Most of us, if not all, have been guilty of feeling angered while driving. According to an Automobile Association of America study, nearly 80% of U.S. drivers admitted to feeling anger, aggression, or rage while driving in the past year. It is normal to feel agitated or angry. Still, all drivers must be careful not to let such feelings affect their driving.
If uncontrolled, anger or tension on the road can lead to dangerous driving. At worst, these maneuvers can cause an accident with other vehicles, resulting in serious injuries, property damage, and even death for innocent motorists.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident because of aggressive driving, you may be entitled to compensation. Our North Charleston aggressive driving accident attorneys with George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can help you explore your legal options and represent your interests during negotiation or litigation.
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Aggressive Driving vs. Road Rage
Aggressive driving and road rage are often thought of as the same thing. However, there are notable differences and it is important to know which one applies to your situation.
Aggressive driving is defined as an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses to endanger other persons or property. Aggressive driving refers to dangerous behaviors displayed while driving. As mentioned, it is normal to feel anger – and there are many reasons for this – but these feelings should not affect our safety and the safety of other road users.
Aggressive driving behaviors include:
- Failing to obey traffic signs
- Failing to signal before making turns
- Yelling at other road users
- Making rude gestures at other road users
- Weaving across lanes without signaling or caution
- Improper passing/overtaking
- Honking at other road users frequently and with no justification
Aggressive behaviors can quickly escalate and become instances of road rage. Unlike aggressive driving, road rage represents habits that attempt to harm other road users intentionally. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s definitions for aggressive driving and road rage are as follows:
Road rage is defined as an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of one motor vehicle or precipitated by an incident that occurred on a roadway.
In road rage, the driver deliberately breaks the law to provoke, intimidate, or hurt other road users. Some behaviors associated with road rage include:
- Excessive honking
- Shouting, threatening, or using obscene gestures
- Reckless driving and ignoring traffic rules
- Chasing other motorists to continue the altercation
- Deliberately slamming into someone’s vehicle
- Trying to run a vehicle off the road
- Trying to cause an accident through any other means
Whereas aggressive driving habits are moving traffic violations, road rage constitutes criminal behavior. Depending on the damage done due to road rage, the offending motorist could face criminal misdemeanor or felony charges in addition to their civil liability in a car accident.
If you or your loved one has been injured in an aggressive driving accident, an aggressive driving accident lawyer in North Charleston can help you explore your legal options.
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Injuries and Damages from Aggressive Driving
As with any other car accident, the injuries vary widely according to the accident’s circumstances. At best, you may have significant damage to your car without any injuries to the occupants of the vehicle.
Collisions with trucks and large vehicles often lead to catastrophic injuries and damage, including fatalities, mostly to the smaller vehicles’ occupants. Some of these injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Lacerations, stabs, and cuts by shrapnel
- Brain and spinal cord injuries
- Emotional and psychological trauma
These injuries may leave you or your loved one grappling with extended hospital stays, excessive medical bills, and other devastating personal and financial consequences. Holding the party at fault for the accident accountable can help you and your family cope with the damages and provide financial reprieve for your economic losses should you receive compensation.
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Damages You May Reclaim
While every accident is unique, if you present a compelling case and are awarded damages in a civil action by a jury or court, you may recover compensation for the following:
- Present and future medical bills, including rehabilitative care
- Lost income/wages for the time spent away from work recuperating
- Loss of future earning capacity, e.g., because of disability
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress/mental anguish
- Car/property repair or replacement
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Compensation for any new limitations placed on you or your loved ones
You can claim several other economic and non-economic damages according to the specific details of your case. Suppose your case proves that the driver engaged in grossly reckless behavior or had the intention to cause harm through their actions. In that case, the court could award punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages.
A personal injury lawyer serving North Charleston can help you work out these amounts and build a compelling case to win a fair settlement for your troubles.
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North Charleston Aggressive Driving Accident Lawyer
If you or your loved ones have been injured in a car accident that an aggressive driver caused, you might be entitled to compensation. While a financial settlement will not change any of your losses or grief if you lost your loved one, our justice system provides this option to help ease your suffering.
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, our North Charleston aggressive driving accident lawyer can provide candid advice, depending on the details in your car accident. After evaluating your case, we can guide you on all legal options available to you and institute the appropriate actions on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule your free and confidential case evaluation consultation.
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