Slamming on your brakes is prohibited by traffic law, and anyone who has a driver’s license should know that by now. Unfortunately, many people neglect the rule that provides that motorists should never slam on the brakes to suddenly stop their vehicle.
Suddenly stopping a vehicle is one of the leading causes of car accidents in Texas and all across the U.S. In fact, when a motorist slams on the brakes, it can cause catastrophic consequences, especially if the vehicles are traveling at high speeds.
By suddenly stopping his or her vehicle, a motorist is breaching his/her duty of care, because such conduct is not something a reasonable and prudent motorist would do. “After all, slamming on your brakes endangers the lives of other motorists on the road, because it can be extremely difficult to react to a vehicle in front of you suddenly stopping out of the blue,” explains our Dallas car accident attorney at Law Office of Dorothy Hyde.
Suddenly stopping and giving other motorists no signal or warning that you are going to stop can result in disastrous consequences, especially if this happens on a high-traffic highway where vehicles travel at high speeds. A large percentage of sudden stop accidents lead to multi-vehicle crashes or chain-reaction accidents involving multiple vehicles.
So does it mean that you are automatically entitled to compensation for all the damages and losses caused by another motorist’s sudden stop? Well, yes and no. You see, Texas is a modified comparative negligence state, which means multiple parties may be held responsible for their negligence in a car accident.
Meaning: while the other motorist, who suddenly stopped his or her vehicle, will most likely be held liable for slamming on the brakes, you may share liability if your own negligence contributed to the crash (for example, you exceeded the speed limit or were following too closely behind the motorist’s vehicle).
While suddenly stopping your vehicle is a violation of traffic law, determining liability for this type of car crash may not be the easiest thing. First and foremost, you need to understand that there is no section of traffic law that would specifically say that hitting the brakes is illegal in 100 percent of all situations.
It’s more complicated than that. Our Dallas sudden stop accident attorney explains that the law provides that motorists have a duty to make reasonable observations to ensure that a certain movement, including suddenly stopping a vehicle, is safe to execute, and only then execute that maneuver.
If a driver makes a reasonable observation by scanning his or her surroundings and concludes that slamming on the brakes will not endanger the lives of other people and there is an emergency situation demanding to promptly stop the vehicle, then the maneuver may be legal to execute.
However, when this maneuver is executed on a highway when the driver of the suddenly stopping vehicle does not check his or her surroundings prior to slamming on the brakes, the maneuver is most likely illegal and breaches the driver’s duty of care.
As if things were not confusing already, determining fault in a sudden stop accident may be tough because factors like whether the motorist gave a proper signal or warnings prior to suddenly stopping and whether traffic ahead of the suddenly stopping motorist or other conditions caused that motorist to hit the brakes will be taken into account.
As you can see, determining who’s liable for a sudden stop accident in Dallas or elsewhere in Texas can be a very complicated process, which is why it is highly advised that you speak to a Dallas auto accident lawyer from Law Office of Dorothy Hyde to get legal help. Contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation. Call our offices at 214-883-1700.
Our law firm doesn’t take personal injury cases lightly. Attorney Dorothy Hyde is the resident barracuda of Dallas — fearless and unrelenting, she doesn’t stop until she obtains the best outcome and maximum compensation for her clients. Choose us and you’ll have an apex predator with years of trial experience and negotiating skills to bring your case to a successful conclusion.
We help personal injury victims receive the financial compensation they need for full recovery. We are a voice for personal injury victims and help them get their life back on track.
After I was severely injured, I didn’t know what to do next. One of my colleagues recommended reaching out to Dorothy for representation. When I finally did, I didn’t regret my decision — I received tremendous support and she treated me like family. She brought the best outcome and I’m amazed at the passion she brings into her work. I would recommend her services without any reservation.
I’ve always known that I needed an insurance policy to protect me if I got into a car accident. But when I got involved in a car crash, I realized how important it is to have a lawyer protect me from my insurance company! This firm settled my case really quickly and delivered excellent results. Dottie secured a fair and equitable settlement, and I’d recommend her to anyone in need of good counsel and representation.
Thank you for bringing my claim against the construction company to a successful conclusion. You made the process less intimidating and made me feel like the struggle I had to endure was valid. It has helped me cope with a lot of post-accident challenges differently. You were more than I expected — thanks again.
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