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Published On: Sun, Sep 1st, 2019

Rear-End Car Accidents in Florida

In the blink of an eye, a car accident of any kind can turn your life upside down. A rear-end car accident usually happens when a distracted driver runs their car into the back of another. Even though these kinds of impact can occur at relatively low speeds, they do still cause severe injuries and property damage.

The key issue for anyone involved in a rear-end collision as their first step is to figure out if there was any negligence that caused the crash or if all of the drivers acted reasonably in trying to avoid the accident.

photo/ OpenClipart-Vectors

Driver’s negligence in a rear-end collision

A basic rule of the road requires a driver to be able to do everything reasonable to avoid a collision. If it cannot stop safely, the driver is presumed to be negligent – making your case easier to prove. 

Florida traffic laws state that drivers must maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle ahead of them so they have sufficient time to slow down or stop to avoid a rear-end collision. 

Common reasons negligent drivers cause these wrecks include:

  • Driver inattention or distraction
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Drowsy driving
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Driving with broken brake lights
  • Failing to drive safely in weather conditions like heavy rain, fog, or ice.

The driver who causes the rear-end collision is usually at fault, although there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, if the lead driver was driving recklessly and needlessly stopped without allowing you proper time to react or drove with broken brake lights, you may not be at fault.

photo/Claim Accident Services

Florida’s no-fault insurance law

In any rear-end collision claim, the insurance company is viewing this type of accident as a ‘preventable crash’. However, if the driver was not negligent and acted reasonably at the time of an accident, then he or she isn’t responsible for the damages sustained by the other driver.

Oftentimes, insurance companies claim that rear-end collision do not result in serious injuries. If your injuries from the rear-end collision are severe, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer and suing the other driver. Florida is a no-fault car accident state, meaning that drivers are supposed to turn to their own insurance companies to cover medical bills, regardless of who caused the accident. The issue of negligence becomes relevant in cases where the injuries involved in the collision result in permanent disability or require long-term care.

Rear-end collisions often lead to back and neck injuries which can result in property damage, large medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering. You can step out the insurance system if your injuries are severe and beyond policy limits.

Even if liability is certain, there is a scale for how much has to be paid out. Insurance adjustors have their own calculations for determining payout amounts, so you must provide medical bills and doctors’ accounts of your injuries that detail their severity.

Other significant types of injuries associated with rear-end vehicle crashes include:

  • Brain injury
  • Concussion
  • Whiplash
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Broken bones
  • Disfigurement
  • Paralysis

Generally, when a driver and passengers have no warning of an on-coming crash, they are more likely to be severely injured than someone who anticipates a hazard and might react.

Recommendations to keep you from becoming one of the many rear-end collision statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 30 percent of all car accidents in the U.S. is the rear-end collision. With this high frequency of rear-end collisions and the threat of serious personal injuries and property damage, drivers should become aware of the factors that contribute to such a car crash. There are many ways you can take action to prevent a rear-end crash from happening including:

  • Do not tailgate and always maintain a safe following distance
  • Focus on the task at hand – do not engage in distracting activities while driving
  • Expect other drivers to make mistakes
  • Monitor your speed
  • Use your rearview mirrors to avoid being rear-ended
  • Consider the adverse weather, road, and traffic conditions
  • Avoid stopping too close to the vehicle in front of you at intersections
  • Slow down in advance of intersections and toll booths
  • Do not roll through intersections
  • Make sure your brake lights are functioning properly
  • Avoid aggressive drivers
  • Move out of the way of vehicles that are following too closely behind you
  • Do not drive if you are tired, ill, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Damages available in a rear-end accident claim

Despite growing safety concerns, the number of auto accidents in Florida continues to increase every year. Twenty percent of the car accidents that occur in Florida take place in Miami-Dade County. Rear-end accidents are the most common types of auto accidents that our clients experience.

You can bet the insurance company is going to have a knowledgeable Florida car accident lawyer defending them, so having an experienced professional by your side is extremely helpful. You need to protect your rights and make sure you get all the compensation you deserve. The physical and emotional pain cannot be undone. However, you can receive compensation for these damages from the at-fault driver in addition to medical bills, lost wages and property damage.

If you have been involved in a rear-end collision in Florida, is in your best interest to contact a lawyer specializing in personal injury and motor vehicle accident law to examine your case and help you determine if you have a valid claim.

About the author:

Sean M. Cleary is a personal injury attorney, founder and president of the Miami, Florida-based the Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary. Sean M. Cleary completed his law studies at the University Of Miami School Of Law with the distinction of Cum Laude. Over the years, Sean has established a well-deserved reputation as one of Miami’s most skilled and experienced auto accident, product liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and personal injury attorneys. Car crashes, vehicle-bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and falls, and other types of incidents often result in serious and catastrophic injuries. Mr. Cleary knows how to build strong cases and he is always ready to fight for you in court to recover financial compensation for your past and future medical expenses related to your injury, wages if you are unable to work, disability and disfigurement, and emotional distress.

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