Can You Sue a Driver for a Road Rage Car Accident?

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Can You Sue a Driver for a Road Rage Car Accident?

Can You Sue a Driver for a Road Rage Car Accident?

May 10, 2021

It’s a common term often used jokingly in conversation. But if you’re the victim of ‘road rage‘ you’ll undoubtedly find it’s a very serious matter. Road rage (also known as aggressive driving) is a consistent factor in car accidents, frequently resulting in catastrophic injuries or even fatalities. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirms that 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving. That’s an alarming statistic that can affect any driver traveling our roads and highways.

A car accident involving road rage can be a traumatic experience. If you’re the victim of a road rage car accident, what are your legal options? Let’s examine the legal rights of road rage victims, review some statistics on aggressive driving, and also take a look at how liability is proven in this specific type of personal injury claim.

What is a Road Rage Accident?

Did you know that the phrase ‘road rage’ was actually coined by newscasters right here in Los Angeles? After a series of freeway shootings in the late 1980s, anchors at KTLA used the phrase when reporting the incidents. But road rage didn’t make headlines and become a part of our everyday lexicon until about 1994.

‘Road rage’ replacing DWI as top problem,” read a headline from The Star-Ledger in 1997. “Nationally, there is an epidemic of ‘road rage’ – aggressive drivers running red lights and venting high-speed hostility toward other drivers, the law and perhaps toward the hand that life has dealt,” George Will wrote in a 1998 column for The Washington Post.

Since that time, incidents of road rage have skyrocketed, leaving many car accident injuries and fatalities along the way.

The NHTSA defines road rage as an instance where a driver “commits moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property; an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger of one motor vehicle on the operator or passengers of another motor vehicle.” In other words, when a driver intentionally attempts to endanger another – whether an operator, passenger, or pedestrian – or destruct property, road rage has officially occurred.

Our experienced attorneys can help you pursue a financial award for your personal injury case. Contact us online or by phone for a free consultation today.

How Common is Road Rage?

Some key findings and statistics provided by organizations such as the NHTSA and AutoAdvantage Club include:

  • 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving (NHTSA).
  • 37% of aggressive driving incidents involve a firearm (AutoVantage Club).
  • 12,610 injuries and 218 murders have been attributed to road rage over a seven-year period in the U.S. (SafeMotorist).
  • Males under the age of 19 are the demographic most likely to exhibit road rage (NHTSA).
  • Driver error is the confirmed cause in 94% of traffic accidents (NPR).
  • Aggressive driving played a factor in 56% of fatal accidents between 2003 and 2007 (III).

Can You Sue for Road Rage?

Can You Sue for Road Rage?
If you were involved in an auto collision where road rage was a factor, and you or a passenger were injured (physically, emotionally, or financially), you absolutely have the right to sue the aggressive driver. However, as is the case with any type of personal injury claim, you will need to prove negligence on the part of the at-fault driver. This is where having a skilled personal injury lawyer with an investigative team like ours at Dordulian Law Group (DLG) can be so important. While road rage may be a clear factor from the perspective of the injured victim, proving fault in a lawsuit can be a difficult endeavor without the aid of a car accident lawyer.

In road rage cases, criminal charges may be filed separately from a civil suit. Additionally, as road rage cases often involve acts of deliberate and heinous harm to an innocent victim, punitive damages may be recovered in a civil lawsuit. Punitive damages are not capped in California, and are a separate category from the economic and non-economic damages that are traditionally applied in a personal injury claim.

Is Road Rage Covered by Insurance?

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), road rage accidents are exempted from coverage by many auto insurance policies. “This is because any damage or liability stemming from aggressive driving isn’t considered an accident but rather as having been caused by risky behavior,” the III states.

But even if an insurance policy covers road rage accidents, the severity of a victim’s injuries can require a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, psychological trauma, lost earning capacity, and more. In an instance of a fatality due to road rage, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the decedent’s surviving family members.

How Do You Prove Road Rage?

Proving road rage in a personal injury lawsuit involves a great deal more than simply demonstrating the other driver was angry at the time of the accident. This is one of the most important reasons why it may be in your best interest to secure experienced legal representation from a dedicated attorney at DLG’s Car Accident Division. In personal injury claims, your attorney will have to prove that the other driver owed you a legal duty, breached that duty, and as a result of said breach you suffered injuries.

