The roads of the United States are not as safe as we might prefer, and many completely preventable accidents happen each year. These avoidable crashes include those that happen due to a driver’s road rage.
Road rage refers to severe aggressive driving, a practice that has received increasing attention in recent decades as a category of dangerous on-the-road behaviors. Aggressive driving activity includes following other drivers too closely, driving at excessive speeds, weaving through traffic, running traffic lights and other signals, and other similarly reckless driving acts.
In some situations, aggressive driving escalates to road rage, which can involve confrontations, threats of harm, purposely putting others in harm’s way, physical assault, or even murder. Road rage is a highly risky situation that can cause serious accidents and injuries to others.
If you suffered injuries in an accident or altercation due to another driver’s road rage, you have the right to seek damages, which is compensation for your losses. A car accident can help you determine what damages you deserve and how to collect the most possible compensation in your case.
Common Road Rage Behaviors
Aggressive driving happens when a driver allows impatience or other frustrations to lead them to drive recklessly on the road. When aggressive driving becomes road rage, a driver might act in a manner that they intentionally mean to cause injuries to others.
Road rage might include:
- Purposely ramming into another vehicle
- Running other drivers off the road
- Throwing items at other vehicles
- Displaying a weapon and threatening other drivers
- Harassing another driver on the road, including following them off the highway or into a parking lot
Not only can an attack by a road raging driver be terrifying, but it can also cause serious accidents. If a road rager follows another vehicle off the road, the angry driver might escalate the matter to a physical assault.
Criminal Charges for Road Rage
After a road rage incident, the police should always report to the scene. Officers can arrest the aggressive driver, and they might face charges of reckless driving, assault, and more. However, this criminal case is not enough to help you recover compensation for your medical expenses and other losses.
Criminal convictions might result in a restitution order by the court, but this is usually far less than you truly deserve for your injury-related losses. You will need to take action to have your attorney file the proper insurance claims or a civil lawsuit against the liable driver. Your attorney can use any criminal convictions as part of your civil case to prove liability for your injuries.
Remember the Insurance Company Does Not Work for You
When you are in an accident, and another party is at fault, you will likely first seek compensation from their insurance company. While you might think the insurance company is there to pay out a fair amount on all proper claims they receive, this simply is not the case.
Insurance companies are for-profit entities and make their profits by maximizing their revenues by collecting the most possible in insurance premiums from their customers while minimizing their costs by reducing or denying as many claim payments as possible. Even if you believe you have an open-and-shut case due to the aggressive acts by the road raging driver, you can still face obstacles during the claim process.
Having a car accident attorney by your side as soon as possible after your injuries will support the negotiation process with the insurance company and the collection of evidence to help your case and ultimately lead to the best possible outcome.
Your Attorney Advocates for Your Best Interests at Every Step
Your car accident attorney in your road rage accident case will handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance companies and their adjusters. This takes the stress of the process out of your day-to-day life so that you can recover from your injuries while your lawyer fights for your financial recovery.
This recovery can include compensation for:
- Medical bills and future expenses
- Lost income and lost future earnings
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disability
In some cases, road rage accidents can lead to punitive damages. These damages do not stem from your specific losses, but instead, punish the driver for their unacceptable conduct. These damages only apply in cases involving particularly egregious conduct. Often, road rage rises to this level, and punitive damages might increase your financial award significantly.
Hiring an attorney as soon as possible allows you to get the best idea of what damages you might expect in your road rage accident case.
Reaching out to an Attorney Sooner Than Later Will Help Your Case
As soon as you receive the necessary medical attention for your injuries, contacting a personal injury law firm will make the process go smoothly for you and often leads to better and fuller compensation for your injuries
The amount you receive for your injuries depends on their impact on your life, both personally and professionally, and the availability of other compensation like pain and suffering or punitive damages.
Your initial claim with the insurance company must include sufficient evidence to support liability claims, as well as the damages you seek. Your attorney can help you with evidence collection and investigation of the crash.
An experienced local attorney can refer you to medical and occupational professionals who can assess your injuries in-depth and determine the impact they will have on your working ability and life, both in the short and long term.
When you have an experienced and well-connected attorney on your case, you’ll have a better chance of receiving full compensation for your losses. A road rage accident is not your fault, and this is a preventable event that occurs because someone else could not control their emotions. That person should also be fully accountable for the harm they cause.