Am I always at fault if I rear end someone in a car accident in the state of Florida?

The answer is no, you are not necessarily 100% at fault if you rear end someone in an accident. In actuality, regardless of whether an injury is caused by the fault of a front driver, a rear driver, or both, comparative fault in a rear-end collision entitles a plaintiff to judgment “against each” liable party, on the basis of that party’s percentage of fault, according to Florida Statute  § 768.81(3).

Drivers on Florida’s roadways owe a duty of reasonable care not only to those driving in front of them, but also to those who are following, and all other individuals within the foreseeable zone of danger. That is how the law is written in Florida Statute § 316.183(5).

In November of 2012, the Florida Supreme Court decided  the case of Birge v. Charron, in which the Court held that “where evidence is produced from which a jury could conclude that the front driver in a rear-end collision was negligent and comparatively at fault in bringing about the collision, the presumption is rebutted and issues of disputed fact regarding negligence and causation should be submitted to the jury.”  In layman’s terms, if a jury could find that the front driver was any percentage at fault then the rear driver is not presumed at fault.  The jury would then determine the percentage of fault of each driver.  For example, the front driver could be 60% at fault and the rear driver 40% at fault.  The point is, just because you rear end someone does not necessarily mean you are 100% at fault.

If you need an attorney, please contact Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne, P.A.  If you have any questions about how we deal with liability in rear end automobile accidents, call us.  All of the attorneys at Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne have at least five years of experience and are board certified in civil trial law including the author of this article, Ryan Wynne. Ryan is also a Partner of the firm.

If you want to learn more about how to go about hiring the right attorneys for you in a rear end automobile accident, or many other personal injury civil and criminal legal issues, then go to Whether you are in Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Stuart, West Palm Beach or any other location throughout the state of Florida, you need to find and hire a law firm that has the level of knowledge and experience that will yield you maximum results.  With over four decades of experience, that firm is Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne.

Our main office is located in south Florida in Jupiter at 1015 W. Indiantown Road, Suite 101A. You can contact us directly at (561) 686-3400, or via email at Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation.

The author of this article Ryan Wynne is a Partner and Shareholder of Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne, P.A. He has been admitted to the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of the state of Florida.

Rear End Accident picture # 1     Rear End Accident picture # 2


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