Injured in a Road Rage Accident?
Sitting for long periods of time in rush-hour traffic can lead to very short tempers. A Chicago road rage accident lawyer knows this can lead to car accidents. Drivers that cause these accidents are responsible for their actions and the resulting injuries to other parties.
Anger and frustration sometimes lead impatient drivers to:
- Fail to obey traffic signals
- Change lanes abruptly without signaling
- Speed uncontrollably
- Brake check
- Cut off other drivers
Road Rage FAQ
How Can I Remain Safe When Others Have Road Rage?
Road rage is an increasing issue on Illinois roads. Learning how to avoid incidents is a good idea.
Control your own behavior and don’t be an instigator. You cannot control the behavior of other motorists on the roadway, but you can control your behavior and reactions.
If someone is tailgating you or someone cuts you off, staying cool you can avoid a possible road rage incident.
If someone starts to exhibit road rage behavior towards you, it is better just to get out of the way. Ignore any offensive gestures or speech, and don’t make eye contact. If the other driver starts to chase after you, call the police and try to get to a populated area and pullover, and stay in your vehicle.
What Driving Behaviors Can Lead to Road Rage in Others?
If you are the one driving aggressively, you may cause others to have road rage. For example, if you:
- Tailgate someone that is driving slowly
- Use your horn excessively
- Flash your headlights
- Cut off another motorist
Any of the above is likely to anger another motorist who has a volatile temper.
Of course, it is not your fault if others are aggressively driving when you are doing something normal. For example, honking at a driver at a green light. But keep in mind that people can be unpredictable. Drive accordingly and try to stay safe.
How Common is Road Rage?
One study found that approximately 50% of motorists react to aggression with their own aggression. Of the drivers that react:
- 34% use their horn
- 27% respond verbally
- 19% give an obscene gesture
- 17% flash headlights
- 7% respond by driving aggressively
- 2% of drivers will try to run you off the road
These behaviors could potentially lead to serious accidents and serious injuries. The study also found that:
- Men are around 8% more likely to respond aggressively than women
- Younger drivers ages 18 to 24 are twice as likely to be aggressive when compared with drivers above the age of 65
- Cell phone users are more likely to react aggressively
- Surprisingly, motorists with children in the vehicle respond more aggressively
Another study indicates that young male drivers under the age of 19 are most likely to demonstrate road rage behaviors. There is no consensus as to why this statistic is true. However, some experts say that teen drivers are less mature with short tempers, while other experts have different theories.
One AAA Foundation Report found that individuals are more likely to commit road rage when they are going through a rough time in their personal life. For example, they are going through a divorce, suffering from injuries or illness, a job loss, etc. The study also found that motorists with criminal or violent histories and those who have drug and alcohol problems are more likely to commit acts of road rage.
On the other end of the spectrum, are you a driver who angers people by getting in the way? Are you driving 10 mph under the speed limit? Or accelerating very slowly out of stop signs and traffic signals? Or generally, just slowing everyone down? This is another type of driving that is likely to anger other motorists in your area.
What Is The Difference Between Aggressive Driving and Road Rage?
The principal difference is that aggressive driving is an unsafe behavior, while road rage is considered criminal behavior. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration defines road rage as an assault with a motor vehicle. Further, the willful and wanton behavior disregards the safety of others.
Here are some more suggestions on how to avoid causing road rage incidents:
- Give yourself plenty of time when making a trip, don’t rush;
- Avoid driving when you are overtired or angry;
- Try to relax when you are stuck in traffic; and
- Plan driving trips at times where you should avoid the worst traffic
What Are Common Injuries From Road Rage Accidents?
Road rage collisions can result in serious injuries that include:
- Broken bones are often a simple fix. But sometimes they are much more severe. Multiple broken bones, fractures that require surgery, and related infections can be very painful and require extensive treatment, time, and money to recover from.
- Head trauma, like a traumatic brain injury, can range from a mild concussion to severe and permanent brain damage. When a person is involved in a car accident caused by an aggressive driver, the risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury is always present. This type of injury can be extremely costly, require an indefinite amount of recovery time, and completely change a person’s life.
- Lacerations: Most cuts, bruises, and lacerations heal quickly on their own. However, that is not always the case. Motor vehicle accidents are known for causing lacerations, often to the face. Those with multiple or deep lacerations due to a car crash are also at risk of infection and permanent scarring. A bad laceration can have long-lasting effects.
- Back and neck injuries like whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and herniated discs can all cause major disruptions to a person’s life. Back and neck injuries are capable of causing life-long trauma and may require extensive medical treatment and even surgery.
- Death: The worst-case scenario for a car accident is that it results in death. When a road rage accident causes the death of a loved one, their surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim to recover damages. These damages may include past medical bills, pain and suffering, as well as any funeral and burial costs.
