Road Rage Accidents
Road rage is a growing issue here in Rhode Island, and all over the U.S. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 218 murders and 12,610 injuries were attributed to road rage in the past seven years. Road rage occurs when one driver purposely threatens another driver with angry or violent behavior. These deliberately aggressive actions can escalate and result in serious physical injuries to a motorist and sometimes their passengers. If you have been hurt in a car accident caused by road rage, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries and damages. Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer David Tapalian can help you after a road rage accident and hold the aggressive driver responsible your losses. In Attorney Tapalian’s 20 years as a personal injury lawyer, he has helped countless victims of motor vehicle crashes and will work hard to get you the settlement you deserve.Road Rage vs. Aggressive Driving
There is a distinction between road rage and aggressive driving. The NHTSA defines road rage as “angry and violent behaviors at the extreme of the aggressive driving continuum”. While aggressive driving is considered a traffic violation, road rage can be considered a criminal offense depending on the severity. Some examples of road rage include:
- A driver gets out of the car and says offensive or inappropriate words directed at you
- A driver gets out of the car and physically harms you
- A driver intentionally hits your vehicle with their car
- A driver gets out of the car and damages your vehicle
- A driver follows you and/or threatens you later on
If you are a victim injured in a crash involving an aggressive driver, you may be unsure how to proceed. A car accident is frightening enough on its own, but when a furious and volatile driver is also involved, the situation can be life threatening. There are certain steps you can take to protect yourself in these situations:
- Remain in your car and lock the doors.
- For the safety of you and anyone else in the car, don’t get out of the car. Often, road rage cases end in physical contact and even assault.
- Do not engage in aggressive exchanges with the other driver; reacting may cause the situation to escalate.
- Call 911 and wait for police to arrive at the scene before getting out of your vehicle.
- Explain to authorities exactly what happened. Don’t leave out any details with regard to the other driver’s aggression; these details may be beneficial to your case.
- Document the damages.
- If possible, take pictures of both vehicles. If there are any witnesses at the scene, make sure they give the police a witness statement.
- Seek medical treatment immediately
- Even if you feel fine, you should consult a medical professional to be checked out. Symptoms of injury can take days, even weeks, to show up.
- Contact a Rhode Island road rage accident lawyer
- A skilled attorney like David Tapalian can help you determine your best course of action.
- Moving forward, you may reach a settlement with the insurance company, or you may have grounds for a civil suit. If you were physically hurt by the other driver with intent to harm you, this may even be grounds for a criminal suit. Every case is unique, and you should always seek legal representation before accepting any claims or agreements with insurance companies.
There are various types of compensation a victim may be awarded after an incident involving road rage:
- Lost income- even if you have to use your sick time, you may still be entitled to a recovery of all lost wages that resulted due to this accident. You could also be compensated for future lost income should you have some type of permanent total disability.
- Medical expenses- you may be entitled to the recovery of all your medical expenses due to a Rhode Island road rage car accident.
- Pain and suffering- you may be rewarded for pain and suffering due to your road rage accident. Pain and suffering are the overreaching term that can include your initial trauma due to the accident, pain while healing and undergoing therapy, and long-term pain and disability should you not fully recover 100%.
- Punitive damages- many people don’t realize that you may be entitled to punitive damages in certain car accident scenarios. A road rage accident could be one of those situations where you would be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded when a message needs to be sent to the defendant due to their bad behavior. Rhode Island has a specific statute that affords for punitive damages in these situations. One need not be convicted of a crime in order to recover punitive damages.
Aggressive drivers acting with road rage can be dangerous, and they need to be held accountable for their violent actions. In no situation is intentional violence acceptable. If you have been hurt in an accident involving an aggressive driver, you can trust road rage Accident Attorney David Tapalian to provide the strongest representation for your case. With over two decades of experience dealing with personal injury cases in Rhode Island, David and his dedicated team of personal injury experts at Tapalian Law will meet with you to discuss your case and guide you through the steps to receive the compensation you deserve. We offer a free consultation and, with offices in Providence, Warwick, and Seekonk, MA, we are easily accessible to injured people all over RI and MA. Call Tapalian Law today at 401-552-5000 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.