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 woman sues Tampa Police Department over brain injury
The Tampa Police Department was sued by a Tampa woman who alleges that a police officer slammed her head into the pavement in a 2014 incident, causing a serious brain injury. According to the complaint filed in federal court, Rachel Stockwell, then a student at the University of Tampa, had to leave school due to […]
- Former pill mill owner arrested
A former physician of a now-defunct Florida pain clinic and the former owner of the clinic are facing charges related to the trafficking of Oxycodone. Christian Spaw was arrested on charges of conspiracy, trafficking, racketeering and manslaughter in connection to drug purchases and sales allegedly made while operating All Family Medical, a Broward County pain […]
- Bicycle accident deaths on the rise
In Florida and nationwide, the number of deaths in bicycle accidents is rising. Advocates say bicycle safety needs to be improved. According to a new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, the number of bicycle fatalities rose by 16 percent between 2010 and 2012. There were 621 bicycle deaths in 2010, 680 in 2011 […]
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