Car crashes are an unfortunate but common occurrence and are often due to driver error, rather than deliberately putting others at risk. A collision that results from road rage is a different, more dangerous kind of incident. Aggressive drivers who resort to road rage are more likely to ignore safety and traffic laws when they feel offended or wronged by others. If not handled carefully, it could end badly for those who get in their path.
If you are injured in a crash caused by an aggressive driver, we recommend getting legal help as soon as possible. At Goldberg Finnegan, our experienced Silver Spring collision attorneys are prepared to discuss your situation in a completely free and confidential consultation.
Not sure if you have a case? Call us at (888) 213-8140 today.
Seeking Compensation for a Crash Due to an Aggressive Driver
Whether the crash victim of an aggressive or enraged driver can seek compensation depends on certain factors. If the victim contributed to the crash, for instance, then he or she will not be able to seek any compensation due to Maryland’s pure contributory negligence rule.
If you are not assessed with any fault, however, then you may be able to seek compensation for:
- All reasonable and necessary medical costs – both those already incurred and for ongoing treatments
- Transportation to and from related medical appointments, surgeries or hospital visits
- Assistive devices, as needed, to help you be more mobile – such as a wheelchair or crutches
- Pain and suffering damages, such as emotional distress and loss of companionship
- Damage to your vehicle and other personal property
- Lost wages and future earnings
The type of damages and amount of compensation is dependent on your unique circumstances, including how badly you are injured and your diagnosed outcome.
What Does the Law Say About Aggressive Driving in Maryland?
In Maryland, aggressive driving is against the law. It is defined as anyone who engages in three or more aggressive driving offenses during a single and continuous period of driving. Violators can face fines of up to $500 and have five points added to their driver’s license.
These offenses include:
- Traffic lights with a steady indication – such as running through a red light
- Overtaking and passing vehicles when done unsafely or not in accordance with traffic laws
- Passing on the right
- Driving on laned roadways
- Following too close to the vehicle in front (tailgating)
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Exceeding the posted speed limit
Anyone can get annoyed while driving, and most of us probably have at some point in our driving history. However, if that irritation progresses to driving behavior that is both unsafe and aggressive, it can easily turn into road rage.
When Aggressive Driving Becomes Road Rage
Road rage is extreme anger exhibited by an aggressive driver. You might think of road rage as when another driver honks loudly at you, yells or makes rude gestures at you. However, a driver who engages in road rage can be even more dangerous. Their actions can be very unpredictable and cause serious harm, especially if they:
- Deliberately slam on brakes to try to cause the other driver to hit them
- Purposely ram into another vehicle or trying to run them off the road
- Get out of the car to physically assault another person or cause property damage
- Threaten a person verbally or with a weapon, whether or not they actually use it
This type of behavior is no longer just a traffic offense, but a violent crime. In addition to being sued for the personal injury caused by the crash, offenders can also be criminally prosecuted, lose their license, be assessed with significant fines and more.
What Can You Do to Avoid a Road Rage Crash?
If you are concerned about being late for work or an appointment, leave earlier. Allow more time in case something unpredictable, like a traffic jam, happens. Follow safe driving laws, and remember to give other drivers the benefit of the doubt:
- When others drive slowly – they may be older, confused or lost
- Avoid using hand gestures – they can easily be misinterpreted
- Do not tailgate – this puts everyone at risk and does not get you anywhere any faster
- Lay off the horn – loud honking instantly irritates others and may escalate a situation
If confronted by an aggressive driver, do not react. The best way to protect yourself against this type of driver is to:
- Take steps to safely put distance between you and an aggressive driver
- Do not allow yourself to get angry and do not reciprocate their behavior
- Avoid making any eye contact, verbal insults or rude hand gestures
- Make sure they do not follow you – if they do, get to the nearest police station
- Do not pull over or get out of the car to attempt to confront an angry or aggressive driver
Call Our Law Offices for Legal Help
When you hire Goldberg Finnegan, you get the benefit of our extensive experience, dedication to helping injured victims and a proven track record. There are no upfront costs if we represent you. We also do not collect our fees while we work on your case. We only get paid if we win and you receive compensation. Call to schedule your free, no-obligation case review today.