Can I Recover Compensation if I Get Injured in a Brake-Checking Accident?
Posted on behalf of Lynch Law Firm on October 27, 2021 in Car Accident News. Updated on May 25, 2023
The amount of traffic on New Jersey roads can frustrate even the most patient of people. Some drivers get angrier than others and fall victim to road rage, which can cause dangerous crashes that result in serious injuries.
Drivers experiencing bouts of road rage could brake-check you if they think you are following them too closely. Brake-checking means hitting the brakes, so the trailing driver has very little time to stop to avoid a rear-end collision.
If you were injured in an accident caused by a driver who brake-checked you, our car accident lawyers in New Jersey may be able to help you recover compensation.
Below, we discuss liability for these crashes and why it may be shared by both parties.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BRAKE-CHECK SOMEONE?
The act of brake-checking is when a driver purposely slams on his or her brakes while in traffic, allowing little to no time for drivers directly behind that vehicle to react, often resulting in a rear-end collision.
When these collisions occur, the result appears to be that the driver who slammed on his or her brakes is the victim of the accident and the person who rear-ended him or her is the liable party.
Although there are no laws specifying brake-checking as an illegal action, it is often considered a form of road rage or aggressive driving. Therefore, a person found to have caused a collision for brake-checking another driver may be at fault.
HOW CAN I PROVE SOMEONE IS AT FAULT FOR A BRAKE-CHECK COLLISION?
Proving you are the victim of a brake-check collision might be a difficult process, as the other driver is likely to accuse you of tailgating. Fortunately, there are some key pieces of evidence that might help prove the crash was caused by someone else, and our attorneys have the resources to thoroughly investigate these cases.
Some pieces of evidence may include:
- A police report
- Testimony from an accident reconstruction expert
- Witness statements
- Video footage from traffic or surveillance cameras
It is important to try and gather as much evidence as possible from the scene of the accident if you can do so safely. This means that you should take photos of the damage to all involved vehicles and the roadway, talk to witnesses and get the police report from the responding law enforcement officer.
HOW YOU MAY BE ABLE TO RECOVER COMPENSATION
Regardless of whether you can prove another driver’s brake-checking resulted in your injuries, New Jersey drivers should still be able to have their medical bills paid and recover some compensation for lost wages by filing a claim through their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance.
Remember that New Jersey is a no-fault state, which means drivers must carry a minimum amount of first-party coverage. Drivers seek compensation from their own insurance first. If their damages exceed the value of their policy, they may be able to seek compensation from the liability insurance of the other driver.
Unfortunately, PIP does not provide compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, so it is important that you reach out to one of our knowledgeable attorneys who may be able to help you pursue full compensation for your damages.
EXCUSES THE INSURANCE COMPANY WILL USE TO DENY LIABILITY
If your attorney can gather enough evidence to prove another driver brake-checked you, the driver’s insurance company may still try to deny liability by stating that they do not cover intentional actions. Although insurers have the right to refuse liability coverage for a driver who purposely injured someone, our attorneys are prepared to argue that although the person purposely slammed on his or her brakes, they may not have done so with the intent to cause injuries to someone else.
The insurance company may also try to pin some of the blame on you for the accident, perhaps claiming that you were tailgating their insured driver. This argument may be more difficult to refute and may reduce the value of your claim.
In New Jersey, drivers who are found partially at fault for an accident may still be able to recover reduced compensation, so long as they are less than 50 percent at fault for the accident.
LET US HELP. CALL TODAY
If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages. This includes accidents caused by a driver who brake-checked you.
Our attorneys have decades of experience building strong cases for compensation on behalf of our clients and are prepared to do the same for you. With a track record of success recovering millions for our past clients, you should strongly consider speaking to one of our licensed attorneys today.
Call today for a free consultation: (800) 518-0508