Tailgating occurs when a car, truck, or motorcycle follows unreasonably closely behind another driver. This is dangerous because it adversely affects both drivers' abilities to react to unexpected situations. If the first car needs to brake suddenly, there will be a rear-end collision. Leaving a safe space between two drivers is part of the duty to use reasonable care behind the wheel. At Feizy Law Office, our diligent car accident attorneys may be able to help people in Dallas and the surrounding area pursue damages from a reckless driver who harmed them.Seeking Damages from a Tailgating Driver through a Negligence Claim
In many cases, the fault for an accident lies with the driver who is tailgating. This behavior can lead to a rear-end collision that can cause soft tissue injuries, cuts, spinal cord injuries, or broken bones for the driver in front. Most tailgating that culminates in a rear-end accident is the result of negligence. A plaintiff will need to prove the defendant's duty of care, a breach of duty, causation, and actual damages. A defendant who drives too close to the driver in front of him or her and fails to leave a safe gap has likely breached the duty of reasonable care.
However, some tailgating accidents are partially the fault of the driver in front. This person may feel aggravated and frustrated by the tailgating, and he or she may slam on the brakes with the intention of stopping the driver to the rear. Braking with the intent to cause an apprehension of harm in another driver is aggressive driving, and it may result in the front driver being sued for negligence or assault, as well as having his or her damages reduced.
Texas follows the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. You can potentially recover damages as long as you are found to be less than 51 percent responsible for the accident. Often, insurers will try to extract an admission from a plaintiff early in the case, and this admission will be used later in the suit to try to negotiate a lower settlement or convince a jury to assign a higher percentage of fault to the plaintiff. If a victim is less than 51 percent responsible for an accident, damages will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault.
Suppose, for example, that the defendant is tailgating the plaintiff, and the plaintiff brakes sharply because he or she suspects the car in front is slowing, causing the defendant to rear-end the plaintiff. It turns out that the car in front was not slowing. The jury might award $100,000 to the plaintiff but assign him or her 10 percent of the responsibility for the accident. In that case, the plaintiff can potentially recover up to $90,000 from the defendant.Consult an Experienced Dallas Attorney for Your Motor Vehicle Collision Case
Drivers and passengers who have been hurt by the carelessness of others on the road have rights to assert. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision caused by a tailgating driver, the Dallas lawyers at Feizy Law Office are available to assist you. Call us at (214) 651-8686 or use our online form to schedule a free consultation. We also represent injured people in Irving, Garland, Arlington, Fort Worth, and Plano, among other Texas cities.