Understanding Negligence Per Se In Venice, Florida Tailgating Accidents

According to the NHTSA, tailgating is the cause of nearly one-third of all accidents in the United States. Tailgating is when a driver drives too close to the vehicle in front of it. This is a very dangerous driving behavior because it does not provide the driver with enough time to stop. So if the vehicle in front has to stop for an unexpected hazard like a car pulling out into the road, the vehicle behind typically will rear-end them. This can lead to secondary accidents causing multi-car vehicle pile-ups. That is why tailgating accidents usually fall under “negligence per se” when determining who is at fault for the accident.

What Is Negligence Per Se?

Simply put, negligence per se means negligence in and of itself. A good way to think about it is negligence by default. Cornell Law School explains negligence per se as:

“In a torts case, a defendant who violates a statute or regulation without an excuse is automatically considered to have breached her duty of care and is therefore negligent as a matter of law.”

According to Title XXIII, Chapter 36, Statute 316.0895 “Following too closely,” Florida State Uniform Traffic Control explicitly states:

“The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon, and the condition of, the highway.”

Meaning if you are tailgating in the state of Florida, you are breaking the law. Therefore, you will be found negligent per se. You caused the accident by default because you broke the laws around tailgating.

How Does Negligence Per Se Impact My Tailgating Accident Claim?

In the cases where there is negligence per se, you do not have to prove fault the same way in other cases. This is because fault has already been established by Florida law. This is typically proven by the police accident report. So remember to always contact the police when you’ve been in an auto accident, even if it is minor. What you will have to prove in your claim is that there have been damages. Then you will have to prove those damages are the result of the negligence per se of the tailgating driver. Your attorney may use a variety of evidence to do so including medical bills, traffic camera footage, and witness testimony.

Always Stay Away From Tailgaters

Even though negligence is easier to prove in tailgating accidents, you still want to do everything you can to avoid them. If you encounter a tailgater, here’s what to do:

● Always watch your rear view mirrors for tailgaters
● Try to find a safe way to let them pass, even if you have to pull over
● Maintain a safe speed regardless if you feel pressured to drive faster

Tailgating is also a sign of impaired driving. In fact, it’s a 30-50% likelihood that a drunk driver will tailgate. So if a vehicle is following too close for comfort, get out of the way!

Unfortunately, even the most defensive drivers can be hit by a tailgater. In those cases, give our team a call. Our attorneys at Justice Pays, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh, have recovered over $500 million in accident injury settlements for our Venice area clients. With our experience, we’ll help you determine negligence, negotiate for a full and fair settlement, and get you the compensation you deserve. Give us a call or chat with us right online for a free case review. We’re here 24/7/365 for our clients and are always available to fight for your rights!

Video FAQ:

I'm Hurt In A Crash - Do I Need To Go To Court?


Client Testimonials

Attorney David Goldman has been exceptional in the process of helping me through the case. He has always been easy to reach, whether by phone or email, and has thorough knowledge and explains clearly in depth so you feel safe and confident in your lawyer

I used Michael Babboni and his paralegal, Nicole Moore for a legal matter. They went above and beyond my expectations. During the entire process there was constant communication with both Michael and Nicole. They were extremely organized and on top of my case, which I am very grateful for. Michael truly had my best interests at heart and he was very genuine. I plan on referring Michael to all family and friends and will continue to use him in the future.

I dealt most with Mr. Fernandez. I didn’t know a lot about this process. He took the time to speak with me individually, in person, to explain everything. It was very helpful to actually know and understand the process and what to expect. He closed my case quickly, which was nice that it was not prolonged! I appreciated his hard work and getting me what I felt I deserved after my car accident. I highly recommend him to anyone who needs an honest and reliable lawyer to assist you with your case!

I hired Mr. Walsh after an automobile accident this past March. He and his entire staff were extremely professional. They kept me informed every step of the way and settled my case in a timely manner. Thank you so much for your help.


Law Offices Near You

Sarasota Office

Sarasota Personal Injury Law Office


2822 University Parkway Sarasota Florida 34243

Bradenton Office



1215 Manatee Ave West Bradenton Florida 34205

St. Petersburg Office

St. Petersburg


6446 Central Avenue St. Petersburg Florida 33707

Lakewood Ranch Office



9040 Town Center Pkwy, Lakewood Ranch Florida 34202

Venice Office



3986 S. Tamiami Trail Venice Florida 34293

Englewood Office



2960 S. McCall Rd Englewood Florida 34224

Punta Gorda Office

Punta Gorda


122 Nesbit St, Suite 113, Punta Gorda Florida 33950

Port Charlotte Office

Port Charlotte


3986 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte Florida 33952

Arcadia Office



10 South DeSoto Avenue Arcadia Florida 34266

Fort Myers Office

Fort Myers


8359 Beacon Blvd Fort Myers Florida 33907

Lakeland Office



5137 S. Lakeland Dr. Lakeland Florida 33813

Get personal attention from a lawyer with decades of experience.