Aggressive Driving Accidents
Whether you call it aggressive driving, road rage, or just plain recklessness, serious injuries and even tragic deaths can occur when a driver allows his or her emotions to override common sense and safe driving. The best way to handle an aggressive driver is to ignore the conduct if at all possible. Unfortunately, this tactic is not always successful, and a confrontation with an aggressive or raging motorist can quickly lead to a car accident, motorcycle collision, or truck wreck. If you have sustained devastating injuries or lost a loved one because of an act of road rage, the Pembroke Pines car accident attorneys at Cohn & Smith can give you thorough advice about your legal rights.
Holding an Aggressive Driver Accountable for Your Injuries
While it is possible that an aggressive driver may be charged criminally for his or her actions, this usually does little to assist the victim of a road rage accident. A criminal prosecution focuses on punishing the wrongdoer, rather than compensating the victim. In some instances, restitution may be ordered, but this is far from a guarantee. It is therefore usually up to the injured person to seek compensation in the civil courts through a negligence action.
Generally, automobile accident cases involve a four-step analysis:
- Did the defendant owe the plaintiff a legal duty of care?
- Was the duty breached?
- Did the crash result directly from the defendant’s breach?
- Did the plaintiff incur damages because of the crash?
Each element must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence, a standard less demanding than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” requirement in criminal court. Road rage and aggressive driving can take several forms, all of which have the potential to escalate a situation into dangerous territory and possibly result in injury or death. Some common examples include tailgating, sudden acceleration or braking, intentionally causing a collision, or using a weapon.
Damages that may be available in a car accident case include past and future medical expenses, lost wages and loss of future earning capacity, repairs to a vehicle, pain and suffering, and emotional distress, among other forms of compensation. In cases involving particularly egregious conduct, a plaintiff can potentially also seek punitive damages. Because of the reckless behavior that accompanies an aggressive driving accident, punitive damages may be appropriate.
The statute of limitations for filing a negligence action after a car accident is generally four years in Florida (two years in cases of wrongful death), but it is wise to hire counsel as soon as possible after a crash so that a prompt investigation can be made and evidence can be secured. This also ensures that the plaintiff is represented during early communications with the defendant’s insurance company and not taken advantage of by a company representative who is more concerned with the bottom line than doing what is fair and right.Consult a Pembroke Pines Attorney for Your Car Accident Case
You should not have to suffer because of another driver’s unnecessary recklessness or road rage. You have legal rights, but you must assert them in a timely fashion. To schedule a free, confidential appointment with a knowledgeable Pembroke Pines car accident lawyer, call Cohn & Smith at (954) 431-8100 or contact us online. Our motor vehicle collision attorneys help accident victims throughout South Florida, including in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Davie, Weston, Sunrise, Tamarac, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Aventura, and communities across North Dade County.