»  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

  • High-Tech Safety Systems Promise to Cut Auto Accident Rates
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced a plan to advance vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology. The technology would enhance safety by enabling vehicles’ onboard computers to communicate with each other in order to help drivers avoid collisions. The systems give drivers visible and audible warning signals when they perceive threats based on data [...]
  • Florida pill mill doctor could face 350-year prison sentence
    A South Florida doctor faces a maximum sentence of 350 years for his role in a Pompano Beach “pill mill.” A jury in Broward County convicted Dr. Thomas Rodenberg, 54, of 14 criminal charges. These included trafficking of oxycodone (a narcotic painkiller), racketeering, illegal delivery of controlled substances and conspiracy. In 2012, the U.S. Drug [...]
  • NFL and GE partner to award brain injury research grants
    The National Football League (NFL) has taken a lot of heat over its alleged lack of safeguards to prevent and mitigate brain injury in its players. A number of former players, suffering from a range of neurological symptoms, have filed lawsuits against the league. Now, the NFL is taking the initiative to advance the science [...]

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



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

* indicates required