Personal Injury claims that arise from rear-end auto accidents in Florida fall under a theory of negligence. In order to prove negligence, a claimant, the person bringing the lawsuit, must prove all the elements needed to show that a person was negligent. One of the elements that must be shown in order to prove that a person was negligent is that the accused, Breached a Duty of Care, which was owed to the claimant. This ultimately boils down to a defendant not being careful. This is often referred to as a violation of an owed duty.
Once it is determined that a driver in a rear-end accident had an owed duty to an injured party, it must then be demonstrated that there was a failure by that person to meet that standard of care. The way that you can figure out if a person used sufficient care, is to compare that driver’s actions against the actions which are expected of another ‘reasonable prudent driver’. What a court will look to is, did the person drive their vehicle in a manner consistent with how we objectively view a driver should, given identical or closely resembling circumstances.
If it can be said that the actions of the driver fall below what is expected of a ‘reasonable driver’, then that driver has Breached the Duty of Care owed to all parties injured in a rear-end auto accident. Many things can contribute to a driver breaching a duty of care. Some of those things include:
- Failing to stop at a stop sign / red light
- Not looking out for pedestrians / bicyclists
- Not yielding the right-of-way
WHY BREACHING A DUTY OF CARE CREATES PROBLEMS
When a person drives an automobile in a way that is considered negligent, it is clear as to why it is called a breach of duty of care. The potential for harm is something that can be foreseen by the actions of the negligent driver. What many people do not fully understand is that a breach of duty can be something very small, and something that we may all do frequently without realizing that it is in fact a breach.
From early on in our driving lives, we have been trained to know traffic laws and driving procedures. We have been told over and over how important it is to follow these laws and procedures in order to be safe on the roads. The reality is that the most basic of these things are something that everyone fails to do at some point. Something as simple as using a turn indicator helps to avoid breaching a duty.
If you are driving along the road, and the car in front of you suddenly makes a hard right hand turn, but in doing so, brakes quickly and fails to use a signal, you could be in serious danger of impacting the rear of the vehicle. This scenario plays out all too often. It would be apparent to a reasonable prudent driver that that behavior on the road clearly is not reasonable, and breaches the duty of care which is owed to other drivers.
Breaching a Duty of Care is serious business, especially in rear-end auto accidents. If you have questions concerning a rear-end auto accident, or want to know if someone breached their duty of care to you, contact the Fort Lauderdale office of Madalon Law for a free consultation.