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.”
Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave,
Tampa, FL 33606
View Larger Map
- Tampa mother seeks changes to Florida medical malpractice law
A Tampa mother wants changes to medical malpractice laws in Florida, after, she says, a hospital refused to release her son’s medical records until after it was too late to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Jane Muino’s son Charlie is 11 years old and cannot walk or talk due to brain damage. Muino said Charlie […]
- Florida jury awards 10 million dollars in wrongful death lawsuit
A jury in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit found Domino’s Pizza liable for car accident that left a man paralyzed from the waist down and ultimately resulted in his death. After Richard Wiederhold, a Brevard County fire chief, was hit by a pizza delivery driver, he was left paralyzed, and his wife had to take […]
- Learn the facts about medical malpractice
Medical malpractice causes thousands of injuries and deaths every year. Here are the facts you should be aware of. • Medical malpractice is the third most common cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer, according to research published in the Journal of Patient Safety, which estimates that up to 440,000 […]
See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: auto accident, brain injury, medical malpractice, Nursing home abuse, Tampa personal injury attorney, Tampa personal injury lawyer, wrongful death