If you or a loved one has injuries due to a road raging driver, call a road rage accident attorney in Chicago for a free consultation.
What to Do After a Road Rage Accident?
Call 911. If involved in a road rage accident, you may be scared to interact with them for fear of escalating a confrontation. You should immediately call 911 so that authorities are on their way. Sometimes an aggressive driver may try to intimidate or convince you that contacting the police isn’t necessary. But it is important to file a police report for your claim, and it will provide vital evidence in your case later on. Once the police arrive, they will investigate the accident. Also, if you’re afraid to speak with an aggressive driver, the police can help you facilitate the exchange of your insurance information.
Exchange information. While waiting for police to arrive, you can exchange information with any other drivers. If you want to wait until the police arrive, that’s okay. But you should get some information as soon as possible, even if it is just a license plate and the make and model of the vehicle.
Get Witness Info. You should also speak to anyone who may have witnessed the accident and get their contact information. You should also encourage them to wait and speak with the investigating police officer. It will be a benefit to your case to have a police report with a witness statement for your personal injury claim.
Take photos. You should also take pictures of the scene of the accident. Photograph the vehicles involved, your own injuries, and the location where the accident occurred. You may even want to record a statement for yourself to reference at a later date just so you don’t forget any details.
Seek medical care. As soon as practicable, you should be seen by a medical professional. This may be at the scene of the accident by emergency medical services, or you can choose to go to your doctor, an emergency room, or an urgent care center on your own. Even if you don’t feel significant pain, it is important to get checked out by a doctor. The adrenaline from a car accident can at times mask the severity of an injury, so it’s important to be evaluated for any potential injuries.
Find a lawyer. Your final step should be to contact a car accident attorney. Speak to a lawyer before speaking to the insurance companies. And let your attorney contact the insurance carriers on your behalf.
Let your lawyer contact insurance carriers. The at-fault party’s insurance company may try to reach out to you for a recorded statement or try to settle with you privately in exchange for quick cash. This will prevent you from being able to file a personal injury claim for proper compensation for your injuries at a later time. Instead of getting taken advantage of, let an experienced attorney deal with the insurance company on your behalf and protect your rights. This will enable them to maximize compensation for your injuries at a later date.
What is Driver Negligence?
Every driver owes a specific duty of care to all other drivers on the road to behave in a safe manner. When someone breaches that duty, it is called negligence. There are generally two types of negligence: ordinary negligence (most often referred to as just “negligence”) and gross negligence.
Gross negligence refers to a situation where someone knowingly breaches their duty of care with extreme indifference or reckless disregard.
Ordinary negligence refers to when a person fails to take the reasonable precautions that any reasonable person would and those actions cause someone else harm. This may include something like a driver not looking before turning or not paying attention before merging.
Gross negligence includes such actions as drinking while driving or behaving in an intentionally reckless manner, like road rage. When a person is grossly negligent, they have made a choice to engage in an activity knowing that it could potentially harm someone.
Either way, a car accident case that involves injuries should always be handled by an accident attorney. He or she can navigate any legal complexities for you. A good lawyer will represent your best interests and seek the highest amount of compensation possible due to your injuries. When someone makes the decision to engage in road rage, they deliberately put others in danger. If that person injures someone, the accident victim should not be left holding the bill.
What Damages am I Likely to Incur from a Road Rage Accident?
Motorists that injure others are responsible for their actions. This includes paying for:
- Medical bills often pile up after a car accident. This is one of the most common types of damages in a personal injury case. Medical bills may include charges for hospital stays, ambulance rides, doctor’s visits, emergency room visits, surgery, or physical therapy.
- Lost income. This type of damage makes up for any time you missed from work due to the accident. You may also seek loss of future income if you are going to continue to lose income after your case settles. You may also be eligible to receive compensation for loss of earning capacity if you’re no longer able to work in the same industry or make the same amount of income due to your injuries.
- Pain and suffering. These types of damages are calculated based on the severity of your injuries and the amount that your life has changed since the accident.
- Loss of normal life: If you’re unable to go about your everyday life like before the accident because of your injury, you can receive further compensation for that. This is common with people who develop disabilities because of their injuries. For example, you can’t pick up your child or handle everyday tasks at home.
Legal Help if Injured in a Road Rage Accident
You might have a valid claim for damages if you suffer injury in a road rage crash while in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois. The legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. is standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call (312) 924-7575 to speak with a Chicago road rage accident lawyer.
Unlike some law firms, we keep a licensed lawyer standing by to take your call and provide you with a free case consultation. There is no obligation on your part for speaking with us and there is never a fee unless you win your case.
If you prefer to meet with us in person but you are too injured to travel, we also offer free in-home and in-hospital consultations. This, so that you can get the answers you deserve when you need them.
Call the dedicated Chicago car crash lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. at (855) LAW-CHICAGO today. We are ready to help.