Most drivers have experienced the frustrating, and sometimes scary, experience of being tailgated by an impatient driver. This can be especially nerve-racking if you’re in a high-traffic area, resulting in frequent braking, or have loved ones in the back seat. There are a few different ways that drivers may choose to respond to tailgaters. You may simply move to another lane if available and let them pass, slow down to frustrate them as well, or you may even choose to brake check them as a warning to back off.
Brake checking in South Carolina is not only dangerous to everyone involved, it also puts you in a bad spot legally, especially if it results in an accident. Let’s dive into it.
Is It Illegal to Brake Check Someone in South Carolina?
Brake checking is the act of suddenly hitting the brakes while a vehicle is closely following behind you, often with the intention to signal something to the driver behind you, such as to back off. Brake checking can lead to rear end collisions, as the driver behind them may not have enough time or space to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of them.
In most rear end collisions, the driver who hits the car in front of them is found at fault for the accident. However, if brake checking caused the accident, then the driver who performed the brake check will likely be found at-fault and held responsible for any resulting injuries and damages.
Why is this? Well, under South Carolina law, brake checking is considered reckless driving. According to state law, reckless driving is defined as, “any person who drives any vehicle in such a manner as to indicate either a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”
With brake checking falling into the category of reckless driving in South Carolina, you can expect to be held liable for any damages caused by a resulting accident. In addition to being held liable for the accident, people who chose to brake check may also receive tickets, points on their license, and fines. In SC, if you are ticketed more than once for reckless driving, you risk your license being suspended.
Determining Fault For Brake Checking Accidents
Under South Carolina law, our system follows a modified comparative negligence standard. This means each driver will be assigned a percentage at fault, and the percentage you are found at fault directly determines how much, if any, compensation you are able to recover.
For instance, if you are found 40% at fault for the accident, you may be able to recover 60% of your damages and injuries awarded by a jury.
Determining and proving fault is a critical part of all car accident claims and can get very complex when the accident involves a brake check. This is just one of the many reasons why it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side representing and optimizing your case.
If you’ve been involved in an accident involving brake checking or have any questions about determining fault after a motor vehicle accident in SC, our award-winning car accident lawyers are here to help. Get a free case evaluation today by calling our team or submitting an online form.
How Can Someone Prove Brake Checking Occurred?
A lawyer will help you determine and prove fault of an accident based on the specifics of your case. Whether you were the person tailgating or brake checking, it is in your best interest to speak with a reputable lawyer. Our lawyers will use their extensive experience representing complicated car accident cases throughout Columbia, Charleston, and the state of South Carolina to aggressively fight for you and get you the best outcome possible for your case. In order to prove fault after a brake checking accident, you can expect our firm to:
- Protect your rights from insurance companies trying to trick you into admitting fault, limiting your claim, or even denying your car accident claim.
- Run a thorough investigation into your case, including potentially gathering electronically stored data on the other driver’s vehicle.
- Obtain and analyze the police report.
- Review security footage.
- Interview witnesses.
- Analyze records.
- Aggressively fight the parties involved to get you the best possible outcome for your case.
- Keep you posted throughout each stage of your case so you never feel in the dark.
- And more.
To get the justice you deserve following a brake check or tailgating rear end collision, contact our team today at (803) 888-2200.
Compensation Available For Accident Victims
What you may be entitled to recover for your injuries and damages depends on many factors such as the percentage you are found at fault, the severity of your injuries, property damage, and much more.
Generally, you can file a personal injury claim to seek damages following an accident resulting in injury to cover:
- Doctor and Hospital Bills
- Including past, current, and future medical bills associated with your injury or injuries such as emergency room visits, tests/screenings, surgeries, and more.
- Orthopedist, neurologist or other medical specialists bills
- Rehabilitation Costs
- Including physical therapy and/or chiropractic costs
- Lost wages
- Car/Property damage
- Pain and Suffering
- And more.
To get a better understanding of what you may be entitled to based on the specifics of your case, contact an experienced South Carolina car accident lawyer at (803) 888-2200. We will walk you through your options and what to expect complimentary.
Get on the Road to Justice Today
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for the injuries and damages you have suffered as a result. If you’ve been injured in an accident involving brake checking or tailgating, the legal process will not be easy to navigate on your own. Our car accident attorneys have over 60 years of combined experience and are ready to help you optimize your case to get the maximum of what you’re owed under state law.
Get in touch with our legal team today by calling (803) 888-2200 or completing our online contact form to schedule a virtual on in-person consultation at one of our local offices.