Brake checking is illegal in the state of New Mexico. It is considered a form of road rage and mitigates the established precedent of rear-end collision fault.
That said, proving that someone illegally engaged in brake checking is not a simple process.
Rear End Collisions are the Fault of the Rear-Ender, Right?
While not sacrosanct, the event of a rear-end collision typically places blame on the rear-ender. The guiding principle is that follow distances should be sufficient that even in the event of a sudden stop, a following vehicle should have ample space to slow down.
Rear-enders are seen as tailgaters or poor drivers. They are thought to behave negligently or intentionally create problems. But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes the actions of merging, passing, and traffic flow result in little to no follow distance.
What About Brake Checking in New Mexico, Then?
Brake checking, like tailgating, is an example of at-fault negligence. Much like driving under the influence, texting, or driving without lights, these actions create a risk to other motorists.
Unlike tailgating, brake checking isn’t as vilified in our culture despite the danger it creates. When someone brake-checks, other motorists are forced to stop abruptly or swerve, leading to a cascading effect of potential dangers to other drivers.
Many types of negligence can be established after the fact. A drunk driver is tested for alcohol, times tamps on texts indicates poor driving. Service records and internal diagnostics can determine if a vehicle was in less than working condition. Unfortunately, proving another driver intentionally hit the brakes to cause harm rather than as a routine action while driving is more difficult. Some vehicles have technology that measures brake usage and can point to aberrant or harsh braking.
Because New Mexico is a comparative fault state, establishing negligence on the part of another party, even if not fully at-fault lessens the share of damages paid.
Ideally, your New Mexico accident lawyers will work to show the facts for what they are and assign fault on the bad actor. However, knowing that even partial fault can be assigned makes the pursuit worthwhile.
What Does a Brake-Check Case Look Like in New Mexico?
Settlements for injured drivers in brake check collisions cover multiple types of physical and economic damage.
- Vehicle damage
- Medical costs
- Lot wages
- Pain and suffering
- Quality of life adjustments
- Punitive damages
Many automotive safety features protect a driver from damages to the front-end. Seatbelts, airbags, and even crush panels all absorb a forward impact. Being struck from behind mitigates several of these factors, resulting in more severe injuries to the rear-ended person and vehicle. This means the person doing the brake checking may be more injured than you. But if it causes a chain reaction of impacts, anybody struck from behind may be drastically injured.
Establishing that a driver intentionally brake-checked requires obtaining hard to access information. Your New Mexico accident lawyer can help with this. Using the law, we can force the other side to divulge vital information such as phone gps data, any vehicle or onstar information, and any video footage. With this we can help prove your case against the person who brake-checked you.
Securing representation is vital when establishing your level of fault and showing that aggressive, illegal brake-checking was at play. You deserve compensation for your own damages and injuries when the negligent behavior of others causes you injury, no matter the optics.