Most of us have been in a situation where we were either brake checked or tailgated by another driver. Sometimes, these situations result in an accident where fault can be hard to determine.
Neither brake checking nor tailgating is regarded as a reasonable way to act behind the wheel in Tennessee. In many cases, both drivers will be found at fault if evidence shows there was a pattern leading up to the accident. What makes proving fault difficult in these cases is that there is usually little evidence to back up each party’s testimony. Fortunately, our Tennessee car accident attorneys have years of experience finding ways to prove who was at fault in a brake check accident.
If you were injured in a brake check accident, our Tennessee car accident lawyers can help you prove liability to recover the compensation you deserve. For a free case review, contact Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
Who is at Fault for a Brake Check or Tailgating Accident in Tennessee?
Brake check accidents are somewhat difficult because it is not always clear who is at fault. While many people think the driver following behind is at fault for a rear-end accident, usually from tailgating, this is not always the case. Sometimes, the driver in the front brake checked the car behind them, causing a rear-end accident. However, brake checking and tailgating are both considered forms of aggressive driving and illegal. Our Knoxville car accident attorneys can help you determine who was at fault in your case.
Brake Checking vs. Tailgating
Brake checking occurs when a driver intentionally hits their brakes to get a tailgating driver to back away. While brake checking is common, it is not considered a reasonable response to being tailgated. Brake checking another vehicle can cause a serious rear-end accident or cause the other car to swerve and cause an accident. Brake checking will be deemed aggressive driving, and the driver will be liable for their part in the accident.
While there is no brake checking statute, Tennessee law provides for what constitutes tailgating. According to T.C.A. § 55-8-124, drivers must not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances. If another driver fails to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them, they can be held liable for causing the accident. In many cases, the tailgating driver will be totally at fault unless they can show that the collision was caused when the other driver brake checked them.
In some cases, both drivers will be found liable for causing the accident since tailgating and brake checking often go hand-in-hand. However, proving liability is challenging as these cases can devolve into a finger-pointing contest without substantive evidence to prove their claims. Fortunately, contributing to causing your accident will not bar you from seeking recovery in a Tennessee lawsuit.
Tennessee uses a modified comparative negligence rule when determining fault in a brake check accident. This means you could be found partially liable for causing your accident and still recover compensation. The final award from the court will be reduced by the percentage of the degree of fault that the driver was found to have contributed. However, you will be prevented from recovering any damages if you are found 50% or more at fault for the accident. Our Nashville car accident attorneys can help fight the accusations that you were at fault for the brake check accident you were injured in.
Steps You Can Take After Being Injured in a Brake Check Accident in Tennessee
You can do several things that can greatly increase your chances of recovering compensation in your brake check lawsuit in Tennessee. First, always call 911 after being involved in an accident. While brake check accidents might be relatively minor, and you might not see the need, having the police investigate your accident is critical. The investigating officer will report their findings, including important driver’s license and insurance information, names of witnesses, and observations made by the officer. We can help you obtain your police report once you have attended to your injuries.
If your injuries allow, document as much of the scene as possible. This means taking pictures and videos with your phone of anything you think might help your case. Our Knoxville personal injury attorneys can use this evidence later to help prove your claims. Also, speak to any witnesses and get their contact information if you can. We can reach out to witnesses on your behalf so that they can testify to who was at fault. Be sure to observe your surroundings for any business or residential security cameras that might have captured footage of your accident. Our team will also investigate the scene to determine if this evidence can be collected.
Next, seek medical care immediately. Waiting days or weeks to get treatment can seriously undermine your later claims that your injuries were serious. Further, you might have injuries you did not notice and will cause more damage if not addressed properly. Your medical records will also serve as evidence of your damages when you seek compensation. Once you have received medical attention, reach out to our attorneys for what steps to take next.
Statute of Limitations to File a Brake Check Accident Lawsuit in Tennessee
The statute of limitations in Tennessee is the deadline brake check accident victims have to file a lawsuit. According to T.C.A. § 28-3-104, you have just one year from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit in Tennessee.
This is one of the hardest deadlines in the country and can pass by extremely fast. If a lawsuit is not filed before the year passes, the victim will typically be prevented from recovering compensation. Our car accident lawyers can gather the records you need to get your lawsuit filed in a timely manner.
Our Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you suffered injuries in a brake check accident and need help proving who was at fault, contact our Murfreesboro car accident attorneys for a free case review. Call Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357.