Most people have experienced feelings of anger while driving, particularly when they are stuck in heavy traffic. People who do not keep their cool might start to drive aggressively. They might also start to exhibit behaviors that would be considered road rage.
What Constitutes Road Rage
Road rage is the aggressive or angry behavior of one driver toward another driver with disregard for the safety of others and an intent to harm. Some of the traffic offenses that are considered to be aggressive driving and might escalate into road rage include the following:
- Making improper lane changes or turns
- Blocking another driver from merging or changing lanes
- Passing illegally on the shoulder of the road, the sidewalk, or the median
- Using brakes to punish another driver
- Speeding or racing
- Driving too fast in adverse conditions
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Failing to signal
- Using headlights to blind another driver
- Yelling at another driver or making aggressive gestures
- Honking to show anger or annoyance
- Deliberately cutting off another vehicle
- Bumping or ramming into another vehicle on purpose
- Getting out of the vehicle to confront another driver or to threaten another driver with a weapon
Many of these actions can lead to collisions and serious car accident injuries.
Evidence You Will Need for a Road Rage Accident
As with any auto accident claim, the more evidence you have that supports your claim, the more likely it is that your case will be successful. If you are not transported from the scene in an ambulance, you should stay at the scene until the police arrive.
You’ll need a copy of the police report of the accident as well as statements from any witnesses who can help establish what happened. Photos taken of the scene and video evidence of the other driver’s actions will also help your claim. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident.
Once you leave the scene of the accident, there are additional steps you should take to help protect the integrity of your claim, including:
- Get medical treatment immediately after the accident. You will need proof of your injury in order to recover compensation.
- Keep track of your expenses related to the accident and your injuries, such as medical expenses, lost wages, transportation costs, and property damage.
- Keep a journal that documents your pain directly following the accident. As time passes, it can become more difficult to recall what you experienced. Make a note of any missed work days, family events, or other activities you could not attend because of your injuries.
- Contact a lawyer. The sooner you do, the sooner you can start gathering evidence and building a claim.
Damages Your Lawyer Might Fight for After a Road Rage Accident
You can sue if you are involved in a road rage accident, but as with any personal injury claim, you will have to prove that the other party was negligent—or in this case, was exhibiting road rage behaviors that caused the accident.
In addition to asking for compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and damage to your vehicle, you can also ask for damages for pain and suffering. There can be lasting effects for many victims of road rage, including fear of driving and even post-traumatic stress disorder. There is also the possibility of punitive damages. In a road rage case, the behavior exhibited by the driver shows an intent to hurt another person—or at least shows a disregard for the safety of others.
Call Us If You’ve Suffered Injuries in a Road Rage Accident
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a road rage accident, you may be eligible to file a legal claim. These claims can provide medical care and compensation to help victims recover as fully as possible. In Alaska, attorney Ben Crittenden has helped many car accident victims understand their rights and obtain all the compensation they deserved. Request a free copy of Ben’s book, A Guide to Car Accident Claims in Alaska, to learn more about your options.