»  Florida Supreme Court: Drivers Can Challenge Presumption of Fault in Rear-End Collisions

Florida Supreme Court: Drivers Can Challenge Presumption of Fault in Rear-End Collisions

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) January 14, 2013 - A recent ruling by the Florida Supreme Court allows drivers who strike another vehicle from behind to rebut the presumption of sole responsibility for the crash and sue the other driver.

In a statement, Tampa personal injury attorney Robert Joyce said, “Sometimes a rear-end collision is not entirely the fault of the driver that struck the other vehicle. Any driver who is partially to blame for an auto accident should be held legally accountable for their portion of the responsibility.”

The case, Cevallos v. Rideout, was filed as the result of a 2005 auto accident in which Maria Cevallos rear-ended a vehicle driven by Kerri Anne Rideout. Rideout's car had collided with another vehicle while Rideout was having a conversation on her cell phone. Cevallos could not react in time to the resulting sudden stop of Rideout's car, despite her claims that her following distance was four car lengths.

A trial court ruled that Cevallos could not sue Rideout because she was presumed entirely responsible for the accident. The Fourth District Court of Appeals of Florida upheld the ruling.

But the Supreme Court said that other district courts in Florida had ruled differently in similar cases, allowing the rear driver to rebut that presumption of blame under certain circumstances.

Judge Jorge Labarga said that the existence of evidence that might lead a jury to assign blame to the front driver allows the rear driver to rebut the presumption of liability for a rear-end collision. He said that in Cevallos' case, there was enough evidence to allow a jury to decide whether Rideout shared responsibility.

Mr. Joyce added, “If the rear driver can produce evidence that they are not entirely to blame for a car accident, a jury should hear that evidence and assign responsibility accordingly under Florida's comparative negligence system.”

To learn more or to contact a Tampa personal injury lawyer at the Joyce & Reyes Law Firm, P.A. visit http://www.joyceandreyespa.com/ or call 1.888.771.1529.

Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave,
Tampa, FL 33606
Call: 813.251.2007


View Larger Map

  • Exhibit at Florida Capitol heightens awareness of brain injuries
    During the month of March, an exhibit in the grand rotunda of the Florida State Capitol featured 100 masks created by survivors of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The Brain Injury Association of Florida (BIAF) organized the exhibit, “The Faces of Brain Injury,” to raise awareness and educate the public about the needs of brain injury […]
  • Widow of slain Florida cyclist files wrongful death lawsuit
    A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the widow of Walter Reyes, a bicyclist who was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Florida on January 21. Maribel Reyes filed the lawsuit against Alejandro Alvarez, the alleged driver, and Rodrigo Alvarez, his father and the person to whom the vehicle was registered. Miami-Dade police said […]
  • Family files wrongful death lawsuit over Tampa Bay motorcyclist’s death
    The family of Keith Williamson, a motorcyclist who was killed in a crash, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) and the Clearwater Police Department. The crash involved a high-speed chase on the Courtney Campbell Causeway Bridge in the Tampa Bay area. Williamson was riding at the front of a […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required