The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration reports that approximately 1 in 3 car accidents involves a rear-end collision. Quite simply, a Florida rear-end collision occurs when a driver slams into the vehicle in front of them for any reason. In many cases, these Florida accidents are the result of distracted driving, unsafe following, and weather conditions.
Many Florida drivers assume that they can recover all of their damages if someone rear-ends their vehicle. Although Florida law creates a presumption of fault on the rear-end driver, this presumption is rebuttable. The rebuttable presumption allows rear-ending drivers to avoid paying a portion or all of the other driver’s damages if they can establish that the lead driver was partially at fault for the accident.
In a recent case, a Florida appellate court addressed the four situations when a rear-end accident defendant may rebut their presumption of negligence. In that case, a woman appealed after a trial court denied the woman’s motion for a directed verdict and a jury found in favor of the rear-end driver. Under Florida law, a defendant can successfully rebut a presumption of negligence if they prove that: