Many Florida drivers brake check the car driving behind them, whether due to road rage or as a joke. Regardless of the reason, brake checking can be a dangerous driving practice, especially if the rear driver was following the brake checking driver too closely (tailgating).
Brake checking can lead to a number of types of accidents, and may even cause personal injury for the car accident victim. If you have been a victim of brake checking, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for damages with the help of an experienced car accident lawyer.
What Is Brake Checking?
Brake checking refers to an aggressive driving tactic of braking suddenly in order to shock the driver of the car behind you. Some drivers do this to people they know, like friends or family members, just for fun. Others may brake check tailgaters in order to “punish” them and express road rage.
Yet brake checking can be a dangerous form of reckless driving. Although tailgating can be frustrating, front drivers should never take matters into their own hands by suddenly braking without reason.
Common Types Of Auto Accidents Caused By Brake Checking
Rear-end accidents are most commonly caused by brake checking, especially if road or weather conditions are poor. After a driver slams on his or her brakes, the car behind them is likely to collide with their vehicle.
If the rear driver attempts to avoid the crash by swerving, they could also veer off the road and strike a tree, sign, pole, or another nearby object. No matter the type of accident, brake checking can cause harm or vehicle damage, particularly at high speeds, on busy roadways, or when brake checking on road curves.
Is Brake Checking Illegal In Florida?
Brake checking not only creates a dangerous situation for all drivers on the road when it occurs—but it’s also an illegal driving practice in the state of Florida.
If you get into an auto accident because someone brake checks you, leading to you rear-ending their motor vehicle, you may have the legal right to pursue that party and/or their insurance company for damages.
Can You Sue For Brake Checking Car Accidents?
Brake checking is considered aggressive driving, but following too closely is also illegal. The Florida statute regarding tailgating holds that Florida motorists should not follow cars more closely than is reasonable and prudent.
In other words, the rear driver is not legally allowed to tailgate the front driver. However, the front driver also has a responsibility not to brake check the rear driver.
If brake checking leads to a rear-end collision, and the rear driver experiences serious injury or property damage, the rear driver may be able to sue the brake checking driver for damages.
Florida law will consider a number of factors when reviewing a brake checking personal injury lawsuit, such as:
- if the brake checking was intentional
- whether suddenly and intentionally braking posed a threat to the other driver
- whether brake checking caused fear for the other driver
Liability In Florida Brake Checking Accidents
You may be wondering if you can be held liable in a brake checking car accident. If someone checked their brakes while you were following them, causing a car crash and leading to serious injury, they may be liable for damages. This means you could file a personal injury claim against them to get compensated for expenses resulting from the accident.
Florida is a comparative negligence state for car accidents. Each person’s degree of responsibility is determined in a car accident case and settlement offers are calculated accordingly.
For example, you may have gotten into a rear-end accident with someone after they brake checked you, which shows they were negligent. However, if you were speeding and/or tailgating at the time of the accident, you may be considered partly negligent, too.
Any settlement amount you’re awarded would then be reduced based on your percentage of fault. An experienced Florida car accident attorney can offer a free case evaluation to help you determine your level of negligence, if any, and help you understand your legal right to file a claim.
Proving Negligence In A Brake Check Personal Injury Claim
Unless you have dashcam video footage, it may be difficult to provide solid proof that the at-fault driver was brake checking you. However, if you are a brake check injury victim, there are some steps you can take which could help you prove negligence in the brake checker.
First, be sure to contact law enforcement after the car crash and have them file a police report. In car accident personal injury cases, police reports can be crucial in showing a documented account of the accident.
You may also want to get eyewitness accounts from anyone who witnessed the collision. Witness statements allow for a third-party account of the incident. If you are unable to get this information right after the rear-end collision, take down the contact information for any witnesses in order to contact them later.
How To File A Personal Injury Lawsuit For Brake Checking
The easiest, most efficient way to file a personal injury lawsuit for brake checking is with the help of a capable car accident lawyer. A lawyer can provide a free consultation to discuss your case, provide expert legal advice, and help you understand if you have a strong claim.
Florida places a limit on how long you have to file a personal injury case after a car accident. Don’t wait to find out what a Florida personal injury lawyer can do for you. Contact Florin|Roebig law firm today to see how we can help you get compensated for your injuries or property damage.