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Tailgating Accidents

Car Crash Lawyers Representing Victims in Stuart and Surrounding Areas

There are two kinds of tailgating. One is an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon getting ready for your favorite football team to take the field. The other is a high-risk traffic maneuver most often executed by impatient, aggressive motorists who do not recognize the danger involved in following too closely behind the vehicle traveling directly in front of them. If you have been involved in a serious motor vehicle collision caused by a tailgating driver, the Stuart car accident attorneys at Donaldson & Weston are here to assist you in your efforts to hold the responsible driver liable for your injuries.

The simple fact is that many rear-end collisions result from tailgating, and there is little that a motorist can do to avoid such an accident if the driver behind them persists in following too closely. In theory, all drivers should follow the three-second rule of maintaining at least three seconds of traveling distance between vehicles, which experts suggest is necessary to avoid a collision. However, not all drivers obey this rule, or the other rules of the road for that matter. Tailgating is especially dangerous in heavy traffic, on wet or icy roads, and when a driver is following a much smaller vehicle like a motorcycle.

Bringing a Personal Injury Claim After a Tailgating Accident

The central issue in motor vehicle accident cases is whether the defendant was negligent. Typically, this involves a four-step inquiry into whether the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, whether the duty was breached, whether the plaintiff was harmed, and whether there was causation connecting the defendant’s carelessness to the plaintiff’s injuries. In rear-end car accident cases, moreover, Florida courts allow the plaintiff to rely on a rebuttable presumption that the defendant was negligent if the defendant was driving behind the plaintiff. This means that, after a crash in which a tailgating driver crashes into the back of the car in front of them, the courts assume that the tailgater was at fault. As a result, the main issue that is disputed may be damages rather than liability.

However, under Florida’s pure comparative fault law, a defendant may ask the court to consider whether the plaintiff also contributed to the accident through their own negligence. If the defendant is able to demonstrate that the plaintiff’s failure to act in a reasonably prudent manner contributed to the collision, the jury may apportion fault between the parties. The plaintiff still may recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, lost enjoyment of life, and other forms of harm, although the amount will be proportional to the degree of fault attributed to the defendant.

Contact a Stuart Attorney to Discuss Your Car Accident Case

If you or a loved one has been hurt because of a tailgating driver, the experienced Stuart car accident lawyers at Donaldson & Weston are ready to help. For a free consultation, call us in Stuart at 772-266-5555 or in West Palm Beach at 561-299-3999, or contact us online. It takes time to thoroughly investigate a tailgating accident, so it is important to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation with an attorney as soon as possible. We represent people who need a motor vehicle collision attorney in Stuart, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, and other cities in St. Lucie, Martin, and Palm Beach Counties.

What Our Clients Say
The attorneys at Donaldson & Weston helped me get an amazing result on my case. Obviously I’ve been through a lot physically but I feel better now and the money really helped my family. When I was riding my bicycle I was hit by a truck that wasn't paying attention. I am not the suing type, but I would definitely hire this firm again. - M.P.
After my accident, i felt like I was being pulled in a bunch of different directions. I really didn't know what to do and all I wanted was someone to shoot me straight. The lawyers at the firm were so honest and definitely pointed me in the right direction. The staff was professional. I think it’s great that only attorneys work on my case, it definitely made me feel comfortable - D.L.
After my accident happened I waited to hear back from the insurance company for about 6 months. I just felt like they kept jerking me around. They even told me not to hire an attorney because it would mean less money in my pocket. I couldn't wait any longer because my bills were out of hand. I hired this firm and they were solid. I got a great result without having to go to court. - S.C.