It seems as though people nowadays are always in a hurry to get somewhere. This is especially true when they are behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Impatience can turn to aggression or even rage. The biggest problem with aggressive driving and road rage is the risk of causing a serious car accident that leads to injuries and other damages.
Given the high volume of traffic that occurs on interstate highways and roadways around Phoenix, Arizona, including on interstates like I-40, I-410, I-510, I-710, aggressive driving accidents and collisions caused by road rage are unfortunately all too common. In addition to interstate highways, these accidents can occur in the Downtown Phoenix area, especially in the business district, where some drivers may be in a hurry to get to an appointment or get home after work.
When drivers exhibit road rage and drive aggressively, they increase the chances that they will cause an accident with another motor vehicle or with a pedestrian. These accidents, in turn, can lead to serious and sometimes fatal injuries and damages. If you suffered injuries in a Phoenix road rage accident, it is important to have a knowledgeable car accident lawyer by your side. A Phoenix road rage accident attorney can help you bring a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s insurance company and can help you pursue the monetary compensation that you deserve.
What Is Road Rage and What Causes It?
In a nutshell, road rage refers to angry and aggressive driving maneuvers and behavior that some motor vehicle operators exhibit while they are out on the road. These behaviors often include verbal assaults and threats directed toward other drivers, physical threats lodged at other drivers, and dangerous driving tactics—including aggressive driving—directed at others.
Drivers who exhibit road rage may become upset because another driver is not traveling fast enough for their liking or because of some other real or imagined issue/problem. These drivers may also be in a hurry to get somewhere and are unwilling to wait for a slow driver to speed up or get out of the way.
There are several types of driving maneuvers that usually result from a driver’s road rage, and that can lead to a serious collision with a motor vehicle operator or pedestrian.
Those maneuvers include:
- Tailgating other drivers and following them too closely
- Operating a vehicle faster than the posted speed limit
- Aggressively weaving in and out of traffic
- Failing to yield the right-of-way at the proper time or aggressively cutting off a vehicle in heavy traffic
- Failing to use a turn signal when switching lanes in traffic
When motor vehicle operators exhibit road range and engage in one or more of these reckless driving maneuvers, serious accidents and injuries to innocent individuals can occur. If you suffered injuries in a motor vehicle collision in which road rage played a part, an experienced Phoenix road rage accident attorney in your area can assist. Your lawyer can get to the bottom of exactly how your accident happened and can help you pursue the monetary compensation that you deserve.
What Sorts of Accidents Can Result From Road Rage?
When overzealous motor vehicle operators engage in road rage, traffic accidents are almost certain to occur. When those accidents happen, drivers and passengers may suffer very serious injuries requiring medical treatment and rehabilitation.
In some instances, road rage can lead to a rear-end collision. The driver may be in such a hurry to move forward at a traffic intersection, or even just while driving, that he or she accelerates too quickly or is unable to stop in time to avoid colliding with the rear of another vehicle.
At other times, road rage can lead to a sideswipe collision, which is when the side of one vehicle brushes up against the side of another vehicle that is usually traveling in the same direction. These accidents can happen when an overzealous, aggressive driver attempts to weave quickly in and out of traffic or switches lanes without using a turn signal. When a sideswipe collision occurs with a significant degree of force, a vehicle can push another one into another lane or off the road altogether.
In addition, T-bone accidents are a common occurrence when drivers exhibit road rage. A T-bone accident happens when the front of one motor vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle, resembling the shape of the letter “T.” These accidents sometimes happen when an aggressive driver is trying to beat a red light to get through an intersection in a hurry.
When this happens, the driver might collide with a vehicle that has just been given the green light on a perpendicular street. T-bone accidents may cause one or both of the involved vehicles to spin violently. As a result, the vehicles might become disabled in the intersection, leading to a massive motor vehicle pileup or other series of collisions.
If you or a person you care about has suffered injuries in a motor vehicle collision that resulted from road rage or aggressive driving, you have legal options that may be open to you. A knowledgeable Phoenix motor vehicle accident lawyer can thoroughly explain those options to you and can help you decide on the best course of action for pursuing monetary compensation in your car accident case.
Common Road Rage Accident Injuries
When motor vehicle drivers and passengers are involved in accidents due to road rage, the chances are good that they will suffer one or more serious injuries. These injuries can occur when the force of the impact causes the accident victim’s body to move from side to side or back and forth inside the vehicle in a very abrupt manner. The force of the collision might also cause the accident victim’s body to strike a window, door frame, steering wheel, headrest, or something else in the vehicle, resulting in a serious injury.
