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Nicoletti Walker Law Group Oct. 29, 2014

At about 6:15 P.M. Monday, October 20, Jody Hyde, driving a Ford F-150, approached traffic slowing to a stop while driving westbound on State Road 100. For reasons unknown, Hyde failed to timely react to stopped traffic and crashed into the rear of a Hyundai Sonata driven by Eileen Wojczyszyn. As a result of the impact, Wojczyszyn’s car was pushed into the eastbound lane and collided with a Chevrolet Cobalt. According to news reports, Elizabeth Alley and Vada Delk, both passengers in the Cobalt, lost their lives in the tragic collision. Wojczyszyn was also seriously injured in the crash. Hyde was not injured. The Florida Highway Patrol has reported that charges are pending.

Is Negligence Implicated in Rear-End Collisions?

Under Florida law, injured parties may seek redress for their injuries in the form of a negligence action against the rear driver in a rear-end collision. Legally, negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care, causing injury to another person as a result.

Specifically, a plaintiff must satisfy four elements to establish a claim of negligence. First, there must be a duty to uphold a standard of care. In most instances, individuals must exercise the reasonable level of care that is expected from a reasonable person. Second, there must be a breach of a duty of care. This means that the individual failed to exercise the standard of care expected from a reasonable person. Additionally, there must be some injury to someone. Finally, there must be a causal connection between the breach of duty of care and the injury. In other words, the plaintiff must prove that the injury was actually caused by an individual’s failure to exercise reasonable care.

Essentially, in proving negligence in a rear-end collision, a plaintiff must prove that the rear driver failed to exercise reasonable care when operating his motor vehicle, and that he or she caused the plaintiff’s injuries as a result. Family members of deceased individuals may also bring a wrongful death action against the driver, based upon the negligence theory.

Can The Front Driver Be Liable For A Rear-End Collision?

Under Florida law, a driver causing a rear-end collision is presumed to be responsible for the damages of others involved in the collision. In Cevallos v. Rideout, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the presumption of negligence of a rear driver in a rear-end collision can be rebutted by showing that the front driver contributed to the collision. Based upon Florida law, the driver in the current situation may be presumed to be negligent in causing the collision. However, it is unclear what caused Hyde to crash into the rear of Wojczyszyn’s Hyundai Sonata. It is also unclear whether any other parties or external factors contributed to the collision. This information is vital in determining the rights of injured parties.

Contact Experienced Attorneys for Injury or Accident Claims

When serious injuries result from another’s negligence, it is important for the injured party to consider their legal rights. If you have questions or concerns about a recent accident or an injury that may have been caused by the negligence of another, contact the Clearwater, Florida attorneys at Mike Walker Law now.