Proving a car was following too close in a car accident can be challenging unless you have reliable witness testimony or video evidence. However, with the way the Florida careless driving statute is structured, Florida Statute § 316.1925, you may not have to prove tailgating to establish another party’s negligence. 

Can I Prove the Car Was Following Too Close in a Car Accident

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What do I Need to Prove a Driver was Tailgating in a Car Crash?

The most reliable way to prove tailgating is through traffic camera footage. This recording can serve as undeniable proof that another car followed too closely and caused your rear-end collision. However, getting this footage isn’t as easy as you would think. Some cameras automatically delete recordings after a certain period. 

Yet, if there were witnesses to the crash, their testimony can often help prove that the other driver was tailgating. Witnesses could include other passengers, bystanders, and law enforcement officials. 

Even then, if you don’t have witness testimony or traffic camera footage, Florida law does not require you to prove tailgating. It only asks that you prove negligence. 

How does Pure Comparative Fault Apply When a Car was Following Too Close?

Even if a car was following too close in a car crash, you may still hold a portion of fault for the accident. However, the burden of proof is on the other party to prove your contribution.

Under Florida Statutes § 768.81, you can pursue damages even if you caused most of the accident. Yet, your compensation will reflect your percentage of fault. Consider the following: 

  • The investigation finds that the other driver caused 80 percent of the collision, and you caused 20 percent of the accident. 
  • Your damages total $100,000. 
  • Under Florida’s pure comparative negligence law, you could only recover $80,000. That’s because your portion of fault (20 percent) affects your final settlement or court award. 

How do You Prove Negligence? 

To prove the other driver’s liability, your lawyer must demonstrate these four elements: 

  • Duty of care. The other party had an obligation to drive their vehicle safely. This includes maintaining a safe following distance from other vehicles. 
  • Breach of duty. The other party failed to drive with caution, putting you and other road users at risk of harm. 
  • Causation. The other party caused the accident. 
  • Damages. You incurred medical bills and lost wages because of the incident. 

Your lawyer will gather evidence, like the police report, witness statements, and other information to corroborate your allegations. They may even consult with accident reconstruction specialists to recreate the before, during, and after of your collision. 

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Other Forms of Negligence May Have Contributed to Your Accident 

If you can’t prove the other driver was tailgating, that’s not a problem; there are plenty of other actions that constitute negligence. Our lawyers can investigate your collision and look for evidence of: 

  • Distracted driving 
  • Drunk driving 
  • Speeding 
  • Failing to yield 
  • Failing to obey traffic signs and signals 
  • Driving on a suspended license 
  • Failing to brake 
  • And more 

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What Should I do After a Rear-End Car Accident in Florida?

To protect your legal rights after a rear-end collision, file a police report. If you called the police to the accident scene, they likely filled out this document for you. If not, you have 10 days to report the incident to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV)

You should also consider: 

Seeking Medical Attention 

Even if you don’t feel severely hurt, we encourage you to visit your doctor. Many types of accident-related injuries – such as whiplash and internal injuries – do not manifest for hours or even days after impact. 

Visiting a healthcare professional not only protects your health, but it also protects you against allegations that your injuries came from something else––and not the accident. 

Taking Pictures of Your Injuries and the Vehicles’ Damage 

Upon filing your claim, the insurance company will want proof that you suffered losses. Taking pictures of any external injuries (like cuts and bruises) can attest to your injuries’ severity. Taking photos of your vehicle’s damage (particularly the point of impact) also proves that your car suffered harm. 

Not Admitting Fault for the Collision 

Even though Florida’s a no-fault state, you don’t want to admit fault for the collision. Doing so could hurt your injury case and the amount of money you can recover. Furthermore, you might not be at fault for what happened. Let the investigators decide fault before giving any statements. 

Connect with Our Law Firm Serving Broward County Today 

The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine provide free case reviews to those interested in exploring their financial recovery options. Here, we can discuss your accident’s details and what legal options you have. We can also talk about proving the car was following too close before it struck you. 

Dial (954) 525-0050 to begin.