Aggressive Driving Accidents
As our highways become more crowded and as our personal stress levels grow, the number of accidents caused by so-called “aggressive driving” (or, in its more extreme form, “road rage”) continues to increase. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aggressive driving includes a wide range of risky maneuvers, such as speeding, failing to obey traffic controls or devices, failing to yield, making improper or unsafe lane changes, and following too closely. If you have been hurt in an accident caused by a driver engaged in these or other aggressive driving maneuvers, the skillful car accident lawyers at Maurer Law can help you pursue justice in the form of a fair settlement or judgment against the aggressive driver. Our Raleigh aggressive driving accident attorneys are committed to holding accountable people whose reckless behavior harms others on the road.
Following an accident caused by aggressive driving, the driver who caused the crash may be arrested and charged criminally for their behavior. Criminal cases are handled by the Attorney General, whose goal is to ensure that the defendant is punished for their conduct. If convicted, the defendant may face jail time, fines, and the stigma of a criminal record. However, the criminal justice system generally does not effectively compensate a victim for their injuries.Pursuing Damages for Your Injuries After an Aggressive Driving Accident
Regardless of whether a person struck by an aggressive driver receives restitution through the criminal court system, they have a legal right to file a civil lawsuit against the driver and potentially other parties. The case will likely be based on a theory of negligence, which requires proof that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, that the duty was breached, that the plaintiff suffered damages, and that there was causation between the breach of duty and the damages. At trial, it is possible that the defendant’s criminal conviction could be used as part of the plaintiff’s proof, although it is not necessary for the defendant to have been convicted to establish their liability in the civil claim.
If the plaintiff is able to prove their negligence case by a preponderance of the evidence, they may be able to recover lost wages, medical expenses, and payment for pain and suffering, as well as other damages. In addition to compensatory damages, the plaintiff may also seek punitive damages in some extreme cases. Not available in routine negligence cases resulting from merely careless conduct, punitive damages are intended to punish people who act willfully or with wanton disregard for others’ safety. North Carolina law places a cap on punitive damages (three times the amount of the compensatory damages or $250,000, whichever is greater) except in cases in which the defendant was driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs at the time.Consult a Knowledgeable Aggressive Driving Accident Attorney in Raleigh
If you have been hurt in an aggressive driving accident, you need quality legal advice, and you need it now. There are many issues that may potentially complicate any car accident case, and this is especially true in cases involving aggressive driving. To schedule an appointment with a skilled motor vehicle collision attorney to discuss the details of your case, call Maurer Law at (919) 229-8359 or contact us online. Our Raleigh aggressive driving accident lawyers represent victims throughout North Carolina, including in Durham, Fayetteville, Hickory, Chapel Hill, and the surrounding areas.