Florida Highway Patrol troopers are currently investigating a road rage incident that occurred in Northwest Miami-Dade. Troopers were dispatched to the scene along Interstate 95 and Northwest 151st Street just…
Miami Road Rage Car Accident Lawyers
Road rage accidents can lead to devastating injuries and even death. Traffic and mistakes caused by other drivers can provoke anger in some people. This is commonly referred to as “road rage.” Road rage can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Road Rage is uncontrollable anger that results from an incident involving an automobile, which leads to behavior intended to harm people or property. Experts say road rage is a thought process that drivers go through when they have feelings of rage and thoughts of retaliation.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines “aggressive driving” as a combination of moving traffic offenses in a manner that endangers other persons or property. It generally encompasses several unsafe driving behaviors, including following too closely, driving at excessive speeds, weaving through traffic, running stoplights and stop signs, and gesturing angrily or yelling at other drivers, and may escalate to physical assault or murder. Terrifying things can happen when people let road rage get the best of them, and in the worst cases, car accidents occur. If you or someone you love has been severely injured in a road rage car accident, you may be entitled to damages. Call the Law Offices of Suarez & Montero today for a free consultation.
Aggressive Driving and Road Rage Accidents in Miami, Florida
When the subject is road rage, anyone who drives or rides in a vehicle on today’s roadways has either experienced the explosive negative reaction we call road rage or, in some unfortunate cases, been targeted by a driver who is experiencing it. Road rage accidents are increasing in the United States. Aggressive driving is a major concern and a real threat to the safety of all drivers. In a recent survey conducted by the AAA Foundation, nearly 9 in 10 respondents said they believed aggressive drivers were a “somewhat” or “very serious” threat to their personal safety. This same survey found that a substantial number of drivers admitted to engaging in potentially aggressive behaviors, such as traveling more than 15 mph above the speed limit or running a red light.
Got Injuries in a Road Rage Car Accident? Know Your Rights
If you sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you likely want to receive full compensation for your injuries, any lost wages, and pain and suffering if applicable. In order to do this, you need to prove that the other driver involved is liable for your damages. Every driver dreads the distinctive thud that indicates that they’ve had an accident. If you are involved in an accident or collision in Florida, you must be prepared to act responsibly and in accordance with State law. If you sustain severe injuries in any type of car crash, it’s in your best interest to have a personal injury attorney take care of your claim.
The road rage car accident attorneys at Suarez & Montero can guide you through the process because we have experience and we are extremely dedicated to our clients. Our mission is to guard our client’s rights and obtain the highest compensation and medical care for our clients. When you are the victim of a car accident caused by road rage, you may wonder if you can sue the other driver for his or her actions and your losses. If you can identify the individual who caused the incident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against that person. In addition, he or she may face criminal charges, based on the circumstances of the incident.
How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Aggressive Driving or Road Rage
By using the tips below, you can improve your chances of avoiding a road rage accident or injury. The main idea here is to not offend others while driving. Some of the most common behaviors that enrage other drivers include:
Cutting others off: When you merge, make sure you have plenty of room. Use your turn signal to show your intentions before making a move. If you make a mistake and accidentally cut someone off, try to apologize to the other driver with an appropriate gesture. If someone cuts you off, slow down and give them room to merge into your lane.
Driving slowly in the left lane: If you are in the left lane and someone wants to pass, move over and let them by. You may be “in the right” because you are traveling at the speed limit, but you may also be putting yourself in danger by making drivers behind you angry. In many states and provinces, the law requires you to travel in the right lane and use the far-left lane only for passing. Besides, it’s simple courtesy to move over and let other drivers by.
Tailgating: Drivers get angry when they are followed too closely. Allow at least a two-second space between your car and the car ahead. If you think another car is driving too slowly and you are unable to pass, pull back and allow more space, not less. That way if the car does something unexpected you will have time to get out of the way. You should be able to see the headlights of the car behind you in your rear-view mirror. If you feel you are being followed too closely, signal and pull over to allow the other driver to go by.
Rude Gestures: Almost nothing makes another driver angrier than an obscene gesture. Keep your hands on the wheel. Avoid making any gestures that might anger another driver, even “harmless” expressions of irritation like shaking your head. Be a cautious and courteous driver. Signal every time you merge or change lanes, and whenever you turn. Use your horn rarely, if ever. If you and another driver see a parking space at the same time, let that person have it. And if another driver seems eager to get in front of you, say “Be my guest.” When you respond this way, after a while “be my guest” becomes your automatic response and you won’t be as offended by other drivers’ rudeness.
Legal Claims Against Aggressive Drivers
You may be wondering, what can a road rage accident attorney do for their clients? Regardless of the type of accident you are involved in, the most important thing is for you to focus on recovering from your injuries. While you focus on recovering from your injuries and returning your life back to normalcy, a personal injury lawyer will focus on protecting your legal rights under the law. That may sound quite simple, but it actually requires an attorney to recognize legal problems and address them appropriately on your behalf.
