Although most people assume that the last car in a rear-end collision is always 100% at fault, in 2012, the Florida Supreme Court cleared the way for the rear driver to present evidence as to the partial fault of the front driver in causing such a collision.

In Cevallos v. Rideout, et al., the Florida Supreme Court overruled the 4th District Court of Appeal’s decision to attribute sole fault to the rear driver in a collision. This case involved three drivers. The one in the middle had been on a cell phone and abruptly hit her brakes, colliding with the car in front of her. This resulted in the rear car colliding with her.

This decision means that now the rear driver can pursue damages, even if partially. Florida operates under a pure comparative negligence standard, which allows proven fault to be split between drivers (here, the middle driver), allowing the third car to recover a percentage of the damages. Of course, this must be argued by a competent lawyer.

Keep this in mind if you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision and you believe that the car you hit has been negligent in any way. Call us right away before you admit fault or talk to the insurance company, and never sign anything. Our consultations are always free.