Who Is Responsible for a Rear End Collision

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Over 1.7 million rear end collisions occur in the United States each year. In the state of Florida, the car in the rear is usually found to be responsible for a rear-end collision. This is because Florida law stipulates that drivers must maintain a safe following distance from the driver in front of them in order to avoid such a collision. However, there are some instances in which the driver in the front may be responsible for causing the accident. Determining who is at fault for a rear-end collision may become important if an accident results in temporary or permanent injury or loss of quality of life.  

Negligence and Rear End Collisions

Drivers always have one responsibility while they’re on the road: to drive safely and responsibly. If there is an accident, it’s typically because one or more drivers failed to uphold their duty and were negligent behind the steering wheel. Some common situations of driver negligence include:

  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Distracted driving or failing to pay attention to the road
  • Failing to stop in a reasonable amount of time
  • Failing to follow at a safe distance
  • Speeding

When determining fault, you must be able to prove that the other driver’s negligence was the cause of the accident if you do not believe that you yourself were at fault.

Rear End Collisions and Comparative Negligence

Sometimes the front driver is responsible, even partially, for a rear-end collision. Since 2012, Florida law has allowed drivers to demonstrate how a front driver may have been negligent in such a way that he or she could be determined to be responsible for a rear-end collision. For example, if a front driver makes a sudden stop in the middle of a highway or busy intersection, he or she may be partially responsible for any injuries or damages that occurred as a result of the rear-end collision. Under these circumstances, a jury may decide to reduce compensation given to a front driver based on whether the front driver could assume comparative negligence for the collision.

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