Aggressive driving rarely starts overnight. It builds up after months or years of unchecked behavior. In some cases, drivers do receive several tickets and warnings for their aggressive driving and know that one more offense could lead to losing their licenses or vehicles. Sometimes, they are well beyond that last strike and already lost the legal privilege of getting behind the wheel.
Consequently, aggressive drivers might also flee the scene after an accident. Whether you survived an accident with an aggressive driver or you are the survivor of someone who did not, an experienced attorney might help you build a strong case against the offender.
How law enforcement officers, civil courts and your insurance tracking app describe aggressive driving might have wide variations. Some professionals also distinguish between aggressive driving and road rage, while others group the two offenses together. However, the core of all descriptions comes back to one main factor: unsafe driving behaviors. Here are some common examples:
According to the AAA Exchange, aggressive driving remains a common problem among U.S. drivers. In fact, while some people are habitual offenders, almost everyone has committed aggressive driving at some point. A 2019 study completed by the AAA revealed that 80% of drivers had engaged in road rage, aggression or other bad driving behaviors on the road within the preceding 30-day period.
People who habitually drive aggressively are often prone to anger. Even when they are not aggressive in their everyday lives, they might respond with hostility, in that moment. Consequently, confronting an aggressive driver with the same level of aggression might not end well. It’s not uncommon for drivers to come to blows or for someone to draw for a weapon, such as a gun.
AAA provides the following tips when you encounter aggressive drivers on the road:
Keep in mind that if you get into an accident with an aggressive driver, leaving the scene is a risk, even if you fear for your life. The person might twist the story and tell police officers you fled the scene. This could lead to hit-and-run allegations. If law enforcement officers intercept you before you make it to the public safe space you planned, it could become difficult to prove you did not intend to flee.
Because aggressive driving by its very nature involves unsafe actions, the sky is the limit. Aggressive driving is especially dangerous when it involves high-speed sports cars or large, commercial vehicles.
When injuries involve aggressive driving, drivers become unpredictable. America has a very strong gun culture, so many people bring their guns on their person or in their vehicles. In the event of a dispute, guns could become involved and gunshot wounds could follow. Even innocent passersby could find themselves running for their lives. In these cases, law enforcement almost always pursues criminal charges.
The most severe result of aggressive driving is death. Persons might die during a dispute or from car crash injuries. In some extreme cases, both factors play a role. When someone dies in an aggressive driving incident, eligible survivors may pursue a wrongful death suit against the responsible party. Sometimes, families pursue a case on behalf of occupants of the vehicle driven by the aggressive driver.
Aggressive driving often involves high-speed crashes. This can lead to severe blunt-force trauma or crushing. When the body suffers extreme, blunt force, the internal organs suffer injuries. Unfortunately, internal bleeding might not be immediately apparent. This is yet another reason it’s so important for people to seek medical care as soon as possible after an accident.
Crumpled metal and broken glass can create a lot of sharp edges in a car crash. Experts also find that hitting anything at high speeds can cause it to act like a sharp object that can lead to punctures, lacerations and dismemberments. These forms of injuries often lead to serious disabilities for years to come or for a lifetime.
Broken bones are a common injury from car crashes. However, the severity and the number of bones broken could be worse than usual. In some cases, persons might break their necks or their spines. The bones in these areas protect the spinal cord. If the spinal cord suffers damage, the person could experience temporary, permanent, partial or full paralysis.
The brain is as powerful as it is fragile. It can experience damage physically and mentally. People who experience trauma to the head sometimes never fully recover and suffer from mental disturbances for a lifetime. Mental health illnesses are also possible from PTSD. In some cases, people suffer from depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation because of pain and the difficulty of readjusting to a new normal.
Aggressive drivers often have a bad reputation with local police officers. Even when they don’t, a quick review of their driving records in their home jurisdictions might quickly set that straight. Consequently, the victims of accidents caused by aggressive driving often find an easier time building a strong case. This sometimes carries into the courtroom where judges often award punitive damages because of gross negligence.
Even so, every aggressive driver has a first offense and this could be it. That would set no precedent for aggressive behavior and the driver might have “proof” to show this. In other cases, you might not have as much damning evidence to show what happened, such as dashcam footage or witness testimonies. The aggressive driver might even suffer injuries and claim he or she does not remember what happened. Some blatantly lie.
Even when the evidence is on your side, you need an experienced attorney to present it in a way that gets you the maximum compensation possible. Good attorneys leave no stone unturned. They show the need for compensation for medical bills, lost employment, reduced quality of life, mental health services, caring for minors and even pain and suffering.
After an aggressive driver accident, you need committed attorneys who will fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve. You also need attorneys with a proven track record of winning. At Fielding Law, some of our wins include $1.2 million for a rear-end collision and $505,000 for an accident involving a semi-truck that failed to yield.
How much can we win for you? Contact us to find out.