Lawsuit for road rage accidents
Almost all of us have witnessed an incident of road rage. It’s scary to see. Whether it’s out of frustration, stress or anger, angry drivers on the road lose their temper and use their cars to vent their emotions. They accelerate. They hatchback. They honk. They are racing. They flash their lights. They are trying to get other vehicles off the road.
Road rage is illegal and its victims deserve compensation for the harm they suffer. An experienced auto accident lawyer can fight to get it for them.
Road rage behavior
A report of AAA Exchange sets out the various aggressive behaviors typical of an enraged driver on the road.
All of these behaviors can hurt other motorists:
State anger at the wheel – Angry drivers on the road often curse, scream and scream, sometimes to themselves and sometimes at another driver on the road.
Physical actions while driving – Drivers who are raging on the road will lash out physically, such as slamming the steering wheel with their hands, slapping the sides of their car through an open window, or making obscene gestures.
Intentional annoyance tactics – Raging drivers on the road may try to annoy or distract other drivers. They can flash their lights, honk their horns, or turn their engines in threatening ways.
Dangerous vehicle maneuvers – Finally, enraged drivers at the wheel use their vehicles as tools of aggression towards other drivers by accelerating, slowing down, tailing behind, obstructing a lane and even intentionally colliding with another vehicle.
Through these and other similar behaviors, enraged drivers on the road allow their own anger to control the operation of their vehicles. At a minimum, they can impair the driver’s judgment and ability to react appropriately to road conditions. At worst, they turn a driver’s vehicle into a deadly weapon.
Factors contributing to road rage
Most of us have felt angry at one point or another while driving, although we hopefully have enough restraint to keep that anger from escalating into road rage.
There are countless factors that can trigger driver anger, although the National Road Safety Administration (NHTSA) says anger frequently feeds on emotional fuel resulting from:
Traffic jam – Few experiences are more of a waste of time than getting stuck in a traffic jam. The aggravation increases with each passing minute that a driver spends sitting behind the wheel while crawling or not moving at all.
Lack of time – Many drivers leave late or do not spare themselves a time cushion to account for potential traffic delays. The stress of running late can cause tension that, for some drivers, explodes into rage at the wheel.
egocentricity / lack of empathy – Drivers who succumb to road rage may have difficulty sympathizing with others. They believe the laws do not apply to them, or ignore the impact of their own actions on others.
Cloak of anonymity – The interior of a vehicle is a kind of bubble that can make drivers feel separate and isolated from other motorists, the vast majority of whom are strangers to the driver. The anonymity of driving can lead some drivers to feel irresponsible towards others with road rage.
None of these factors excuse road rage. It doesn’t matter whether road rage is the result of external stressors, such as traffic or lack of time, or personal characteristics, such as self-centeredness or a sense of anonymity. By giving in to road rage, drivers put themselves and others with whom they share the road at risk. They should face legal liability to anyone harmed by their actions.
Lawyers pursue legal liability for road rage damage
Drivers who engage in road rage can face legal consequences for their actions. Their behavior often constitutes crimes and also exposes them to financial responsibility towards their victims. An experienced auto accident lawyer can obtain compensation from the enraged driver on the road and also works to protect the rights of victims in connection with the driver facing criminal charges.
Keeping road rage drivers financially accountable to victims
An experienced lawyer can help victims of rabid drivers on the road in any of the following scenarios:
An accident with a raging driver on the road. Motorists injured in a car accident between their vehicle and that driven by an enraged driver on the road usually have a legal claim for damages against the driver for pecuniary damage, not only for the physical damage, but also for the fact. to intentionally inflict emotional distress.
Accidents caused by the dangerous actions of a rabid driver on the road. An enraged driver on the road will also face legal liability for damage to victims of an accident caused by the actions of the driver, even if their own vehicle is not in that accident. For example, an enraged driver may face legal liability for aggressive driving behavior that disrupts traffic and leads to a collision between two other vehicles.
