Rear-end collision cases often are complex and hotly contested. Also, it is important to make sure that various procedural deadlines are met. As a result, you should speak to a lawyer after a motor vehicle collision in Stuart or the surrounding cities as soon as possible if you or a family member has been hurt in a rear-end crash.
Car Accident Lawyers Advising Individuals in Stuart and Beyond
Rear-end collisions happen all too frequently on Florida roadways. These dangerous accidents can cause serious injuries, leaving families to deal with both physical and financial devastation. The law that applies to rear-end collisions has evolved over the years, so it is important to hire a law firm that is knowledgeable and stays up-to-date on this constantly developing area. The car accident attorneys at Donaldson & Weston can assist Stuart residents and other individuals when they have been hurt by someone else’s negligence.
Pursuing Compensation from a Careless Driver after a Rear-End Crash
Most automobile accident cases fall under negligence law. In these actions, an injured person must prove four things, and each must be proven by the preponderance of the evidence. First, the defendant must have owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, and the defendant must have breached this duty with some careless conduct. The victim must have been harmed as a direct result of the defendant’s carelessness, and finally actual damages must have resulted.
Florida law requires motorists to keep a proper lookout behind the wheel and obey any relevant traffic laws. In addition to following the rules of the road, drivers are expected to refrain from engaging in actions that would create foreseeable risks of harm to others. Determining whether the duty was breached in a specific situation may involve testimony by eyewitnesses and expert testimony by accident reconstructionists.
At one time, a presumption of negligence against the rear driver in a rear-end collision meant that these cases were almost always decided in favor of the leading driver. Now, however, the courts take a broader approach, allowing the presumption to be rebutted by taking into consideration both the leading driver’s and the following driver’s possible fault, especially in multi-vehicle collisions in which several vehicles are involved. Under the doctrine of comparative fault, the jury may allocate fault to any driver involved in the accident or other parties who may have been responsible. Any damages award then would be reduced according to the victim’s degree of fault.
In addition to property damages to repair or replace the plaintiff’s vehicle, he or she may also seek reimbursement for hospital bills necessitated by the crash, future medical costs, lost wages, and loss of future earning capacity, if the injuries are permanent in nature. In addition to these pecuniary losses, the plaintiff may also request compensation for pain and suffering and other non-pecuniary damages stemming from the accident. In cases in which the defendant’s conduct was not only negligent but also reckless or willful, punitive damages may be available.