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Rear-end collision in Fort Lauderdale? Who’s at fault and who pays?

Fort Lauderdale, FL – A rear-end collision is one of the most common types of car accidents in Florida. Depending on the speed of the two cars involved, such a collision can result in severe injury or even death. The question is who’s liable for damages in this type of accident. Common sense would tell you it’s the driver trailing the lead car who is at fault, but that’s not always the case.

Establishing fault in a rear-end collision

Here are a few of the most frequent situations.

When is the driver of the second car at fault?

In most rear-end collisions, it’s the driver of the trailing car who is at fault for the crash. Here are the most common causes:

  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Reckless driving 
  • Distracted driving
  • DUI

The most common scenario involves a car speeding down the road, with an impatient driver expecting other road users to get out of his way. An experienced driver might just do that to avoid an accident, but many others just hope the car behind them will slow down.

Drunk driving can often lead to read-end collisions because an impaired driver has trouble assessing the distance between his car and the one in front. 

If you were involved in this type of crash, don’t hesitate to call an experienced Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer. If you have sustained severe injuries you’ll have to sue the driver in the second car, which is not easy in a no-fault state like Florida.

Is brake-checking legal?

The driver of the leading car is at fault in a rear-end collision if he brakes suddenly or his brake signals are not functioning properly.

Different scenarios may apply. 

For instance, if there’s a traffic block or the first driver really needs to brake suddenly for whatever reason, a crash may be inevitable. In such a situation, the insurance adjuster will use the comparative negligence rule to determine who was to blame or how blame is split between the two drivers.

What if the first driver had no need to brake, but did it anyway? This is known as brake-checking and it is a form of reckless driving. Brake-checking doesn’t serve any purpose. It’s simply meant to annoy the driver trailing them and test their reactions. It is a dangerous maneuver and it’s illegal. The driver of the first car could be charged with reckless driving and he will be liable for damages.

How do you prove reckless driving in a brake-checking case?

You will definitely need a seasoned Florida accident lawyer to prove that the driver in the first car had no real need to brake. This can be done by interviewing eyewitnesses and checking the footage on any surveillance camera in the area. If the first car was equipped with a dash cam, your attorney will require access to the footage on that, too. 

Your lawyers will have to show nothing was blocking the first car’s path so the sudden brake was not necessary.  

If you were recently injured in a car crash or another type of accident caused by negligence in the Fort Lauderdale area, schedule a free consultation with a lawyer at Madalon Law and see how much your claim may be worth.

Contact info:

Madalon Law

Fort Lauderdale Office

100 N. Federal Hwy #CU5

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

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