Who is At-Fault in an Accident Caused by Brake Checking
Have you ever been driving down the highway, not many cars in sight, and run into a slow-moving vehicle in the left lane? It can be incredibly frustrating when they refuse to move over, which may cause you to accidentally drive close behind them.
However, things can become more than frustrating – they can become dangerous when the driver in front refuses to move over and engages in risky behavior. Sometimes the driver in front takes it one step further and engages in a dangerous practice called brake checking. It’s helpful to understand what it is and how liability works in these situations.
What Is Brake Checking?
Brake checking is the act of abruptly activating the vehicle brakes to send a message to the driver behind. This practice is illegal and can startle other drivers as well as increase their chances of getting into an accident due to the sudden braking motion. Rear-end collisions are common when brake checking occurs because the driver in back may not be able to stop in time.
Why Do Drivers Brake Check?
Drivers sometimes engage in brake checking to purposely cause an accident so they can collect money, but it is more frequently used to annoy another driver who is following too closely. The sudden braking motion will often cause the trailing car to quickly slow down or move over into another lane.
Brake Checking in Georgia is Illegal – Proving Negligence
In Georgia, brake checking is illegal, and you may be able to recover compensation if you’re involved in an accident caused by this maneuver. To do this, you will need to provide evidence that the other driver was negligent.
It’s helpful when there is visual evidence that proves negligence on behalf of the other driver, like dash cams, which are increasingly popular among drivers. Nearby surveillance cameras (such as security footage from businesses), can also help prove negligence on behalf of the other party involved in the crash.
Additionally, witness testimony is also crucial in brake-checking cases. This can include witnesses who were in the car with you or others who just happened to be around and see the incident.
Understanding Modified Comparative Negligence and Brake Checking in Georgia
Modified comparative negligence is a legal rule that determines how much money an injured person can receive from a personal injury claim. Under Georgia law:
“Notwithstanding the provisions of this Code section or any other provisions of law which might be construed to the contrary, the plaintiff shall not be entitled to receive any damages if the plaintiff is 50 percent or more responsible for the injury or damages claimed.”
In cases involving brake checking, both parties may be found partially at fault due to the nature of rear-end collisions. For example, if you were driving too close behind another car and had insufficient space to stop when they tapped their brakes, then you may be found partially at fault for your injuries as well as those of the other party involved in the collision.
However, if you were able to prove that you were less than 50% at fault then you would still be eligible for compensation under modified comparative negligence laws in Georgia.
If you rear-ended someone because they were brake checking, don’t assume that you’re automatically at fault because you were the rear driver. In some circumstances, you could still be entitled to compensation. Contact Bowen Painter Trial Lawyers to schedule a free consultation.