Car Accidents Caused by Brake Checking in Florida 

A driver may brake check because another driver is following too closely or because they are angry about another driver’s actions. Brake checking is never safe. It can cause a rear-end collision, which could result in severe injuries to both drivers.

What Is Brake Checking in Florida?

Tailgating is aggravating. It involves a driver following a vehicle in front of them too closely. The driver in the front vehicle suddenly taps the brake to shock or “punish” the driver behind them. The driver in the rear slams on their brakes to avoid crashing. Unfortunately, the rear driver is not always able to avoid the car accident.

Braking checking is dangerous and reckless. It can result in an accident that causes life-altering injuries for victims. Both drivers could be liable for damages caused by a brake-checking accident in Orlando, FL.

Is Brake Checking Illegal in Orlando, FL?

There is not a specific law that makes brake checking illegal. A police officer will not give a person a traffic ticket for tapping their brakes in an aggressive maneuver. However, Florida traffic laws for careless driving and reckless driving might apply in a brake-checking accident case. 

A driver can be charged with careless driving if they fail to operate a vehicle carefully and prudently. Careless driving is a moving violation, which can be punished with a fine and points against the driver’s license. 

Reckless driving is operating a vehicle with a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of others. Reckless driving is a criminal charge that can result in jail time. If someone is seriously injured because of reckless driving, the motorist can be charged with a felony.

In addition to criminal liability for brake-checking, a driver may be civilly liable for damages caused by a brake-checking accident. The civil liability depends on the facts of the case and the severity of the injuries.

Common Types of Traffic Crashes Caused by Brake Checking

Rear-end collisions are common car crashes caused by brake checking. However, brake checking can cause other types of accidents. 

For example, the rear driver may swerve to avoid hitting the driver who is brake-checking. The result is a head-on collision as the rear driver enters a lane of oncoming traffic. The rear driver may swerve off the road and hit a tree, pole, or other object.

Brake-checking accidents can cause severe injuries, including:

  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Neck injuries and whiplash
  • Internal organ damage
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Back injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries and nerve damage
  • Traumatic brain injury

If you are involved in a brake-checking accident, call 911 to report the crash. Gather evidence at the accident scene by taking photographs and asking witnesses for their information. See a doctor as soon as possible to evaluate your injuries, even if you feel okay or fine.

Civil Liability for Brake Checking Accidents in Orlando, FL

Florida is a no-fault state for car accidents. Therefore, drivers should file claims with their PIP insurance company after a brake-checking accident. However, you could also have a claim against the other driver involved in the accident if you sustained serious injuries.

The court considers several factors when judging whether the front or rear driver is liable for damages. Was the brake checking intentional? Did the sudden and intentional braking create fear and/or a threat to the driver in the rear?

In a brake-checking accident, both drivers often bear some of the fault for causing the accident. The driver in the front intentionally slammed on their brakes, which created a dangerous situation. However, because the rear driver was following too closely, they did not have time to stop before crashing.

Florida’s comparative fault rules apply in brake-checking accidents. A jury decides the percentage of fault each driver bears for causing the accidents. Damages are based on that percentage.

Florida’s contributory fault law does not bar you from receiving compensation for damages unless you are more than 50% to blame for the accident. If so, you cannot recover any money for your damages.

However, if your fault is less than 50 percent, you can receive damages in proportion to your fault. Therefore, if you are 45% to blame, you could receive 55% of the damages award.

Liability in a brake-checking accident is complicated. 

Working with Orlando car accident attorneys with experience handling these types of claims is crucial. An attorney conducts a thorough accident investigation to gather evidence proving each driver’s negligence level.

What Damages Could I Receive for a Brake Checking Accident in Orlando, FL?

The damages in a car accident claim include your financial losses or economic damages

Examples of economic damages include:

  • Medical bills and expenses
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Property damage
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Reduction in earning capacity
  • Rehabilitative therapies

Accident victims may also recover compensation for their pain and suffering damages. 

These non-economic damages include:

  • Physical discomfort
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Impairments and disabilities
  • Scarring and disfigurement

The amount you receive depends on your injuries and other factors. Under specific circumstances, a jury could award punitive damages to punish defendants for their conduct. However, punitive damages are only awarded in a small number of cases.

There Are Deadlines for Filing a Brake Checking Accident Claim in Florida

The statute of limitations in Florida for most personal injury claims is two years from the date of injury or the accident date. Failing to file a lawsuit before that time could result in a dismissal of your claim. Exceptions to the rules could apply in your case, which may result in changing the filing deadline.

We encourage you to seek legal advice as soon as possible after a car accident. You do not want to give up the right to file a lawsuit against the driver who caused your injuries.

An Orlando Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help With a Brake Checking Accident

The facts of the case are unique for each brake-checking accident. Liability depends on the facts in your case. An Orlando car accident lawyer can review your case and advise you of your legal options for recovering compensation for damages.

Contact a Car Accident lawyer at Norden Leacox Accident & Injury Law Today

For more information, please contact Norden Leacox Accident & Injury Law to schedule a free consultation. We have five convenient locations in Florida, including Orlando, Palm Bay, Melbourne, Cocoa, and Titusville.

Orlando, FL Office
964 Lake Baldwin Ln Ste. 200, Orlando, FL 32814, United States

Palm Bay, FL Office
4620 Lipscomb Street N.E Suite #3K, Palm Bay, FL 32905, United States

Melbourne, FL Office
1600 W Eau Gallie Blvd #205j, Melbourne, FL 32935, United States

Cocoa, FL Office
717 S Cocoa Blvd STE 203, Cocoa, FL 32922, United States

Titusville, FL Office
4527 S Hopkins Ave Suite B, Titusville, FL 32780, United States