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If Someone Brake Checks You and an Accident Occurs, Who Is at Fault?

Feb 8, 2021 | Auto Accident


In Indiana, rear-end collisions are most often the fault of the rear driver. All drivers are expected to exercise appropriate precautions, such as creating plenty of space between themselves and the vehicle in front of them.

On the other hand, in some cases, someone guilty of brake checking can be partially at fault or fully liable (in rare cases) if their brake checking was the main contributor to the collision. Even in those cases, however, the driver is more likely to deny any wrongdoing and simply say they braked suddenly. Unless it can be proven that the driver brake checked and caused the accident, the rear driver is most likely going to be held responsible. Even in instances of brake checking, tailgating is often considered the greater offense. 

That being said, if you were involved in an accident in which the driver in front unfairly brake checked you, you should speak with a car accident attorney right away. They will be able to help you prove the other driver’s reckless behavior. At the very least, they’ll help make sure the other driver carries some of the liability.

What Exactly Constitutes “Brake Checking”?

Technically, brake checking is illegal. It is the intentional act of forcing drivers behind you to either brake suddenly or swerve to avoid a collision. It is always dangerous, and drivers who feel they are being tailgated should opt instead to get out of the way of the tailgating driver behind them.

Indiana Is a Modified Comparative Negligence State

In the state of Indiana, if more than one driver is found to be at fault for the accident, then each driver is assigned a percentage of liability for their negligence. For example, one driver’s negligence made them 20% liable in an accident, while the other driver’s greater negligence made them 80% liable.

Comparative negligence can affect an individual’s insurance premium. It can also affect the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit. For example, a driver must be deemed less than 51% at fault for the incident to file an injury claim. If an individual does win a personal injury lawsuit but is partially responsible, they will only be awarded a percentage of damages based on the level of negligence of the other driver.

If you were faulted for an accident because you rear-ended a driver that brake checked you, you can seek damages based on comparative negligence with the help of an experienced car accident attorney.

Aggressive Brake Checking

If it can be proven that the other driver brake checked you and was clearly aggressive, they can be faulted for the collision. Further, if you or someone you love was injured as a result of another driver’s brake checking, you may be eligible for compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.

Bear in mind that you must be able to prove that the other driver was at least 50% responsible for the accident as a result of their aggressive driving. An experienced attorney can help you prove this.

Selecting the Right Representation in a Brake Checking Collision Case

In a collision case where the other driver aggressively brake checked your vehicle, a strong car accident attorney can help you prove the other driver’s dangerous behavior. It will be extremely difficult for you to prove that the other driver was 100% at fault (though not impossible). However, you may be able to prove the other driver was primarily at fault for the accident as a result of their reckless driving.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your car accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

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