It can be incredibly annoying to have another driver follow you too closely, but it can also be a serious risk for accidents. If you have to stop suddenly, a driver who stays mere inches from your rear bumper is almost guaranteed to hit you. Who is at fault in these kinds of accidents? What kind of compensation can you receive?
Miami tailgating accident lawyer Prosper Shaked discusses what you need to know about accidents caused by tailgating and how you may be able to claim financial compensation if you were injured. To schedule a free consultation about your tailgating accident, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today. Our number is (305) 694-2676.
Who is at Fault for Tailgating Accidents
The law in Florida makes it illegal to tailgate. The specifics of what is considered “tailgating” are different depending on what vehicle is involved. Typically, these traffic laws can help you determine who is at fault in a car crash involving tailgating.
Florida Statute 316.0895 makes it illegal to follow another vehicle too closely. This statute is designed to help protect drivers on the road, so a violation of this statute can typically help prove that the person who broke the law is at fault. To sue for a car accident, you typically must show that the at-fault driver was “negligent” by proving a duty that they breached. In this case, following the traffic laws are the duty, so a violation of this statute can supply proof that the driver who hit you was at fault.
This statute does not define a standard distance you must maintain under most circumstances, but it does give strict guidelines. The law states that a driver is tailgating if they “follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent,” and that they should take speed and traffic into account. If the vehicle is a truck or a tow truck, the law has a more specific standard: large trucks and tow truck drivers must stay back 300 feet or else they can be considered to be following too closely.
An additional guideline that the law gives on when you are tailgating is that you must leave enough space for another car to safely join your lane of traffic. That means that if another car is so close behind you that another car cannot fit safely in between, they are tailgating and could be held responsible if they hit you.
Of course, that does not give you the right to force them to hit you. “Brake-checking” or unnecessarily quick stops should be avoided if you are being tailgated. However, if you must stop suddenly because of a danger on the road, the other driver should be held liable if they hit you.
Damages for a Tailgating Crash
Damages paid through a lawsuit commonly cover three major areas of damages: medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you are told that your claim needs to be filed through insurance, you should talk to an attorney. Filing your case through no-fault insurance and PIP is often unnecessary if your damages are substantial or if you face particularly severe injuries. Talk to an attorney to see what your case might be worth.
Damages for medical expenses can cover the full cost of any bills you face for medical care. These damages are often quite high, especially for rear-end tailgating collisions. These crashes can often cause whiplash and back injuries, which can both result in ongoing medical care and expensive medical bills.
If you suffer permanent or ongoing injuries, you may face long-term disabilities that keep you from work. These injuries could result in substantial lost wages during and after your recovery period. If your injury is permanent, you could face reduced earning capacity, which could also entitle you to additional damages.
The damages for pain and suffering are unique to your situation. The specific injuries you suffer will often help define the pain and suffering damages you face, with more severe injuries resulting in more substantial damages. There is also room to receive additional damages based on how the injury affects your life. If your injury makes it impossible to participate in activities you used to love or makes daily life uncomfortable, you could receive high damages.
If the defendant tries to claim that you were partly at fault for stopping short, you can still usually receive damages. Florida law allows victims who were partly at fault to receive damages for the proportion of fault the defendant caused. The damages may be reduced by the portion of fault you share, but the laws are strongly in favor of the person who was rear-ended in a tailgating accident.
Miami Tailgating Accident Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident involving tailgating, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today. Miami tailgating injury lawyer Prosper Shaked represents victims of car accidents caused by tailgating and other common causes. For help with your case, contact our law offices today to schedule a free consultation. Our number is (305) 694-2676.