The most common car accidents are rear-end collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and injuries can be serious.
During 2015, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles agency reported that 24,887 traffic collisions occurred in Palm Beach County, and of those, about 8,212 were rear-end crashes.
If you have been injured in a rear-end collision, contact a West Palm Beach rear-end collision lawyer today. Consult a compassionate car accident lawyer that can fight to hold the responsible parties accountable.
Liability in Rear-End Collisions
Many people think that the driver who hits a vehicle from behind is always to blame. That is a misconception. The Florida Supreme Court in 2009 modified a rule established in 1959 that presumed the motorist in the back caused this type of collision because of following at an unsafe distance. The high court’s revision allowed the driver in back-specific defenses.
The driver in front may have stopped unexpectedly or illegally. The court also recognized that the driver in front may have experienced a mechanical problem such as failed brake lights, giving no warning to those behind. In chain reaction rear-end collisions that occur in heavy traffic, the driver who hit the first vehicle pushing it into others is often at fault for all the damages and injuries of the others involved.
Causes of Rear-End Wrecks
The most common reason rear-end collisions happen is that drivers follow too closely instead of leaving a car length for every 10 mph of speed, as required for safety. Some aggressive drivers try to move into that space, setting up a potential crash.
Drivers who are distracted at the wrong moment fail to see the danger and are at fault. Many types of distraction can happen. Taking eyes off the road to send or read a text or make a call is a chief cause among drivers who are younger than 30 years old.
Other distractions inside the vehicle are working the radio or air-conditioning controls, spilling a beverage, eating, applying make-up using the rearview mirror, or even talking to others in the vehicle. Speeding is also a factor.
Rear-end collisions that happen at highway speeds result in serious injuries to the back, neck, and head, and severe cases of whiplash. If the crash causes a death, criminal charges may come into play.
Placing blame for a rear-end collision is determined under Florida’s comparative negligence standard. Negligence is failing to exercise due care toward others, resulting in injury or damage to another’s property. A qualified West Palm Beach rear-end collision lawyer can help individuals establish negligence.
Florida holds all parties who have some fault in causing a crash financially responsible. A jury or the court decides based on the evidence presented how much fault a person has, and damages for that person are reduced by the percentage of fault assessed. For example, a party who is 25 percent at fault can only claim 75 percent of the losses incurred.
Consulting a Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been involved in a rear-end collision, then do not hesitate to contact West Palm Beach rear-end collision lawyers who can examine all the aspects of your case, advise you of your potential legal options, and help you to decide the next steps going forward.