When your attorney has gathered enough information and evidence, he performs a detailed analysis of all potential defendants and sources of compensation in your case. Apart from liability arising out of the negligent use of an automobile, other claims and causes of action should be considered. For example, if another driver causes an accident and injures you as a result of road rage, their insurance company may refuse to provide coverage and compensation to you. This is because many automobile insurance policies include exclusions for intentional torts. An intentional tort is a defined as intentional behavior/action that causes injuries (either physical or mental). Insurance companies frequently refuse to provide coverage/compensation for intentional torts. As a result, if you’ve been the victim of road rage accident you may not be able to recover compensation from aggressive driver who caused the accident. However, you may still be able to recover compensation from your own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) policy.
An uninsured/underinsured motorist policy will cover you and provide compensation to you if you are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver (or a driver whose insurance has denied coverage). If the at-fault driver was drunk or intoxicated at the time of the accident, then you may be able to recover compensation from a bar, nightclub or restaurant that served alcohol to the driver. This would be referred to as a “dram shop” case. You could be able to do this if 1) the other driver was under the legal drinking age (21) or 2) the business establishment was aware that the other driver was “habitually addicted to alcohol” (i.e., an alcoholic). If the at fault driver was working at the time of the accident, then you may be able to recover compensation from the other driver’s employer (or an insurance policy held by the employer). While road rage often serves as the basis for criminal charges, it can also give rise to a civil suit.
Civil actions based on injuries suffered as a result of another driver’s reckless or aggressive driving generally sound in battery, negligence, or both. While insurance coverage is not likely to be available if the action is based on a theory of battery, it may be in a negligence action; however, if the facts as pled all indicate battery, the plaintiff cannot plead the case as one sounding strictly in negligence. Insurance coverage is seldom available for intentional torts, such as battery, because the tortfeasor’s actions generally do not meet the policy definitions of “use” or “accident”. A prima facie case in an action for battery based on a road rage incident requires proof that: (1) the defendant intended to cause a harmful or offensive contact with the plaintiff and (2) harmful contact with the plaintiff’s person resulted. On the other hand, a prima facie case in an action for negligence based on a road rage incident requires proof that: (1) the defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty(2) the defendant breached that duty; and (3) the breach was a proximate or legal cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. Parties who may recover in a civil action based on a road rage incident may include the injured party, the injured party’s assignee, or, in the case of an intentional tort, an employee. Parties who may be held liable for battery or negligence based on a road rage incident include: (1) the tortfeasor; (2) a private employer of the tortfeasor; and (3) a public employer of the tortfeasor.
Miami Road Rage Accident Lawyers Representing Victims of Aggressive Driving
There is no replacement for quality legal advice after being involved in a road rage car accident. The car accident attorneys at Suarez and Montero would love to have an opportunity to explain the law in Florida to assist you in presenting a strong claim against the at fault party. Every firm is distinctive and auto accident victims have needs that are also distinct. The Florida auto accident attorneys at Suarez & Montero encourage you to reach out so that we can explain more about the different ways that our law firm and attorneys can provide legal help and guidance after an auto accident.
Make an appointment with us at one of our many locations. Remember, we work on a contingency basis so you will owe us nothing If we are unable to obtain successful results for your case. The attorneys at Suarez & Montero can meet with you to discuss further and always available to talk with you and answer your questions. Our skillful attorneys are genuinely committed to our clients. We will fight to make sure that you get the maximum amount of compensation owed to you. Let us help you get the medical care you need and fight to make sure you are compensated for your injuries! Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights. We are available 24/7 to give you a free, no risk case consultation.
The Law Offices of Suarez & Montero Car Accident Attorneys represents accident victims injured in various types of accidents including:
Pablo Lyle, a well-known Mexican actor known who regularly appears on telenovelas such as “Una familia con suerte,” appeared in court at the Metro Justice building this week for a…
Frequently Asked Questions
Although we do not recommend using a cell phone while driving, please use your best judgment and safely use your phone to dial 911 if you feel threatened. If you don’t have a phone and are being targeted by an aggressive driver or think you are being followed, go to the nearest police station or crowded public area. Do not drive home! If you are trapped in traffic or at a red light, do not open your door or roll down your window if the other driver gets out and approaches you. Keep your doors locked, call 911 and honk your horn loudly to get help. Remember that you can’t control other drivers; you can only control your response. Stay alert, stay calm, drive courteously and obey the rules of the road to help avoid becoming the next road rage victim.
In some cases, road rage can be considered assault and battery. That is because road rage involves intentional acts, and a car accident caused by road rage is intentional. If the other individual threatens to hit your vehicle, he or she could be found guilty of assault.
In addition to the elements that make up a prima facie case of negligence or battery arising from aggressive driving, there are defenses typically available in tort cases, including superseding cause, self-defense, comparative negligence, assumption of the risk, and official immunity, which are also potentially available in civil actions arising from incidents of road rage. In appropriate cases, a negligence or battery action based on an incident of road rage may be defended on the following grounds: (1) negation of an element of the cause of action, often causation; (2) self-defense or justification; (3) comparative negligence or assumption of the risk; and (4) governmental immunity.
It depends. Because road rage is intentional and often malicious, the award could include punitive, in addition to compensatory, damages. That means the courts could issue a damage award to punish the defendant for these actions.