by senditrising



You’re on a Nevada highway, following the car ahead at a safe distance. Suddenly, the driver in front hits the brakes for no clear reason. You swerve and avoid a crash, feeling shocked. This is “brake checking,” where a driver stops suddenly to stop someone from following too closely or because they’re upset. It’s a growing problem in Nevada, causing issues for other drivers and the police and raising important questions about who is responsible and how to keep the roads safe.

Understanding who is liable in these situations is not just a matter of legal curiosity but a significant concern for anyone who finds themselves either as a potential victim or accused in such a scenario. This article will explore how liability is determined in brake-checking accidents in Nevada, the laws that govern these actions, and how drivers can protect themselves legally and physically on the road.

What is Brake Checking?

Brake checking occurs when a driver intentionally hits the brakes very hard in front of another vehicle, often in response to being followed too closely. Although some drivers might think this teaches the tailgater a lesson, it can lead to serious road accidents, causing harm and damage to all involved.

The motivation behind brake checking varies. Some drivers may feel threatened by another vehicle driving too close and brake check as a defensive reaction. Others might do it out of annoyance or as an aggressive attempt to control the road space. Regardless of the reason, this action is hazardous and can escalate a simple driving annoyance into a potentially fatal crash.

Who is Liable for a Brake Checking Accident?



Initial Assessment of Fault: 

The process starts by identifying who initiated the unsafe behavior. In brake-checking incidents, determining who acted first, either the brake checker or the tailgater, is crucial. Investigators will examine dashcam footage, eyewitness statements, and accident scene evidence to establish the sequence of events.

Role of Evidence:

  • Dashcam Videos: These can provide clear evidence about the positions of vehicles and the actions taken just before the incident.
  • Eyewitness Accounts: Testimonies from people who saw the event can support claims about how closely the vehicles were traveling and the manner of driving.
  • Police Reports: Officers at the scene compile reports that document observations and initial findings which are critical in legal evaluations.
  • Analysis of Driving Behavior: Detailed examination of both parties’ driving behavior is necessary. This includes the speed at which they were traveling, their proximity to other vehicles, and their reaction times. The law considers whether the tailgating was severe enough to provoke a reasonable fear in the brake checker, potentially justifying their response.
  • Application of Traffic Rules: Nevada’s traffic statutes provide specific guidelines on safe following distances and acceptable responses to tailgating. Legal professionals assess whether the brake checker’s response was a reasonable defensive maneuver or an aggressive, unnecessary action.
  • Determination of Damages: Once fault percentages are established, the next step is to calculate damages. This includes medical costs, property damage, lost wages, and other relevant expenses. Each party’s financial responsibility is proportional to their percentage of fault as determined under Nevada’s comparative negligence rule.
  • Legal and Insurance Considerations: Both parties’ insurance companies play a significant role in resolving claims. Insurers will conduct their own investigations to determine liability and settlement amounts based on the collected evidence and legal standards. In some cases, if an agreement cannot be reached, the matter may proceed to court where a judge or jury will make the final determination of liability and damages.

How Does The Law Of Comparative Negligence Apply?



When multiple people cause an accident, Nevada applies comparative negligence law. This means that the driver who is found to be at least 51% guilty for the accident is legally liable for the victims’ injuries and is ineligible for financial compensation. However, more than one party may be partially liable. In such circumstances, they can still seek compensation for their losses, which will be calculated based on their percentage of liability.

In the situation of tailgating and brake checking, a brake checker may be held 70% accountable and the tailgater 30% liable. This means that the brake checker is not eligible for compensation and must cover 70% of the tailgater’s losses.

How to Prove Fault in a Brake-Check Crash?

Determining who is at fault in a brake-check accident can be difficult because the typical assumption in a rear-end accident is that the trailing driver followed too closely. Hiring an experienced car accident attorney can help you prove that the leading driver was at blame for the accident.

Your lawyer may use a variety of evidence to construct a strong claim against the at-fault driver, including the following:

  • Dashcam footage from your vehicle, another driver’s vehicle, or adjacent vehicles.
  • Additional video footage, such as traffic camera footage or surveillance camera footage of nearby businesses.
  • Pictures from the accident scene, including photos of vehicle damage, road conditions, skid marks on the road, or traffic signals.


Deadline to File a Car Accident Claim



In Nevada, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit related to a car accident, which would include incidents involving brake checking, is generally two years from the date of the accident. This means that you must file a lawsuit within two years after the accident occurred if you wish to seek damages for injuries or losses caused by the accident.

For property damage claims, such as damage to a vehicle, the statute of limitations is also typically two years from the date of the accident.


Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Nevada Today

Do you need help proving that you were not at fault in a brake check rear-end accident? Are you injured as a result of someone else’s aggressive driving? If so, the legal experts at Moss Berg Injury Lawyers can assist you in pursuing the financial relief and accountability you deserve by filing a personal injury claim.  Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Nevada car accident attorney.