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Who is Liable in a Rear-End Collision in Pinellas County?

Automobile accidents can happen in a variety of different ways, in different situations, and involve different amounts of vehicles. From fender benders to high-speed head on collisions to work zone accidents, anyone at anytime, no matter how careful they are, can be involved in a traffic collision. One of the most common automobile accidents on the road is the rear-end collision. This occurs when a vehicle fails to stop in time and collides with the vehicle in front of them. These collisions can result in serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, whiplash, neck and spinal cord injuries, and back injuries.


In almost all cases, the driver who strikes the rear of the vehicle in front of them is at fault. This is because every driver is expected to leave enough space between them and the driver in front of them to allow them enough time to stop. The amount of space between the vehicles should be enough so that in case of a sudden stop from the leading vehicle, the trailing vehicle has enough time to quickly stop as well. However, there are situations where the driver who gets rear-ended is at fault as well. The following scenarios are all situations where the driver who gets rear-ended may be found responsible:

  • If a driver suddenly puts their car into reverse and strikes another vehicle.
  • A driver suddenly stops to make a turn, then fails to make that turn.
  • The driver’s brake lights do not function.
  • A driver stops to fix a flat tire, but does not pull over to the side of the road and fails to use their hazard lights as well.

If this is the case, and both drivers may be at fault, it is important to understand the following:

  • Contributory negligence: Only recognized in a few states, contributory negligence means that if Driver A can prove that Driver B’s negligence contributed in any way to the accident. Driver B cannot recover anything at all from a lawsuit.
  • Comparative negligence: this allocates the fault between both drivers. A driver’s liability may be reduced, but not eliminated. There are two forms of comparative negligence, pure and modified. Pure comparative negligence means that the liability is split according to the percentage of each driver’s fault. Modified negligence means that the liability is split only to a certain level. So, say for example, if the plaintiff was responsible for more than 50 percent of the accident, they would not be able to recover.

Also worth noting is that if the wreck involves more than two vehicles, such as one vehicle was rear-ended so hard that it was forced into a collision with the vehicle in front of them, that the vehicle responsible for the initial collision will almost always be found at fault.


If you, a loved, or someone you know was seriously injured as a result of being rear-ended in a traffic collision, you are most likely eligible for compensation. Our experienced auto accident attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA will fight zealously on your behalf to hold those negligent responsible and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation on your case at 727-451-6900 or via our online contact form.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765