Stuart Rear-End Collision Lawyer
Rear-end collisions are the most common type of automobile crashes, but that does not mean they are all harmless fender-benders. They can cause serious injuries and even death.
Those involved in a rear-end collision that caused serious harm should contact an experienced attorney to recover damages. The Stuart rear-end collision lawyers have worked on many of these cases with good results.
The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that of the 6 million automobile accidents every year, more than 40 percent, or about 2.5 million, are rear-end collisions. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently recommended that all vehicles be equipped with a crash avoidance system to reduce the frequency of these crashes.
Assessing Fault in a Rear-End Collision Case
Many people still believe that the driver following is always at fault. This is because of the 1959 rule stating the presumption is that the rear driver was negligent in causing the collision.
The Florida Supreme Court in 2009 modified the rule by allowing certain defenses to rebut the presumption of following too closely and hold the leading driver negligent in specific circumstances.
The rear driver’s defenses are that the leading vehicle:
- Stopped illegally while on the road
- Stopped unexpectedly or suddenly leaving little time and space to react
- The following driver’s vehicle had an unexpected mechanical failure
Another defense is if the rear-end collision involves several vehicles in a highway chain reaction, with one car’s sudden stop initiating several impacts from vehicles behind. In this case, the motorist that began the chain reaction is sometimes the only one at fault.
Situations may arise in which both the lead and following drivers have some fault. For example, a motorist on the highway suddenly stops because a bird is on the road. The driver too closely behind does not see the bird and does not expect the leading vehicle to suddenly stop and the collision ensues. Contact a Stuart rear-end collision lawyer to learn more about assessing fault in a rear-end collision case.
Who is at fault is determined by Florida’s negligence standard, which places legal liability on all parties who share a degree of fault in causing a collision. The parties deemed liable cannot claim all of their damages.
If the fault is shared between parties, comparative negligence mandates that damages be reduced by a percentage of fault.
If a jury or the court determines that the leading vehicle is at fault, that driver cannot collect any damages. If both drivers shared the fault, the law requires that damages be reduced by how much fault the jury or court decides, based on law and the circumstances of the crash. A party who is 40 percent at fault, for example, may only recover 60 percent of the damages that party claimed.
No-Fault Car Insurance
Florida is one of 12 states that require no-fault automobile insurance. The personal injury protection coverage covers up to the first $10,000 of medical care for injured patients, regardless of fault in an accident. This coverage pays 80 percent of the medical costs incurred.
Talk to a Stuart Rear-End Collision Attorney Today
Many legal variables exist that may require the experience of a skilled attorney such as the Stuart rear-end collision lawyer. The attorney provides a free consultation to establish if a viable legal case is warranted.
The consultation does not require hiring the lawyer. If the lawyer is hired, no attorney fees are charged. This is standard practice for personal injury lawyers, called contingency. The lawyer is paid from the damages awarded, but if the case fails, the lawyer waives the fees. Speak with a skilled Stuart rear-end collision lawyer who may be able to help you build a civil case.