Accident fault from brake checking someone?

RedRocketMike

A Member Well Known
Established Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
6,686
Location
PA
Here is my situation. I am in the left lane of the 3 lane road/highway, approaching a light. I have no cars ahead of me in the left lane. The light has just changed to green, I maintain my full speed. The middle lane has cars at the light sitting, beginning to move, so does the 3rd lane. A woman who is approaching the light also from the 3rd lane, ahead of me, traveling much slower, goes across the middle lane and into my lane, cutting me off. I have to brake fairly hard and I end up right on her. Within a couple seconds she brake checks me once, lets off then plants the brakes coming to a complete stop and I make contact. No damage to her car, but I'm looking at a real repair. Hood/bumber/grill.

We pull off, I get out, throw my audio recorder on and several times she admits to brake checking me while we're discussing what happened. Also got her saying it while I was taking a video of the cars. She stated she did it specifically because I had "run up on her ass" and "that's what you get for tailgating me."

I called my cop buddy before I left, he suggested not calling the police because I might still get written with an at fault if the officer isn't interested in listening to my recording. He also thought the recording might be illegal, which it is not since we are out in public. Curious to see how this plays out with insurance. Also wondering if there are some here who could offer useful insight.
 

TK1299

meh
Established Member
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
5,171
Location
Houston, TX
It's totally legal to record, so that's not an issue. If you were to be cited for fail to control speed or fail to maintain an assured clear distance(tailgating) then the recording may help if you contested a ticket. The insurance company may or may not take that into consideration, but who the heck knows what they would do. Without independent witnesses or video it's kinda hard to strike someone in the rear, if they are established in the lane, and not look like you're at fault. About three months ago I bought a little dash camera for my personal vehicles for added piece of mind. But it records my bad habits too
 

Booky

Who's Pick'n The Banjo Here?
Established Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2010
Messages
3,468
Location
US
Edit
 
Last edited:

josephcostello

Active Member
Established Member
Premium Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2014
Messages
557
Location
Los Altos
OP did she cut across the lanes all at once? The law, at least in CA, is that you have to cross one at a time compared to just cutting through multiple. See if you can get some $ from her for the repairs and eat the time fixing it yourself. Tell her she knows damn well she could've avoided the accident by not brake checking you.


Sent from my iPhone using svtperformance.com
 

CobraBob

Authorized Vendor
Established Member
Premium Member
Single Barrel Sirs
Joined
Nov 17, 2002
Messages
96,756
Location
Cheshire, CT
OP did she cut across the lanes all at once? The law, at least in CA, is that you have to cross one at a time compared to just cutting through multiple. See if you can get some $ from her for the repairs and eat the time fixing it yourself. Tell her she knows damn well she could've avoided the accident by not brake checking you.
Sent from my iPhone using svtperformance.com
Without video proof or a witness, it won't matter if she crossed over one at a time, or more. No proof either way. It also doesn't matter, for the same reason, how soon she brake-checked Mike after crossing over. Sounds like there is fault on both sides here. Fortunately, he has audio proof that she brake-checked him purposely.

Mike, read on. An ex-police officer points out that most municipal and state codes are worded in such a way that the expectation falls upon the second driver to follow at a sufficient distance so as to allow time to avoid a collision with the car ahead no matter the circumstances. That's a given. However, here is an article written by a Baltimore attorney that indicates you likely have a case against her, if you want to pursue it to recover damage repair costs, especially if your insurance doesn't cover it. https://jimcorleylaw.wordpress.com/...inal-charge-prevent-accident-injury-recovery/

Going forward, avoid tailgating period. In this day and age, it can not only lead to an accident, but to a road rage incident. Just not worth it. This could have been much worse if it started a chain-reaction resulting in multiple personal injuries or worse.
 

towbar

New Member
Established Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
24
Location
Columbus, OH
I was a claims adjuster not too long ago. You said there was no damage to her car but do you know if she is going to make a claim on your insurance? I couldn't tell you how many claims I got where there wasn't any damage to the car but they tried to make a bodily injury claim.

If I was your insurance company I would pay to fix your car if you had collision coverage, deny her claim for her damages and I would not attempt to recover from her insurance what we paid out to fix your car. Basically your both at fault. If it wasn't for the recording you would be found 100% at fault. So kuddos for getting it on tape and she's dumb for admitting it.



Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

RedRocketMike

A Member Well Known
Established Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
6,686
Location
PA
OP did she cut across the lanes all at once? The law, at least in CA, is that you have to cross one at a time compared to just cutting through multiple. See if you can get some $ from her for the repairs and eat the time fixing it yourself. Tell her she knows damn well she could've avoided the accident by not brake checking you.


Sent from my iPhone using svtperformance.com

She went across all the lanes. I ended up on her because I'm going at full speed and she cuts over going like 25-30. She said she was on the phone, I assume she didn't realize I was there and then went into bitch mode reaction thinking I'm just riding her.

I was a claims adjuster not too long ago. You said there was no damage to her car but do you know if she is going to make a claim on your insurance? I couldn't tell you how many claims I got where there wasn't any damage to the car but they tried to make a bodily injury claim.

If I was your insurance company I would pay to fix your car if you had collision coverage, deny her claim for her damages and I would not attempt to recover from her insurance what we paid out to fix your car. Basically your both at fault. If it wasn't for the recording you would be found 100% at fault. So kuddos for getting it on tape and she's dumb for admitting it.



Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk


Well, if it helps, my audio has her stating she is fine and her car has no damage, but I know what you mean. I could tell she felt bad but also is a bitch so I don't know what she'll do.

