Florida Court of Appeals Rules That Rear-End Accident Liability Requires Factual Support

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Under certain circumstances, Florida law affords the victim of a rear-end car accident the presumption that the other driver is at fault for the crash.  Specifically, Florida has adopted a rebuttable presumption that a rear driver’s actions are the sole proximate cause of an accident and any resulting in injuries in the case  Clampitt v. D.J. Spencer Sales.

To rebut the presumption of negligence, the rear driver must present evidence that “fairly and reasonably tends to show” that the presumption is misplaced.  Evidence that the lead driver stopped suddenly would not be sufficient to rebut the presumption, however, evidence that the lead driver stopped “at a time and place where it could not reasonably be expected by the following driver” would be.

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