When a motor vehicle driver or passenger is the victim of one or more of these injuries, the accident victim might need to undergo:
- Hospital stays
- Operations and other medical procedures
- Doctor visits (with a family doctor or specialist)
- Physical and occupational therapy sessions
If you suffered one or more of these injuries in an accident because of an enraged driver, you need a knowledgeable Phoenix car accident lawyer on your side as soon as possible. An attorney can assist you with handling all of the legal aspects of your case while you focus your attention on recovering from your injuries and getting better.
Filing a Claim Against an At-fault Driver’s Motor Vehicle Insurance Company
Motor vehicle operators owe other drivers and passengers a duty to operate their vehicles in a safe, reasonable, and careful manner on Phoenix roadways and in other areas, such as parking lots and parking garages. Drivers violate this duty of care when they engage in road rage and other types of aggressive driving maneuvers.
Therefore, when an aggressive driver causes a motor vehicle accident, and that accident results in one or more injuries, the accident victim or victims can pursue a claim for monetary compensation against the at-fault driver’s motor vehicle insurance company.
A knowledgeable Phoenix car accident lawyer in your area can assist you with filing this claim and pursuing a favorable monetary settlement. When an insurance company adjuster evaluates a Phoenix car accident case, he or she will review various documents. These documents typically include copies of the accident victim’s medical treatment records and bills, lost wage documentation, police reports, witness statements, and a victim impact statement if one is prepared.
After the adjuster reads through all of these documents, he or she might make an offer to resolve the case by way of a settlement. Initial settlement offers by insurance company adjusters are typically not very good. However, a Phoenix car accident attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf in pursuit of a more favorable offer to settle.
When to File a Lawsuit in a Phoenix Road Rage Accident Case
When an aggressive driver’s motor vehicle insurance company is unwilling to offer you fair compensation for your injuries, a skilled Phoenix car accident attorney may be in a position to file a lawsuit on your behalf in the Arizona state court system.
When you file a lawsuit, the parties can continue negotiating. However, certain procedural requirements that the law and court impose will come into play, including written questions called interrogatories and oral depositions.
If the case does not resolve by way of a settlement, the parties can take the car accident case to a jury trial. As part of a jury trial, each of the parties will present evidence, and the jury will decide the outcome of all disputed issues in the case. In most car accident cases, the primary disputed issue is that of monetary compensation.
As an alternative to trial, the parties can pursue mediation, arbitration, or some other type of alternative dispute resolution proceeding. A knowledgeable Phoenix car accident attorney in your area can help you decide whether you should accept a pending settlement offer or take your case to trial or an alternative dispute resolution proceeding.
Types of Damages You Might Recover in a Phoenix Road Rage Accident Case
If a Phoenix car accident injured you due to aggressive driving or road rage, you may pursue and recover various damages for your injuries.
The first type of damage that you might be eligible to recover is compensation for all of your medical expenses. You can receive this compensation even if you had health insurance at the time of your accident that covered some or all of your medical damages. In addition, if you had missed time from work after your car accident, you can seek monetary recovery for your lost wages and other out-of-pocket expenses.
All of these damages are economic damages because, for the most part, you can measure them in exact dollars and cents.
In addition to pursuing and collecting economic damages in a road rage car accident case, you might be eligible to recover non-economic damages as well. The purpose of these damages is to compensate accident victims for their inconvenience, emotional distress, mental anguish, pain and suffering, and other more subjective types of damages. You can also pursue and recover compensation for loss of enjoyment of life or loss of the ability to use a body part if you suffered a permanent injury or disability in your car accident.
In some accidents that involve road rage, at-fault drivers behave in a particularly egregious or aggressive manner. If that occurred in your car accident, then you might be eligible to pursue and recover punitive damages in your case. A punitive damage award aims to punish an at-fault driver for his or her conduct and to discourage other drivers from similar activities.
A knowledgeable Phoenix car accident attorney in your area can determine the types and amounts of damages you might be eligible to receive in your car accident case. Your attorney can then file the necessary claim or lawsuit and pursue these damages on your behalf.
Talk to an Experienced Phoenix Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney About Your Legal Concerns Today
There is no disputing that road rage and aggressive driving can lead to very serious car accidents and injuries in and around Phoenix. An experienced Phoenix car accident lawyer can meet with you to evaluate the strength of your claim and can assist you with pursuing the compensation that you need from the at-fault driver’s motor vehicle insurance company. This is a complex process, and you want the right legal help.