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Legal Implications of Road Rage Accidents: Protecting Your Rights

Drivers who cause road rage accidents face criminal charges. The penalties for road rage accidents can depend on several factors. While these criminal consequences are a way to deter future road rage incidents, the fines and jail time that these reckless drivers face don’t directly benefit victims of these accidents. However, it’s important to note that road rage accident victims have options for recovery. A car accident lawyer can help you fight for justice.

Legal Consequences for Road Rage

California’s aggressive driving laws state the penalties for aggressive or reckless driving. Per VEH § 13210, a driver’s license can be suspended for six months for an “assault commonly known as ‘road rage.’” For a subsequent offense, the driver’s license can be suspended for one year.

Drivers can also face imprisonment between five and 90 days in a county jail for reckless driving. They may also face fines between $145 and $1,000, per VEH § 23103. Penalties may increase if somebody suffered serious injuries or passed away in the accident.

Why Road Rage Happens

There are several reasons why drivers may exhibit road rage and aggressive behavior, including:

  • Traffic congestion or heavy traffic, which is all too common on Los Angeles roadways
  • Running late
  • Driving while angry or otherwise upset
  • Responding to another driver’s maneuver
  • Anonymity (They can act aggressively because no one knows who they are from the privacy of their vehicle, and they don’t know the other driver.)

These factors can lead to:

  • Velocidad
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Running lights or stop signs
  • Failing to yield right of way
  • Seguir de cerca
  • Passing illegally
  • Purposeful vehicle contact
  • Running other cars off the road
  • Violating other traffic laws

These actions can lead to accidents that cause property damage, serious injury, and, in the most severe cases, even death.

Regardless of why road rage incidents happen, if it happened to you, you deserve justice.

Criminal Penalties Don’t Get You All the Justice You Deserve

While a road rage driver who commits a criminal offense may face fines, a license suspension, or jail time, that doesn’t help you pay your medical bills or recoup your lost wages. If an aggressive or reckless driver caused you or a loved one injury, you deserve compensation and can pursue a civil case against the reckless driver. Depending on your case, you could recover compensation for:

  • Medical bills, both current and future
  • Salarios perdidos
  • Pérdida de capacidad de ganancia
  • Property damage, if your vehicle was damaged or totaled
  • Miscellaneous accident-related expenses, such as the costs of hiring someone to do the housework you did before your accident
  • Dolor y sufrimiento

If you lost a loved one in a road rage incident, please accept our condolences. While we know nothing can bring your loved one back, a wrongful death claim could get you the compensation you need to cover bills and other losses.

Liability in Road Rage Incidents

If an aggressive driver caused your injury, you can hold them liable. To do so, you must prove the following:

  • The other driver had a duty to drive safely and avoid actions that could cause an accident.
  • The other driver breached that duty by driving aggressively.
  • Their breach caused a road rage accident.
  • You suffered damages due to the wreck.

Our team will gather evidence to establish the above.

What to Do After a Road Rage Accident

The steps to take after a road rage accident differ slightly from a standard car accident, as you may want to avoid interacting with the other driver.

  • Stay calm.
  • Do not confront the other driver.
  • If the driver is acting aggressively after the accident, do not get out of the vehicle. Keep your windows rolled up and your doors locked.
  • If possible, distance yourself from a driver who is acting aggressively or violently by getting somewhere safe, such as a police station or a well-lit, highly populated area.
  • Call 911 and let the dispatcher know you have been in an accident with a driver behaving aggressively or violently.

Tips for Avoiding Road Rage Accidents in the Future

There will always be angry drivers sharing our roadways. While you may not have prevented your first road rage incident, there are a few things you can do to avoid a second:

  • Don’t use the left/passing lane if you are going to drive slowly.
  • Allow tailgating drivers to pass you.
  • Ignore any aggressive gestures and refuse to engage.
  • Don’t make eye contact with drivers displaying aggressive driving behavior.
  • Don’t drive while distracted.
  • Drive defensively and courteously, not offensively.
  • Don’t block the other driver.
  • Don’t tailgate.
  • Don’t use aggressive gestures, even if another driver cuts you off or tailgates you.
  • Stay calm if another driver is behaving aggressively.
  • Don’t use your high beams or flash your headlights at other drivers.
  • Remember that everyone has bad days. Don’t take their actions personally or let it affect your own driving.

If another driver is displaying reckless or aggressive driving behavior and you feel unsafe, call for help.

Our Car Accident Lawyers Are Here to Help After a Road Rage Accident

Road rage accidents can cause severe or even deadly injuries. If you or a loved one was injured due to a reckless or aggressive driver, you deserve justice. Our accident lawyers can help negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement that covers your losses.

Get a free consultation with the Abogados de lesiones personales en KJT Grupo de Derecho (818) 507-8525.

We Will Fight For You

Contact our firm to get started.
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