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
- Father and son hit by boat propeller settle brain injury lawsuit for $12 million
A father and son who were seriously injured when a boat backed over them while they were scuba diving have settled their lawsuit against the scuba diving center for $12 million. Jared Adkins and his son settled the lawsuit against the Florida Keys Dive Center in Tavernier, after the dive center initially argued that it […]
- Final pill mill suspect arrested
The final suspect accused of crimes related to a now defunct pain clinic has been arrested by the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Presmil Masson Jr. was arrested June 1 on six counts of manslaughter and two counts of racketeering. Pam Bondi, the Attorney General of Florida, had announced previously that eight people had been charged in […]
- 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 […]
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