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What is brake checking?

If you have ever heard of the term brake checking and wondered what it meant, let your accident attorneys explain. Brake checking is the act of sharply hitting the brakes while driving with a vehicle behind you. The intention behind the action is to make an unsuspecting vehicle slam on their own brakes to cause an accident. This idea stems from the common thought that insurance companies would find the victim at fault for not leaving enough space to react or brake in the event of an emergency.

brake checking

Why do people brake check?

The reason why people brake check is mostly due to anger, frustration, or in the hopes of making some easy money. It is an extremely dangerous practice and can result in serious injuries. When people take this action, they are gambling with their own safety and that of those in the other vehicle.


There are two main reasons brake checking occurs.


Road rage

While we all can get frustrated on the road, it is important to try to remain calm. In many dashcam videos, motorists will dangerously overtake the car that they are angry at and then slam their brakes before speeding off again. People usually respond with this action when they are being tailgated.


'Crash for cash'

This is a more sinister reason for brake checking, but it is still very real and is a way for someone to commit insurance fraud. There are reports of some motorists brake checking to intentionally cause a collision in order to get either an insurance payout, cash in hand for the damages, or both.


This is a nightmare in particular for car leasing customers, as the repair must be fixed before it's returned.


Is brake checking illegal?

As we have made abundantly clear thus far, brake checking is a very dangerous driving behavior that should be avoided at all costs. This behavior can lead to accidents and cause some serious injuries. But is the action of brake checking illegal in Florida?

Sadly, in Florida, brake checking is not specifically illegal. However, it can be considered a form of aggressive driving or road rage, which is illegal under Florida law.


Aggressive driving is defined as any behavior that endangers or is likely to endanger people or property, such as speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, or failing to yield to the right of way.


Aggressive driving can result in a traffic citation, depending on the severity of the offense.


For example, if you decided to brake check out of anger because someone was tailgating you and it leads to an accident that causes injury, then you could be charged with reckless driving which is a ticketed offense.


Brake checking is also considered a negligent act if it leads to an accident or injury. Negligence occurs when a driver fails to exercise reasonable care and causes harm to another person or property.


If a driver is found to be negligent, they could be held liable for any damages or injuries caused to another individual.


While brake checking is not specifically illegal in Florida, if it leads to a brake check car accident you can be held liable. It's important to avoid engaging in this behavior on the road to ensure that you stay safe and don't incur legal consequences. Instead, it's important to remain calm and avoid aggressive or dangerous driving behaviors.


What to do if you are being brake checked

If you're certain you are being targeted by another motor vehicle and they're trying to brake check you, try to leave as much space between you and the offending vehicle as possible. This will often mean slowing down, which may give you some anxiety as to what the rear driver behind you may be thinking. Although making the driver behind you annoyed is far better than getting into brake checking accidents.


The person trying to cause these types of accidents may even be trying to commit insurance fraud by claiming they weren't brake checking. They can say that you, the rear driver, were being negligent and caused a rear-end collision.


While the situation may look like a clean-cut rear-end collision to the officers on site, explain to the officer the other driver's brake checked. Stating this may help your case, but proving that the car accident was caused by brake checking is quite difficult.


Unfortunately, in this situation a lot of the time it's your word over the other drivers. That is why if there is a witness who saw the reckless driver's brake check, it is important to get their information. You may also want to see if there were nearby cameras to help demonstrate your claim.


For obvious reasons you want to make all efforts to avoid a collision, however, even if you do get brake checked, you may be accused of tailgating, meaning you aren't keeping a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front.


What should you do after an accident caused by brake checking?

If you get into an accident with someone because that person brake checked you, do not admit fault. Call the police to the scene of the collision. Do not apologize to the other driver, but remain polite while you ask for their name and insurance information. When the police arrive, give the officer your version of events.


You'll want to clearly but concisely report what happened and why you believe the driver in front of you slammed on the brakes for no other reason than to cause a car accident.

The officers will conduct their own investigation, speak to eyewitnesses, and create a police report. This information can help the police establish that the other driver was at fault for the accident because they brake checked.


