Brian White | October 31, 2023 | Car Accidents
Brake checking while traffic is congested can affect even the best of drivers. Even when there is no traffic, a driver might tailgate you because they think you are driving too slow.
When this happens, it might be tempting to brake check the driver behind you. However, brake checking can cause serious car accidents. The driver who caused the brake checking accident could share some liability for damages.
Is Brake Checking Legal in Houston, TX?
Brake checking occurs when a driver maneuvers aggressively against the driver following them. A driver suddenly slams on their brakes for no reason. They intend to scare or shock the driver behind them in hopes that they stop tailgating.
Another reason for brake checking is fraud. A driver intentionally slams on the brakes, trying to force the driver behind them to rear-end their vehicle. Then, the driver files a car accident claim against the other driver’s insurance coverage, seeking compensation for damages.
A Texas driver could face reckless driving charges for brake checking if they are driving a vehicle with wanton or willful disregard for the safety of others.
The judge may impose a fine of up to $200 and/or sentence of up to 30 days in jail for a reckless driving conviction.
However, a traffic violation is not the only consequence of brake checking. If you cause a car accident because of brake checking, the accident victim could also file a personal injury lawsuit.
What Happens if Brake Checking Causes a Car Accident in Houston, TX?
Texas is an at-fault state for car accident claims. The driver who causes the accident is liable for the damages caused by the crash.
Most rear-end accidents are blamed on the driver in the rear. However, a brake checking driver could be held liable for a portion of the damages if their actions contributed to the crash.
If you prove the driver in the front intentionally caused the accident, they might not receive any money for their damages. Additionally, if you can prove that the driver in front of you brake checked and that action caused the crash, you might recover compensation for your injuries.
Texas comparative fault laws allow the courts to reduce the amount a victim receives by their percentage of fault if a jury finds the victim partially to blame for causing the accident. However, an insurance company might use the argument during negotiations to reduce their settlement offer.
What Damages Could I Receive for a Brake Checking Accident in Houston, TX?
If a driver causes an accident because of brake checking, you could receive compensation for your damages. In most cases, victims can seek compensation for their economic damages and non-economic damages. Damages you may receive include:
- Reimbursement for past and future medical bills
- The cost of rehabilitative therapies, including occupational and physical therapy
- The loss of income, including past and future lost wages and diminished earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses, including the cost of personal care, help with household chores, and travel expenses
- Physical, emotional, and mental pain and suffering
- The loss of enjoyment of life and diminished quality of life
- Disfigurement, scarring, disability, and impairments
- Property damage
Numerous factors impact how much you receive for a car accident claim. Your fault for causing the crash, the severity of your injuries, and other factors can increase or decrease the value of damages. An experienced Houston personal injury lawyer works to maximize recovery by defending you against fault and documenting damages to ensure all amounts are included in the settlement demand.
Do Brake Checking Accidents Cause Serious Injuries?
A brake checking accident often results in rear-end collisions. Rear-end crashes can cause a wide range of injuries. Injuries that are common in brake checking crashes include:
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Back injuries, including herniated discs and broken vertebrae
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ injury
- Fractures and broken bones
- Seat belt syndrome
- Soft tissue injuries
- Nerve damage
Brake checking can cause multi-vehicle or chain reaction accidents that could be catastrophic. The location and speed of the vehicles can also impact the severity of the crash.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Brake Checking Accidents in Houston, TX?
Most car accident claims must be filed within two years of the accident date. A judge can dismiss your lawsuit if you miss the deadline, even if you have evidence proving the other driver was at fault.
It should also be noted that exceptions to the statute of limitations and the facts of your case could extend or shorten the time to file a lawsuit. Therefore, it is wise to talk with a Houston car accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident.
What Should I Do After a Brake Checking Accident?
You may be angry that a driver carelessly caused an accident that could have been avoided. However, it is not a good idea to confront a driver. Instead, call 911 to report the crash and request police and emergency medical services.
While you wait for police officers to arrive, try to take pictures and make a video of the accident scene. If witnesses or people stop at the accident scene, ask them for their names and contact information. Eyewitness testimony can be very helpful in proving fault for brake checking accidents.
Describe what occurred to law enforcement at the accident scene. You might still be given a ticket for following too closely. The officer may note that you caused the accident, but telling the police officer about the brake checking is essential so that it appears in the police report.
Seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries and follow up with your doctor. Prompt medical treatment improves your case. Speak with an experienced Houston car accident lawyer before assuming that you cannot recover compensation for a brake checking accident.
Contact the Houston Car Accident Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – South Loop
2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054