Let’s break down the four elements of a personal injury claim:

  • Duty of Care – A duty of care most often refers to medical professionals who have taken the Hippocratic Oath, promising to “do no harm.” But that duty of care can actually extend to everyday life. For example, drivers have a duty of care to drive safely and in a manner that will not harm another. After a road rage accident resulting in an injury, it must be clear that the responsible party is, at least in part, liable for those injuries.
  • Breaching the Duty of Care – When an aggressive driver breaches the duty of care, it must be obvious that all involved parties understood the duty of care existed, and that the at-fault party should have done more to prevent the accident or injury. We have laws established to ensure drivers maintain a duty of care. Hence, a driver that speeds, drives aggressively, or fails to adhere to those laws is violating their duty of care to others on the road or in the immediate area.
  • The Claimant’s Injuries – As the claimant in a personal injury lawsuit, you must have suffered injuries at the time of the incident (in this case a road rage car accident), or your attorney must prove that any resulting harm originated on the date of the accident. For road rage car accidents where injuries were not immediately apparent, your lawyer must prove that any lingering injury – such as whiplash or even a mild TBI – was precipitated on the date of the incident.
  • Direct Cause – In road rage car accident cases, the claimant must show that the defendant’s actions caused those injuries. The defense will likely argue that the injuries were due to another cause, on another date. But an experienced DLG personal injury lawyer can develop a winning legal strategy that proves the four elements of your road rage case.

At DLG, our 98% success rate is due largely to a unique and all-encompassing legal process. In addition to developing a precise strategy based on decades of experience and success, we proceed with a thorough investigation of every claim.

Our Chief Investigator, Detective Moses Castillo, is dispatched on every car accident case. Detective Moses recently retired from the LAPD’s elite Central Traffic Division. He uses his years of experience to uncover critical evidence that helps prove and win our clients’ car accident claims. This can be particularly advantageous in road rage cases, where proving liability can be more difficult and involve various complexities.

How Do I File a Road Rage Lawsuit?

How Do I File a Road Rage Lawsuit?

If you were injured in a road rage or aggressive driving car accident, you have rights under the law. Filing a personal injury civil lawsuit can be the best means of recovering the financial compensation your rightfully deserve. Whether you’re facing mounting medical bills or lost wages, a personal injury claim can help ensure you’re covered completely for both immediate and future financial losses.

Filing a personal injury claim is easy when you choose the experienced representation of DLG. Our founder and president, Sam Dordulian, is a former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County. Dordulian has successfully handled over 100 jury trials throughout his decorated career. When injured victims call DLG, they can be confident that their road rage claim will never be settled for anything less than a maximum financial damages award. At DLG, we prepare every case for trial, protecting our clients from lowball offer attempts made by insurance companies and at-fault parties.

If you experienced a premises liability injury, don’t wait to file a claim. Contact our expert attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

If you take a look at some of our past results, you’ll see that we consistently turn initial lowball settlement offers of $5,000 into multi-million dollar awards. When the insurance company sees that you’re represented by DLG, they’ll know that they can’t get away with taking advantage of you.

Additionally, two of our Car Accident Division attorneys previously worked as defense counsel for major auto insurance corporations. That means they know every underhanded trick in the book, and we’re able to counter an insurance company’s defense strategy with insider experience and knowledge.

If you’ve been injured in a road rage car accident, don’t settle for anything less than the DLG Advantage:

  • Every case prepared for trial (no lowball settlements)
  • A full-on, professional investigative team led by a former LAPD detective
  • Former auto insurance defense attorneys now working on our side

Contact us online today or call 818-322-4056 for a free consultation. We’ve successfully recovered over $100,000,000 for injured victims, and we’re ready to fight for you in the event of an unfortunate road rage car accident.

And with DLG, you never have to worry about upfront costs or hidden fees. Our No win/No fee Guarantee means you never pay a penny until we successfully recover a maximum financial damages award. Reach out today to learn more about why DLG’s Car Accident Division is the top-rated, best reviewed, and most advantageous option for road rage victims.

Spanish version: Conducción agresiva e ira del camino

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