Archive for January, 2013

Are Rear End Vehicles always at Fault?

If you involved in a rear-end traffic crash in South Florida, you may ask, “is the rear vehicle behind you automatically at fault?”  The answer is “Probably, but not always!”

Rear End Accident

In South Florida, there is a rebuttable presumption that the negligence of the rear driver in a rear-end traffic crash was the sole cause of the accident.  Still, this presumption may be rebutted when evidence, which fairly and reasonably shows that the rear-end collision was not result of the rear driver’s negligence.  Courts have recognized three specific situations which may rebut this presumption:


  • Affirmative testimony regarding a mechanical failure;
  • Affirmative testimony of a sudden and unexpected stop or unexpected lane change by the car in front; and
  • When a vehicle has been illegally and, therefore, unexpectedly stopped.


These situations create a rebuttable presumption that shifts the burden to the rear driver in a rear-end collision to come forward with evidence that “fairly and reasonably tends to show” that the presumption of negligence of the rear driver is inappropriate.  If the rear-driver presents evidence at trial that fairly and reasonably rebuts the presumption of negligence, the issue of negligence must then be presented to the jury for determination without the aid of the presumption.

Because of these complex situations, it is important that you retain a Stuart or Port St. Lucie accident attorney immediately after being involved in a rear-end crash.  The days after a rear-end traffic accident are crucial to investigate whether the at-fault driver will be raising one of the three above situations that may rebut their presumed negligence.

Port St. Lucie personal injury attorney Leonard S. Villafranco has been representing those injured in Florida car crashes, motorcycle accidents, and other personal injury matters for years.  His Stuart and Port St. Lucie locations are centrally located for your convenience.  Call now to schedule a free case evaluation with Martin and St. Lucie County Personal Injury Attorney Leonard S. Villafranco.

Port Saint Lucie Office
(772) 871-6441
Stuart Office
(772) 288-7338


We have moved our Port Saint Lucie Office to:

10850 S. Federal Highway
Port St Lucie, FL 34952
(772) 871-6441
(772) 380-9503 Fax

The Law Office of Leonard S. Villafranco

Divorce can be very difficult.  You and your family can greatly benefit from the knowledge and experience of a Port Saint Lucie – Stuart Family Lawyer.  The Law Office of Leonard S. Villafranco has joined forces with the Law Office of Hayley B. Colina, P.A. to offer our clients a wide range of new services including Bankruptcies (Ch. 7), Foreclosure defense, Real Estate Closings, Short sales,  Loan Modification, Condominium & Homeowner Association, Estate Planning & Wills and Trust.  As you can see at the Law Office of Leonard S. Villafranco we can handle any and all of your legal needs.  Whether you are in Port Saint Lucie or Stuart and are facing a Foreclosure or have decided to file for a divorce or modification of an existing Parenting Plan or Child Support, Leonard S. Villafranco Esq. and Hayley B. Colina Esq. are here to help you with your legal needs. From DUI Defense to Personal injury the Law Office of Leonard S. Villafranco has the experience and knowledge to help you.  Please give us a call at our Port Saint Lucie location at (772) 871-6441 or at our convenient Stuart Office at (772) 288-7338.  The Law office of Leonard S. Villafranco is here to help you in your time of need. We understand that this time could be one of the most difficult and traumatic times in your life and your family’s lives.  That is why, the Law office of Leonard S. Villafranco offers you the support, attention and consideration that you deserve.


Port St. Lucie Office
(772) 871-6441
Stuart Office
(772) 288-7338



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