No matter how an enraged driver on the road has hurt you or a loved one, you can have a right to hold that driver financially responsible. An experienced lawyer can help you get paid for your medical bills (including the costs of mental health services), other related expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Allow victims to participate in the prosecution of furious road users
Road rage is a crime. Prosecutors can lay charges against an enraged driver on the road for specific violations of the motor vehicle code or for effectively using a vehicle as a means of committing a violent crime. When deciding whether or not to prosecute an enraged driver on the road, prosecutors will often seek the opinions of the driver’s victims.
A motor vehicle accident lawyer can work with the victim and prosecutors to manage the victim’s participation in the prosecution. The lawyer can also work to protect the legal rights of the victim to seek financial compensation from the driver who is raging on the road.
A criminal prosecution and a civil claim for damages against the driver are two separate legal actions. Of course, a criminal conviction of an enraged driver while driving can help the victims of the driver to prove that there is damages. However, you may have the right, as the victim of a furious driver, to claim compensation even if the prosecutor decides not to press charges, or if the furious driver is acquitted of a felony. Your claim for damages does not depend on whether the enraged driver is facing criminal justice.
If you come across a rabid driver on the road …
…do not panic. By taking simple defensive measures, you can avoid driver anger and keep yourself out of harm’s way.
Keep your cool and don’t get involved. Retaliation is a natural response to assault, but it can have fatal consequences while driving. Rather than responding with your own shouting, gestures, or erratic driving behavior, try not to engage at all. Find a safe place to exit the road and call the police.
Give in when possible. Road rage reflects, in a sense, a misguided and dangerous effort by a driver to impose their will on other drivers. Again, the natural reaction of many people to this kind of effort is to resist. However, as drivers, our safest choice is often to give in to the rage in the road, either by slowing down, moving to allow the rage to pass, or by completely getting off the road.
Be vigilant, not a vigilante. If you encounter an enraged driver, report it to the police immediately by calling 911. Tell the police what you can safely observe about the enraged driver while driving. However, do not try to catch up or pull off the road on your own. This will inevitably put you and others at risk for serious injury.
In other words, don’t let someone else’s rage fuel your own intense emotions. Fight the urge to retaliate and, instead, stay calm, calm, and collected. Call the authorities, report what you see, and prioritize your own safety.
If an enraged driver on the road causes an accident that hurts you …
… Then know that you have important legal rights under the law.
By taking a few simple steps, you can protect these rights and improve your chances of getting the compensation you deserve for any physical or emotional damage. wounds the raging driver on the road provokes.
Call 911 and report what happened. Be sure to tell the dispatcher that your accident involves a raging driver on the road, so the police will arrive at the scene ready to face a potentially dangerous individual.
If possible, stay in your vehicle until the first responders arrive. Don’t risk getting into a dangerous confrontation with an angry and irrational driver. If you cannot stay in your vehicle safely, at best avoid a confrontation with the driver.
If the driver flees, stay put. Don’t give chase. Do your best to get a good view of the raging driver and vehicle on the road. If you have time, use your cell phone to take a picture of the vehicle and the license plate.
Consult a doctor on site and afterwards. Let the paramedics examine you and follow the instructions if they recommend an ambulance ride to the hospital. Either way, follow up with your primary care doctor or emergency care clinic within 24 hours for a full exam that documents your injuries and treats any potential complications.
Photograph and video record the scene, if it is safe to do so. Take photos of all aspects of the scene, including skid marks, road conditions, vehicle damage, and traffic signs (such as speed limits). Take note of any traffic cameras or potential locations where security cameras may have captured the accident (banks, ATMs, retail stores).
With these simple steps, you can achieve two important goals: keeping yourself safe and healthy, and generating evidence that will help prove that the enraged driver on the road has been convicted of damages. However, even if you do not follow these steps, a lawyer can assert your right to redress against the abuser who wronged you.
© 2021 by Console and associates. All rights reserved.Revue nationale de droit, volume X, number 262