012).

Even in a simple rear end car crash case, when injuries are involved, it is important that you seek competent legal counsel to evaluate the unique circumstances of your case. Our office handles these cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not have to pay us any fees or costs up front to hire our lawyers. We only get paid if we win your case.

We believe you should receive the best legal representation, which is why we want to make sure you are best served by an attorney that is experienced and has compassion. Contact the Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller for a free consultation with one of our attorneys if you have been involved in an automobile accident at (866) 496-8752 or via email at Info@ForYourLaw.com.
BY: Stephen K. Miller, Attorney at Law
May 25, 2012





 
 
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