All drivers are expected to drive defensively rather than aggressively. Unfortunately, road rage occurs here as it does around the country. Aggressive driving accidents may involve speeding excessively, following too closely, running a red light, weaving through traffic and making dangerous lane changes, and failing to yield. If you are injured in this type of crash, a Folsom car accident lawyer at Black & DePaoli may be able to help you recover compensation. Our principal previously worked in the insurance industry and law enforcement, and he can put his insights from those experiences to work for you.
Pursuing Compensation for Aggressive Driving Accidents
If a driver is cited for an act that constitutes aggressive driving, you may be able to establish negligence per se. Negligence per se means negligence as a matter of law, and it applies when the defendant has violated a safety statute or other law, the violation caused the plaintiff’s injuries, and the plaintiff’s injuries were of the type that the law was designed to prevent. For example, if the defendant was cited for excessive speeding and making dangerous lane changes, these citations might be used to establish negligence per se.
In some cases, a defendant is charged with a reckless driving crime after causing an accident that results in injuries. The criminal case is independent from the civil case. Even if the defendant is not convicted, you may still be able to recover compensation in a civil case because the burdens of proof are different. Specifically, civil cases arising out of aggressive driving accidents must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, while a criminal case arising out of the same thing must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Road rage is criminally penalized under California law, Vehicle Code 13210 CVC. Anyone who commits an assault on an operator or passenger of another vehicle may have their driving privileges suspended. If a driver intentionally assaults you and causes injuries after a car accident, the insurance company for the driver may try to fight accountability. Many car accident policies exclude coverage for intentional acts. In most cases, however, the driver will not admit to the road rage, and the insurance company will work to settle the case. It is important, however, to have representation from an attorney of your own if you have been assaulted by a driver so that you can make sure that your rights are protected.
Damages that you may be able to recover for aggressive driving accidents include special and general damages. Special damages account for concrete harm that you suffered, such as lost wages, lost earning capacity, and medical bills. General damages include intangible harms like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.
Consult a Folsom Car Accident Lawyer After an Aggressive Driving Accident
Road rage and aggressive driving are increasingly common in California and the surrounding areas. In many cases, they result in serious or catastrophic injuries. It is essential to consult a motor vehicle collision attorney who has experience handling aggressive driving accident cases on behalf of plaintiffs. For a free consultation, call Black & DePaoli at 916-962-2896 or contact us online.