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How Can You Show Your Accident Was Caused By an Aggressive Driver?

by | Sep 4, 2022 | Car Accidents, Personal Injury |

Aggressive driving is dangerous behavior that leads to hundreds of fatal accidents every year. If you were injured in a car accident and the other driver acted aggressively, proving his or her fault could entitle you to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. If his or her behavior qualifies as road rage, you may be entitled to punitive damages, as well. A car accident lawyer in Houston or San Antonio can help you build your case.

How Can You Show Your Accident Was Caused By an Aggressive Driver?

In order to recover damages in a personal injury case, you need to be able to prove that the other driver was more than 50% at fault for the accident. If the accident occurred as a result of the other driver’s aggressive behavior, you will need to show evidence that he or she lashed out at you, another driver, or a pedestrian.

In a case involving aggressive driving, these types of evidence can be presented in court:

  • Surveillance footage of the other driver acting aggressively
  • Witness testimonies
  • Footage captured on witness cell phones
  • The police report
  • The testimony of an accident reconstruction expert

What Is Aggressive Driving?

Aggressive driving is a form of negligence that can result in a civil lawsuit and liability for any damages that occurred as a result. An aggressive driver might shout, flash headlights, threaten other motorists or pedestrians, use obscene gestures, weave in and out of lanes, tailgate other cars, or block other vehicles from passing. These behaviors are intended to display anger, release frustration, and intimidate. Often, aggressive drivers create conflicts by causing others to respond in a similar fashion.

What Is Road Rage?

While many people use the terms aggressive driving and road rage interchangeably, there are actually important differences that have legal implications. Aggressive driving can include any demonstration of anger towards other drivers or pedestrians. Road rage is an extreme form of aggressive driving in which the driver breaks laws or threatens physical violence. In addition to a civil lawsuit, road rage can result in criminal charges.

Examples of road rage include:

  • Cutting off other drivers or slamming on the brakes
  • Yelling threats and aggressively using the horn
  • Physically running another driver off the road by crashing into their car
  • Using the car as a weapon with which to assault another driver
  • Physically assaulting another driver with or without a weapon other than the car

What Are the Consequences of Road Rage and Aggressive Driving?

Mainstream awareness of road rage and aggressive driving increased in the 1990s after a succession of fatalities involving enraged drivers. There was a Massachusetts driver who murdered another driver with a crossbow, a Mississippi woman who caused the death of another driver by deliberately running her off the road, and a driving instructor from North Carolina who told a student to chase after a car that had cut them off.

Unfortunately, cases of road rage and aggressive driving are on the rise, with over 467 fatalities recorded in 2015. In addition to the fatalities, thousands of road rage-related injuries occur every year, resulting in both civil and criminal lawsuits.

What Damages Can You Collect After Being Injured by an Aggressive Driver?

After a negligent driver has been found responsible for an accident due to his or her aggressive driving, he or she will be responsible for paying your compensatory damages. Compensatory damages reimburse you for the financial, physical, and emotional harm you suffered. After a car accident, the most common types of compensatory damages are medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

Can You Collect More Damages After an Instance of Road Rage?

Road rage is a form of gross negligence, which could entitle you to punitive damages in addition to compensation for your losses. Other forms of gross negligence include drunk driving and driving under the influence of drugs.

Punitive damages are intended to punish the negligent driver for his or her actions, thereby deterring future misconduct. Following the verdict, the punitive damages are paid to the plaintiff in addition to the compensatory damages.

How Can You Build a Case Against an Aggressive Driver?

Do Not Engage or Retaliate

The worst thing to do after another driver has acted aggressively is to escalate the situation. You should not return insults or obscene gestures, and you should never chase after their vehicle. Doing so could implicate you in an accident, cause harm to you (or others), and damage property. If the court finds that you were partially responsible for the crash, your payout will be decreased by the percentage of blame you share.

Get the Police Report Number

After a crash, it is important to contact the police so that they can create a police report as soon as possible. In fact, Texas laws obligate individuals involved in an accident to contact authorities as soon as possible and by the quickest means. When the police arrive, you should take down the names of the responding officers and the report number. Your car accident lawyer will likely use the report as evidence of the other driver’s fault.

Collect Evidence at the Scene

If you are physically able, you should take videos and photos of the crash before you leave the scene of the accident. Ask any bystanders for their contact information and check to see if anyone present recorded the crash as it occurred.

Care for Your Injuries

If you want to hold the aggressive driver liable for your medical expenses, it is important to show that your injuries resulted entirely from the accident. Refusing to go to the hospital immediately after the crash or failing to follow your at-home care instructions could give the defense grounds to argue that you prolonged your recovery period by neglecting your injuries.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Houston or San Antonio

Amassing evidence of aggressive driving is difficult to do alone, especially if you are recovering from injuries. Any time a claim involves significant injuries and considerable expenses, the other driver’s insurance company could bring in its own legal team to fight the validity of the case. Working with a car accident lawyer in Houston or San Antonio will give you an advantage in your fight to hold the liable party accountable.

As you build your case, your car accident lawyer will draw on his or her knowledge of personal injury laws to conduct a thorough investigation and compile solid evidence to back your statements. Experienced lawyers usually have connections with other professionals who can be helpful, such as an accident reconstruction expert who can show the other driver’s fault. In cases involving permanent disability, you might want to bring in an economist who can help determine your lost future wages.

There Is No Excuse for Aggressive Driving

Driving aggressively and engaging in acts of road rage violates Texas law and puts others at risk of injury and even death. By working with a car accident lawyer in Houston or San Antonio, you will gain the advantage of legal experience and expertise. If you have grounds to argue that you were injured by an aggressive driver, speak with our legal experts at Joe A. Gamez Law Firm, PLC.