So many car accidents in the U.S. stem from a rear-end collision. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that 29 percent of all car accidents are rear-end collisions, making this kind of accident the most common.
You may believe that if you are driving behind another vehicle and you run into them, that you are automatically at fault, but that isn’t always the case.
Under Louisiana law, the car that rear-ends another vehicle is presumed to be at fault, but there are exceptions to this rule.
The driver in front may be at fault for a rear-end collision if they are driving negligently. From our team of Baton Rouge car accident attorneys at Pierce & Shows, let’s take a look at what that means for your accident.
What is considered negligent driving?
Negligence is the failure to exercise ordinary care. So a negligent driver does not use the necessary care that they should while on the road, and this carelessness can lead to accidents, injury, and — in some cases — punishment.
Some examples of negligent driving may include:
- Driving a vehicle without brake lights
- Backing up the vehicle on a road
- Coming to an abrupt stop without cause
What Is Brake-checking?
Brake-checking is a form of reckless driving that can lead to a rear-end collision.
Essentially, brake-checking occurs when a driver notices the car behind them is perhaps driving too close and slows their car in an attempt to deter this kind of behavior or, possibly, cause an accident.
Brake-checking can be viewed by Louisiana courts as a form of road rage, which is illegal. The courts interpret road rage as reckless and potentially dangerous operation of a vehicle.
If you can show to the court that the driver in front of you did brake-check you, the court will likely hold the other driver accountable.
How to Prove Brake-checking
It may not be easy to prove that the other driver did, in fact, intentionally brake-check and cause an accident, but it can be done. If you hire an experienced auto accident law firm like Pierce & Shows, your lawyer will attempt to obtain this evidence using the following methods:
- Incident report: In many circumstances, the lead driver may make a statement to the police that admits fault. Even if the other driver does not admit to intentionally causing the accident, the circumstances of the collision may be sufficient (i.e. there was no red light or road obstruction).
- History of reckless driving: Road rage is often a habit, so a series of similar accidents on the driving record of the other party may be enough to question their motive. It may not matter to the court whether they were found at fault in those other accidents as long as there is a consistent pattern of behavior.
- Video evidence: In our world, cameras are everywhere, so there is a good chance that your accident was recorded by a public safety camera, dash cam, or smartphone. It may be apparent that the other driver was attempting to brake-check you, or it may be enough to present to the court to, at least, partially support your case.
- Eyewitness accounts: You may find that bystanders who witnessed the accident can corroborate that the other driver drove recklessly. Eyewitness testimony may be enough to convince a court that brake-checking did occur.
Why do I need a car accident attorney after a brake-checking accident?
Most people put off searching for an attorney until an emergency has happened, but that is often too late. In Louisiana, you can find yourself in a crisis in a split second — especially when other drivers are acting negligently on the road.
One common way to find yourself in trouble, especially in New Orleans, is if someone in front of you brake-checks you and causes an accident. In this case, you could be facing serious costs for medical bills and repairs, as well as massive amounts of paperwork to prove you were not at fault.
Our experienced car accident attorneys at Pierce & Shows have decades of experience in auto accident cases and can help you get through an emergency caused by someone else’s negligence. We will help you through the investigation, prove fault in the accident, and work with you to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Contact Pierce & Shows for legal help after a car accident
Vehicle accidents can be devastating, especially if they involve injury, death, or serious property damage. Protect your rights by hiring the attorneys at Pierce & Shows. Our team has decades of experience helping the people of Baton Rouge through auto collision cases of all types. Contact Pierce & Shows today.