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What Happens if Someone Brake-checked Me and I Hit Them?

Jan 28, 2022 | Auto Accident

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Brake checking is when a driver stops or heavily slows suddenly because they aren’t pleased with how closely the driver behind them is following their vehicle. The practice is illegal and can result in reckless driving charges, but the challenging part for the driver behind is that they are often found at fault for the accident. That’s because rear-end collisions are often the fault of the driver who rear-ends the other car.

You face greater challenges in proving that the driver who brake-checked you was the one who caused the accident. However, it is not impossible to prove, and you have a right to pursue damages against someone who brake-checks you and causes an accident.

Presenting evidence in these cases is so important and will determine whether you end up paying for the accident or whether the brake-checker is assigned the fault for the accident they caused.

Types of Evidence in a Brake Checking Case

Many forms of evidence can prove that the driver in front of you brake-checked you, which led to the accident. Here are some ways you can work with an attorney to prove your case.

  1. Police report: after a car accident, you should contact law enforcement to have them come out and assess the accident scene and file a report. Having the accident on record can help your court case.
  2. Witness accounts: was there another passenger with you at the time of the accident who can attest to your side of the story? Or was there another motorist who saw the accident take place and can state that the other driver was not braking for a reason or that their braking was too aggressive. 
  3. Roadway evidence: you’d be surprised how much the roadway can tell you about an accident. Examining evidence like tire marks and debris, traffic experts can recreate an accident to show how it happened.
  4. Damage to vehicles: based on the posted speed limit and the location and severity of damage to each of the vehicles, experts can demonstrate whether the car in front was braking harder than necessary given the circumstances.

Indiana Modified Comparative Negligence Rule

A challenge you’ll face in your Indiana brake checking accident case is that the state has a modified comparative negligence rule. Under this law, the courts evaluate the actions of all drivers involved in the accident to assign fault accordingly.

That means that even if you are not entirely at fault for the accident, the amount you can pursue in damages related to the accident will be reduced by the percentage of fault you bear. 

This means that if the courts find you were 20 percent at fault because you followed too closely or failed to react how you should have given the circumstances, your total settlement amount will be reduced by 20 percent.

Engaging in safe driving practices is the best way to avoid an accident. It’s better to avoid tailgating another driver and to drive with respect for everyone on the road. But if you do find yourself in a situation where you’ve been involved in an accident that involved the illegal practice of brake-checking, you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible.

Working with traffic experts who can survey the scene to collect evidence requires quick action before the accident scene is gone or changes too much. The fresher the details are in your car accident case, the more chance you have of succeeding.

Get a Thorough Case Evaluation for Free from Stewart & Stewart

For a free case evaluation, contact the Indiana car accident attorneys at Stewart & Stewart. We’ll work to prove what really happened during the accident to ensure your bills are paid by the at-fault party and that you don’t face financial penalties for an accident you did not cause.

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