Brake-checking accidents are more common than they should be, but since they are different from the average auto accident, people often don't know what they can do after they happen. The main problem comes from the fact that it's difficult to tell if brake checking is illegal at all.
Should a brake-checking driver be liable for the injuries they cause other people? It truly depends on the circumstances of the accident, and this blog post will bring some light to the subject. People wondering what they should do after a brake-checking accident will find all the answers they want here.
Victims of a brake-checking car accident, rear-end collision, or any other kind of crash can ask the Law Office of Carl Maltese for legal help. The personal injury lawyers working for this law firm have won hundreds of cases and millions of dollars for their clients, so people can feel safe with them as their attorneys.
Is Brake-Checking Illegal in New York?
It is illegal to brake-check in New York, but that's not everything there is to know about this problem. Although brake-checking is illegal, it's not always a crime. Actually, depending on the circumstances of the case, lawyers can address brake-checking crashes as criminal or civil matters.
When someone brake-checking causes an accident, people take it as a civil matter and take all the damages the crash causes as personal injuries. In this case, victims can sue the other driver to get financial compensation for what happened.
Brake-checking crashes are accidents when people do it because the driver in front of them did it or because an unforeseeable situation forced them to. This is important because, if drivers brake-check on purpose, then it will turn the crash into a criminal case.
These offenses are a form of reckless or aggressive driving, but they can also be treated as an assault if the other driver meets certain conditions. Brake-checking can be either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the consequences of the accident; the more severe they are, the more chances of turning into a felony.
If a driver is angry at another driver and intentionally brake-checks them to intimidate them or cause damage, lawyers could build a criminal case. However, if the other driver brake-checked due to a mechanical failure, medical emergency, or a sudden obstruction on the way, it will be a civil one.
Interestingly enough, the liable party for a brake-checking accident won't always be the driver that brake-checked. Let's say the driver had to brake-check because there was an obstacle on the road that shouldn't have been there. The accident wouldn't have happened because of them but because of the negligence of the government entity in charge of making sure roads are safe.
Likewise, victims of a brake-checking car accident could sue a manufacturing company if the other driver had to brake-check because of a mechanical failure. The best people can do is hire an experienced Long Island automobile accident attorney who can prepare the best strategy possible for the case.
Other Forms of Reckless Driving Apart from Sudden Braking
There are many other forms of reckless or aggressive driving apart from brake-checking. Excessive speeding, road rage, drunk driving, and distracted driving fall into this description too, which means they can result in criminal charges.
As it happens with brake-checking, everything depends on the reason behind those actions. That's what makes it difficult for prosecutors to build a strong case against the negligent party since they also need to prove that they did everything on purpose.
However, apart from avoiding having an offense on their criminal record, drivers won't get off the hook so easily by saying they didn't cause the accident intentionally. If they claimed that, the other driver would just hire an injury lawyer to sue them and get compensation. The same happens if the tailgating driver caused the crash.
What Are the Penalties for Brake-Checking and Careless Driving?
Since car accidents where the driver brake-checked on purpose are criminal cases, it's important for everyone to know the penalties they could get for doing it. The truth is that it depends on the specific charges the prosecution presents against them.
If the prosecution takes it as a reckless driving case, the driver will likely face fines, points on their driver's license, or jail time. Criminal mischief is still a misdemeanor and has similar penalties, but the time the defendant stays in jail is longer, and the fines they have to pay are higher.
When it's an assault or vehicular manslaughter case, the prosecution can treat it as a felony. Worst-case scenario, the defendant could face up to 25 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. It's important to know that, even in rear-end accidents, the rear driver could be found guilty if they were speeding and caused the crash because of that.
What Happens After a Brake Checking Accident?
Now, if those are the consequences of aggressive driving, what happens when brake-checking truly becomes a car accident case? Well, in this case, the victim should talk to the other driver and get their contact information. After that, they should take pictures and videos of what happened if they are safe and don't have any injury that needs immediate medical treatment. Speaking to witnesses helps too.
The next step is to call a personal injury lawyer and schedule a free consultation with them. It's also good to go to a doctor to see if the crash caused any dangerous injury. Car accident lawyers have taken many cases and know which strategy is best for that specific client, so, if hired, they should give them instructions on what to do after that. They can also help with questions like Is texting and driving illegal in New York?
If they plan to sue the brake-checker, then they will handle all the paperwork and calculate the damages the accident caused to tell how much compensation they should ask for in the claim. Most car accidents end after the brake-checker and the victim negotiate and get to an agreement, but if they fail to do it, the case will go to trial.
The evidence the victim has is essential for the case, because if they don't have anything to prove that the rear driver, for example, caused the injuries they have, then they will lose the case and get nothing. Actually, in a rear-end accident, the liable party could even be the driver who didn't brake on time.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Brake Checking Accident?
The settlement of a serious accident in Long Island, NY, depends on the damages the accident caused. People could say that the average is anything between $250,000 and $300,000, but it could get higher or lower than that. However, New York's no-fault system makes it more difficult for small claims to get to court, so the average is higher than in other states.
Medical expenses are the main reason car accidents often turn into expensive claims. Healing from crash injuries is not affordable at all, and the idea of getting compensation is to help the victim cover hospital bills and other damages they weren't prepared for. However, pain and suffering damages can also make the claim way more expensive.
While some states put a cap on how much money people can get for pain and suffering, New York has a "No Caps on General Damages" policy. That means there's no limit to the amount of money victims can get for non-economic losses in a car accident.
What Are the Most Common Injuries After Brake-Checking Crashes?
Going to a doctor is essential after a brake-check accident, whether it's a criminal or civil case. Regardless of the legal strategies lawyers have for the trial, recovering from some injuries may be difficult if the victim doesn't do it on time: These are the most common injuries people get after a brake-check crash:
Traumatic brain injuries
Why Should I Hire the Law Office of Carl Maltese?
The Law Office of Carl Maltese has an unbelievable ratio of success when it comes to car accidents, regardless of the type of crash. This law firm has recovered more than $150,000,000 in compensation for its clients.
Clients hiring this law firm will feel special, and the firm's staff will be ready to address any concerns they may have about the legal process. That includes answering all the questions they have about the case, handling the paperwork, or taking the case to trial, if necessary.
Reputed companies, such as Associated Press, Reuters, and Yahoo! News have spoken highly of the Law Office of Carl Maltese, so clients can feel safe with it. The only thing they need to do to take the first step into getting compensation is to schedule a free consultation with one of its lawyers. They can also advise on questions such as Is it illegal to drive with interior lights on in New York?
Conclusion - Hire the Law Office of Carl Maltese Today!
It is illegal to brake-check in New York, but now that people know what they can do after a brake-check accident, it's easier for them to get the compensation they need after it happens. Knowing this information will also keep them from making that mistake, as it would mean putting themselves and the other drivers in danger.
Victims of a rear-end collision in Long Island, NY, should contact the Law Office of Carl Maltese to take their case and get compensation for the crash. Whether the liable party is the rear driver or the front driver, its lawyers will get to the bottom of the case and build a strong strategy against the negligent party.