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Who Is Legally Responsible in a Road Rage Incident?

November 16, 2021 Legal Team
Road rage

Road rage often occurs out of nowhere! Most people expect car trips to go smoothly, whether driving to a local Publix or the nearest beach. Unfortunately, other drivers might feel differently about their experience. Specifically, some use the time behind the wheel to take out their aggression and anger on other drivers. Road rage incidents are no laughing matter, especially to its many victims. If you have been in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence or misconduct, contact an experienced personal injury attorney for help recovering your damages suffered.

Road Rage 101

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, aggressive driving is a factor in 54% of car accident fatalities. However, aggressive driving and road rage are not the same.

But what exactly is road rage?

It’s a more extreme type of aggressive driving that endangers other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and property. You might notice an enraged driver exhibiting the following behaviors:

  • Deliberate unsafe driving;
  • Flashing drivers with headlights;
  • Rude gestures or profanity;
  • Ramming or sideswiping another car, or
  • Forcing another driver off the road.

Road rage incidents can lead to car accidents that cause serious injuries. Some drivers have actually been killed by other drivers who cannot control their behavior.

Do Drivers Owe a Standard of Care to Each Other?

Yes, absolutely.

Drivers are expected to drive like any reasonable, responsible driver should. Since they share the roadway, motorists should try not to harm other people on the road. People engaging in rage behaviors are breaching that duty.

Breaching the standard of care is an essential element of all personal injury cases. While road rage drivers might not be charged with a crime, they are at least partially responsible for the injuries they inflict.

Personal Injury Claims Based on Road Rage

Civil lawsuits and criminal charges are different.

Road rage currently is not a crime in and of itself. However, you can be charged with assault or other crimes if you injure someone. A driver can also be held legally responsible in a civil court of law.

Personal injury lawsuits are based on civil law, not criminal law. These elements must be present in your personal injury claim:

  • A duty of care,
  • The breach of that duty,
  • The claimant is injured, and
  • The breach caused the injury.

The driver that caused your injuries did owe you the duty of behaving responsibly. That driver breached the duty by their actions. People are often injured because of road rage incidents. And the cause of their injuries? The road rage driver’s breach.

Have You  Been Injured in a Road Rage Incident?

If you have been hurt because of someone else’s negligence, you need help from top-rated, hard-working representation. At Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann, our attorneys put their injury law experience to work for you. And we handle cases on a contingency basis, which means we don’t get paid unless you do.

We represent clients throughout Florida, including Sarasota, Bradenton, Tampa, Saint Petersburg, Pinellas County, and surrounding communities.

To set up a free personal consultation, call 941-954-4000 or use our convenient online contact form.

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