My car is over insured. As of right now, I've filed this claim and they will get back to me on Monday. They say they will speak to this woman, and will want every bit of audio, video, photos that I have.
 

askusmc

New Member
Established Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2016
Messages
27
Location
Cape Coral, Florida
Being a police officer in Florida, I would find her at fault for improper lane change. And if during the questioning she would fail to say that she had her blinker on, I would cite her for failure to indicate.

Insurance companies are a pain....it's through them that if you rear end someone than you are automatically at fault. As LEO's we try to indicate all the contributing factors In the crash report.

Florida being a no fault state, the insurance companies still want us to determine who is at fault.

But this is just my point of view and may differ with other LEO's.

Sent from my SM-N900P using the svtperformance.com mobile app
 

towbar

New Member
Established Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
24
Location
Columbus, OH
She went across all the lanes. I ended up on her because I'm going at full speed and she cuts over going like 25-30. She said she was on the phone, I assume she didn't realize I was there and then went into bitch mode reaction thinking I'm just riding her.




Well, if it helps, my audio has her stating she is fine and her car has no damage, but I know what you mean. I could tell she felt bad but also is a bitch so I don't know what she'll do.

My car is over insured. As of right now, I've filed this claim and they will get back to me on Monday. They say they will speak to this woman, and will want every bit of audio, video, photos that I have.
She could pull the I didn't notice the damage until I got home or the my neck didn't start to hurt until the next day

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

VA-Mach1

Active Member
Established Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
Messages
447
Location
VA
Hitting another car in the rear is NOT, I repeat, NOT automatically your fault. Your case is a perfect example. As was mine. Ladie in front of me started going when the light turned Green. Half way through the intersection she slams on brakes while reaching into the back seat. I slow way down. She floors it then slams brakes again. I rear end her at that point. She got the ticket. A friend of mine rear ended a ladie who was stopped at a green light. Green light stopper got the ticket.
 

RedRocketMike

A Member Well Known
Established Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
6,686
Location
PA
Maybe I should stop by the state police department and speak with someone? Can they determine fault after the fact?
 

RDJ

ZERO shits given
Established Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2002
Messages
19,787
Location
Texas
Hitting another car in the rear is NOT, I repeat, NOT automatically your fault. Your case is a perfect example. As was mine. Ladie in front of me started going when the light turned Green. Half way through the intersection she slams on brakes while reaching into the back seat. I slow way down. She floors it then slams brakes again. I rear end her at that point. She got the ticket. A friend of mine rear ended a ladie who was stopped at a green light. Green light stopper got the ticket.
So it was a Scottish kid you rear ended! Or a female i.e. Lady?

But you are correct it is not always you fault when you rear end someone, but it usually is. I rear ended a 16 or 17 year old Mexican girl once, long story short because of things she said and her mother said I called my ins company and told them to pay it or not but before they decided to look into the kids history. They did and denied the claim when I was sued personally over it their lawyer did a bang up job and they eventually settled for way less than the ridiculous sum they were asking for.

Best insurance company I have ever had.
 

towbar

New Member
Established Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
24
Location
Columbus, OH
Maybe I should stop by the state police department and speak with someone? Can they determine fault after the fact?
You could but chances are they won't investigate at this point.

The police do not determine fault as far as who pays for who. The police determine if any laws were broken. This is now a civil matter not criminal. Fault is determined by the insurance companies for the most part. Police reports and tickets are just tools used during that process.

And if you rear end someone it's usually your fault unless you have good evidence proving otherwise.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

RDJ

ZERO shits given
Established Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2002
Messages
19,787
Location
Texas
There IS a statute violation for hitting YOUR brakes unnecessarily in order to cause an accident. since the cops weren't called at the time of the accident it IS a civil matter.
 

CobraBob

Authorized Vendor
Established Member
Premium Member
Single Barrel Sirs
Joined
Nov 17, 2002
Messages
96,756
Location
Cheshire, CT
There IS a statute violation for hitting YOUR brakes unnecessarily in order to cause an accident. since the cops weren't called at the time of the accident it IS a civil matter.
You are right RDJ. I believe the link I posted above explains why a driver can be cited for brake-checking.
 

TK1299

meh
Established Member
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
5,171
Location
Houston, TX
The accident will not be investigated by a law enforcement agency at this point. There is no scene to investigate. You both stopped and whatever outcome came from that is now a civil matter. Op, you won't be cited for anything at this point either. Call your insurance company and speak with them. You pay them for things like this. Get your car fixed and go forth and prosper. The law enforcement side of this ended the moment you two drove away from the accident scene.
 

RedRocketMike

A Member Well Known
Established Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
6,686
Location
PA
How much time and distance elapsed between the time she entered your lane and you making contact with her car?

Barely any, the whole event lasted about 4 seconds. She cut over behind about 4 cars sitting at the intersection in the middle lane, we made contact crossing the middle of the intersection when she planted her brakes a 2nd time, making a complete stop on green.

My insurance company is very interested in reviewing the audio I have. When I told the claim agent what she says the reply I got was "wow, that was so stupid of her to admit." An adjuster is coming Tuesday, I was told worse case scenario I might get a slight rate increase but likely not. To my benefit, with 6 cars insured, I've never had an at fault accident and haven't had a citation since 2007.
 
Last edited:

PhoenixM3

Hello Kitty Slayer
Established Member
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
4,221
Location
Colorado Springs
If she brakes abruptly, she has intent to cause an accident. Brake-checking would get you killed in Italy. It is simply not done here.
 

Users who are viewing this thread



Top