Car Accidents Caused By Brake Checking In Philly
Ryan Zavodnick | April 18, 2023 | Car Accidents
Brake checking is a form of aggressive driving used by many Philly drivers. Unfortunately, brake checking can cause car accidents. The problem for the driver in the rear is that they might be blamed for causing a car accident that was not their fault whatsoever.
What Is Brake Checking in Philly?
Brake checking is a term used to describe the aggressive maneuver of slamming on the brakes for no apparent reason. Drivers often use a brake check if they believe the driver behind them is following them too closely. The person might slam on the brakes or “brake check” the driver behind them, thereby forcing the rear driver to slam on their brakes in response.
Unfortunately, there is no good reason to brake check the person following your vehicle. Typically, the sole purpose of brake checking is to intimidate the other driver, commit insurance fraud, or make the other driver angry. Brake checking leads to accidents, especially rear-end collisions.
What Happens When a Brake Checking Causes a Car Accident in Philly?
The most common type of car accident caused by brake checking is a rear-end accident. Rear-end crashes can cause serious injuries, including:
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Back injuries, including fractured vertebrae and herniated discs
- Facial injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
Rear-end crashes can also cause severe property damage.
After a crash, it is best to report the car accident to the police by calling 911. As with other car crashes, document the accident scene by taking pictures and making a video of the crash site. If someone witnessed the collision, ask for their name and contact number. Eyewitness testimony can help prove liability for a brake check accident in Philadelphia.
Who Is Liable for Break Checking Accidents in Philly?
Generally, it is assumed that the person in the rear vehicle is responsible for causing the accident. Pennsylvania traffic laws state that drivers must not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent. Following too closely is also known as tailgating.
Drivers should leave sufficient room between them and the vehicle in front of them to stop before colliding with the front vehicle. This law applies even if the person driving the vehicle in the front slams on their brakes.
For example, the driver in front of you slams on the brakes to avoid hitting a child who runs into the road without warning. You should have sufficient distance to stop your vehicle. If you were following too closely, you could be liable for the other driver’s damages.
You could be liable for the other driver’s economic and non-economic damages. However, if the driver braked checked you for no reason, fault for the accident could be in question. If that driver caused the accident, you might not be liable for their damages.
Proving Fault for Brake Checking Accidents in Philadelphia, PA
A Philadelphia car accident lawyer can help you prove who is at fault for an accident caused by brake checking. Evidence your lawyer might use to prove that the driver in front performed an illegal brake check includes:
- Video of the collision from traffic cameras and other surveillance cameras
- Statements made by drivers, passengers, and eyewitnesses
- Opinions from accident reconstructionists and other experts
- Police and accident reports
- Physical evidence from the accident scene
The driver who caused the crash is liable for damages. However, under Pennsylvania’s contributory fault laws, a driver could share liability for causing an accident. The state’s “choice no-fault” insurance rules will also likely come into play.
A driver who is partially to blame for causing the accident might not receive compensation for all damages. If their fault is more than 51 percent, contributory fault laws bar them from receiving any money for the claim.
Therefore, you need an attorney to examine the facts of the brake checking accident to determine if contributory fault could apply.
Is Brake Checking Illegal in Pennsylvania?
There is not a specific law that makes it a crime to brake check another driver. However, one or more Pennsylvania traffic laws could apply to an accident caused by brake checking.
Careless driving is a summary offense. Operating a motor vehicle with a careless disregard for the safety of other people or property constitutes careless driving. Intentionally slamming on the brakes could be considered careless driving in some situations.
The offense of reckless driving could apply to brake checking accidents in some situations. Reckless driving occurs when someone operates a motor vehicle with a wanton and willful disregard for the safety of persons or property. Reckless driving is a summary offense.
Before you assume you are liable for a rear-end accident in Philly caused by brake checking, talk with a Philadelphia car accident attorney. You could have legal options that limit or avoid liability for the crash.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Philadelphia Today To Get Help With Your Case
To learn more and get the help you deserve, call Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers at (215) 875-7030 or contact us online.
You can also visit our law firm at 123 S Broad St #1220, Philadelphia, PA 19109.