What Are Brake Checking Accidents and What to Do After One

New York City car owner taking a look at his crashed car -What Are Brake Checking Accidents and What to Do After One

Did you suffer injuries in a brake-checking accident? A brake-check accident can cause serious injuries, especially for the trailing driver. If you were in a crash because the driver in front of you repeatedly tapped their brakes or slammed the brakes on purposely, you could have legal options for seeking compensation for your injuries and vehicle damage.

However, in a rear-end collision, it’s easy to assume that the driver to the rear is to blame. That’s why you need effective legal representation to prove that the other driver is at fault for the crash, even if you were the one who hit them.

If you believe another driver deliberately caused the rear-end accident you were involved in, an experienced New York City car accident lawyer can help you figure out your next steps. With more than 35 years of experience, the Finz & Finz, P.C. team has obtained record-breaking results for personal injury victims throughout New York and nationwide.

What Are Brake-Checking Accidents?

Brake-check accidents usually happen when a driver believes the driver behind them is following too closely or tailgating. The leading driver may suddenly slam on their brakes as a warning to the tailgating driver that they are too close. However, this is a risky reaction that can have severe consequences.

Brake checking may be considered reckless driving in New York, which is against the law. A person convicted of reckless driving will be guilty of a misdemeanor, which carries penalties including up to one year in jail.

In other words, brake checking is a deliberate act that can result in serious injury to occupants of the trailing vehicle and stiff penalties for the offending driver. However, proving that a leading driver is at fault for a rear-end collision can be challenging, so hiring an experienced lawyer is crucial to building a solid case and pursuing compensation.

Brake-Check Accident Statistics

Determining exact brake-checking accident statistics is difficult because deliberate brake-checking can be hard to prove. However, in a recent month in NYC, there were 78 collisions in which road rage or aggressive driving was a factor. In that same month, there were 638 accidents attributed to “following too closely” or tailgating.

Following too closely can cause a rear-ending accident, but if the trailing driver is a victim of brake-checking, they may not be at fault for the crash.

Common Injuries Suffered in Brake-Checking Accidents

If you’re the trailing driver in an accident caused by brake checking, you could suffer serious injuries, some of which may have life-long consequences. The most common injuries in these collisions include:

  • A herniated disc, which may require surgery to repair
  • Back or spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Deep bruising or crushing injuries, especially around the collarbone and abdomen
  • Facial injuries, including broken bones due to airbag deployment or lacerations due to flying glass
  • Whiplash or strained neck

Many brake-check accident victims suffer multiple injuries, and even at slow speeds, the damage can be severe.

Who’s at Fault in a Brake-Checking Accident?

Most of the time, the driver who rear-ends the vehicle in front of them is held accountable for the collision. However, there are times when the leading driver is responsible for the crash, such as deliberate brake-checking or slamming on the brakes for no apparent reason.

Drivers must leave an appropriate distance between themselves and the car in front of them, about one car length per 10 mph they’re driving, which is why the trailing driver is typically assumed to be responsible for a rear-end crash. However, if a leading driver brakes for no reason or on purpose to warn or threaten a tailgating driver behind them, the distance between the vehicles may be less relevant.

How To Prove Fault in a Brake-Check Crash

Determining who is at fault in a brake-check accident may be complicated because the default assumption in a rear-end accident is that the trailing driver followed too closely. Hiring an experienced car accident attorney can improve your chances of proving that the leading driver is at fault for the crash.

Your lawyer may use several different kinds of evidence to build a solid claim against the at-fault driver, including the following:

  • Dashcam footage from your vehicle, the other driver’s vehicle, or nearby vehicles
  • Additional video footage, such as traffic camera footage or surveillance camera footage from nearby businesses
  • Pictures from the accident scene, including photos of vehicle damage, road conditions, skid marks on the road, or traffic signs
  • Results from field sobriety tests
  • Statements from witnesses who saw the crash caused by aggressive driving, including bystanders and other drivers
  • Sworn testimony from the brake-checking driver
  • The police accident report, if law enforcement responded to the scene

A skilled NYC car accident lawyer will use multiple pieces of evidence to build a solid case against the other driver.

Deadline to File a Car Accident Claim

If you’ve been in a car accident caused by brake checking in New York, the State statute of limitations establishes that you typically have three years from the accident date to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Three years may sound like plenty of time, but building a solid car accident claim can take months, and certain car accident cases will have a statute of limitations shorter than three years.  If you don’t file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, the court could dismiss your case as untimely, regardless of its strength. If this happens, you could lose your chance to seek compensation in civil court. Thus, immediately hiring an experienced New York City accident lawyer is crucial to filing your claim promptly and protecting your legal rights.

Talk to an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in New York Today

Do you need help proving that you weren’t at fault in a brake check rear-end accident? Are you injured because of someone else’s aggressive driving? If so, the legal team at Finz & Finz, P.C. will help you pursue the financial relief and accountability you deserve by filing a personal injury claim. As a family-run business, we take pride in advocating for the rights of injury victims in NY for over three generations. Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced auto accident attorney in New York City.

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Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.