Aggressive Driving is a Major Cause of Fatal Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as operating a car in a way that endangers, or is likely to endanger, people or property. As roads in the U.S. become more crowded, the number of aggressive driving accidents continues to increase. This type of behavior puts other drivers at risk and often leads to serious injuries and even fatalities. Here are some examples of aggressive driving:
- Brake checking
- Flashing headlights
- Weaving in and out of lanes
- Cutting off another driver
- Honking the horn excessively
- Boxing in or blocking other cars
- Running red lights
- Failing to use turn signals
- Making obscene gestures or cursing at another driver
Aggressive Driving Can Escalate to Road Rage
The NHTSA defines road rage as an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon on the driver or passenger of another motor vehicle due to an incident that occurred on the road. Examples of road rage include:
- Hitting another vehicle
- Running another vehicle off the road
- Pulling over and engaging in a physical fight with another driver
- Using a weapon to inflict harm on another driver or vehicle
Proving Fault in Aggressive Driving/Road Rage Cases
Those injured in aggressive driving and road rage accidents must prove that the defendant was negligent. Negligence is often the underlying legal theory used in car accident cases. To prove negligence, four elements must be met:
- Duty – The defendant had a legally-imposed duty to be reasonably careful on the road. Some duties that all drivers have are to drive at a reasonable speed given the road and weather conditions, to be vigilant, to maintain control of their vehicles, and to keep their vehicles in good condition.
- Breach – The defendant was not reasonably careful and therefore breached their duty. In aggressive driving or road rage accident cases, the defendant’s aggressive behavior such as speeding or running a vehicle off the road would constitute a breach.
- Causation – Because of the defendant’s breach of duty, he or she caused the plaintiff’s injuries. If the defendant runs a vehicle off the road and the driver of that vehicle suffers a broken leg and sustains damage to his or her vehicle, the defendant will be liable for that injury and monetary loss
- Damages – The plaintiff suffered actual injury or monetary loss because of the defendant’s negligence. Injured plaintiffs should keep records such as descriptions and pictures of their injuries, medical receipts, hospital bills, police reports, and property damage documentation.
Compensation for Victims of Aggressive Driving or Road Rage Accidents
Drivers who are injured in aggressive driving or road rage accidents may be entitled to collect compensation including medical bills, damages to property and lost wages. In some serious cases, victims may also be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship.
The defendant’s insurance company may attempt to offer a settlement; it is prudent not to accept any settlements offered before speaking with a lawyer. Insurance companies are not on your side and will most likely offer you less than you deserve. It is best to speak with an experienced car accident attorney with whom you can discuss your rights and options.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC Advocate for Victims of Aggressive Driving Accidents
If you were injured in an aggressive driving or road rage accident, it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for car accident cases is two years after the accident. An experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer at McCann & Wall, LLC can help you to hold the negligent driver accountable for their actions. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey including the Philadelphia region, Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Chester County. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-569-8488 or 302-888-1221.