The types of injuries that result from a car crash can vary considerably depending upon the type of crash. In the case of rear-end collisions, the injured person may have seen the other car approaching from behind and braced for impact by gripping the steering wheel and tightening his or her muscles. Such actions, while certainly understandable, can affect the severity of the victim’s injuries.
At Heller & Heller, P.A., our attorneys are dedicated to asserting the rights of individuals who have been harmed by the carelessness of others. We represent clients throughout South Florida, including Coral Springs, West Palm Beach, Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Pursuing a Negligence Claim Against a Careless Driver
Car accident cases, such as those arising after a rear-end collision, are usually filed as negligence lawsuits. In these cases, there must be a showing that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care. In many car accident cases, this step can be accomplished by referring to the rules of the road, such as the duty to obey traffic signals and signs.
- There must also be proof that the defendant breached the duty that he or she owed the victim. If the plaintiff is relying upon the duty to keep a proper lookout, he or she may prove a breach of such duty through evidence that the defendant was texting or otherwise distracted while driving.
- The third and fourth steps of a negligence case are related to each other and to the first two elements. In step three, the plaintiff must show a causal connection between the breach of duty by the defendant and the accident. Lastly, the plaintiff must show that he or she incurred quantifiable costs and losses.
Other Issues to Consider
Other issues, such as allegations of comparative fault, may also arise in rear-end accident cases. As the term implies, the doctrine of comparative fault allows the trier of fact (usually, the jury) to compare the relative fault of the plaintiff and the defendant in causing the collision. If the jury finds that the plaintiff’s own negligence contributed to the accident, the amount of damages awarded can be reduced in proportion to that degree of fault.
If the defendant in the case was on the job at the time of the accident, his or her employer may be brought into the suit as a potential defendant under the law of respondent superior, which makes employers liable for the torts of their employees in some situations.