When you are filing your car insurance claim you'll want to ensure you are providing them with all of that evidence. A personal injury attorney can also help you with this process of filing a claim and ensuring you have all the right evidence to support your claim.


Is the brake checker liable if they caused the accident?

In short, the answer is yes, the brake checker could be held liable for causing the accident.


In most cases, the driver who rear-ends another vehicle is presumed to be at fault for the accident. However, if the driver can show that the other driver was engaging in reckless or negligent behavior, such as brake checking, then the other driver may also be held partially or fully responsible for the accident.


In the case of a brake checking maneuver, which is considered an aggressive driving tactic, if the driver who cause the accident was doing so intentionally or without a reasonable cause, they could be held liable for any resulting damages or injuries. This could include liability for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more.


It's worth noting that determining liability in these cases can be complex and often requires a thorough investigation by law enforcement and insurance companies. It's also important for drivers to exercise caution and avoid engaging in aggressive or reckless driving behaviors.


Should You Report It To The Police?

Here are a few reasons why reporting a brake checking accident to the police can be important:

  1. Establishing a Record: When you report an accident to the police, they will create an official report of the incident. This can be an important record for insurance companies and legal proceedings, and can help to establish the facts of the case.

  2. Determining Fault: The police report can also help to determine fault in the accident. If the other driver was engaging in reckless or negligent behavior, such as brake checking, this could be noted in the report and used as evidence in any legal proceedings.

  3. Documenting Injuries and Damage: If you or anyone else involved in the accident suffered injuries or if there was significant damage to vehicles or property, it's important to document these facts. The police report can help do this and can be used as evidence in insurance claims or legal proceedings.

  4. Protecting Yourself: Finally, reporting the accident to the police can help to protect yourself in case the other driver tries to falsely claim that the accident was your fault. By having an official report of the incident, you can provide evidence of what happened and protect yourself from false accusations.

In all car accident situations, it is advised to always contact the police. For the reasons mentioned above and more. When it comes to these types of accidents people tend to not want to own up to their mistakes due to insurance premium raises and more.

Additionally, a police officer will provide a police report which later can be used by your insurance company, and if you so choose, your personal injury lawyer.


How much compensation may you seek in a Florida brake checking case?

The amount of compensation you receive through an insurance claim for a brake checking accident depends on various factors. These factors include the insurance coverage that applies to the accident, the severity of the damage and injuries, and the determination of fault.


A car accident attorney can help you estimate the damages you incur after a brake checking collision and go over what you can expect regarding recovery and the types of damages available.


Why should I hire a personal injury lawyer after a brake check accident?

If you've been involved in a car accident that was caused by a brake checking maneuver, it can be a frustrating and stressful experience. You may be dealing with injuries, property damage, and a range of other issues, all of which can be difficult to manage on your own. This is where hiring a car accident lawyer can be invaluable. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Expertise and Experience: A car accident lawyer has the expertise and experience to handle all aspects of your case, from negotiating with insurance companies to representing you in court if necessary. They know the law and can help you navigate the complex legal system to ensure that your rights are protected.

  2. Help with Insurance Claims: Insurance companies are not always eager to pay out claims and may try to offer you a settlement that is much lower than what you deserve. A car accident lawyer can help you negotiate with the insurance company to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.

  3. Gathering Evidence: Proving fault in a brake checking accident can be difficult, as it often comes down to one driver's word against the other. A car accident lawyer can help gather evidence to support your claim, including witness statements, accident reports, and other documentation that can help establish fault.

  4. Dealing with Legal Proceedings: If the other driver disputes fault or if the case goes to court, a car accident lawyer can represent you and help you navigate the legal process. They can help you prepare your case, present evidence, and argue on your behalf to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

  5. Peace of Mind: Perhaps most importantly, hiring a car accident lawyer can provide you with peace of mind during a difficult and stressful time. You can focus on your recovery and your family while your lawyer handles the legal details of your case.

That is why you should call the accident attorneys at Demesmin and Dover Law Firm. We are here to help you whenever you need it after an accident. We want to ensure that you have all of your questions answered and are informed every step of the way. So call us today at 866-954-MORE (6673) for your free consultation.


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