Highways and city streets present inherent risks and dangers even when everyone is driving safely and courteously. Aggressive drivers increase the chance of accidents and injury. If a driver is experiencing road rage, they might engage in conduct such as tailgating, flashing their high beams, cutting off other drivers, speeding, making obscene hand gestures, or, in some cases, physically attacking other drivers. In many instances, road rage results in accidents that injure innocent drivers.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident that was caused by road rage or aggressive driving, contact our Baltimore lawyer for a car accident caused by road rage today. At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, our lawyers work to help injury victims receive compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call (410) 694-7291 today to schedule a free consultation.
Aggressive Driving Laws in Baltimore
In Baltimore, aggressive driving is defined as committing three or more specific driving violations in a single, continuous period of driving. The list of offenses includes speeding, tailgating, failing to yield the right of way, disregarding traffic lights or signs, and improperly passing. When drivers become impatient on congested roadways, anger can boil over and result in acts of aggressive driving fueled by road rage. If a driver causes an accident while experiencing road rage or driving aggressively, they may be personally liable for any injuries or damages resulting from the crash.
Liability for Injuries Caused by Road Rage Under Baltimore Law
Not every poor driving decision constitutes aggressive driving or road rage. There are times when mistakes occur or drivers are simply careless, and some accidents are just accidents. However, when aggressive driving and road rage lead to a crash, the driver’s conduct is usually considered seriously negligent or even reckless. Negligent drivers in Baltimore may be liable for all damages and injuries they cause.
There are several indications that a driver is experiencing road rage, such as obscene or rude hand gestures, screaming, sudden or reckless lane changes, sudden braking, tailgating, or – in extreme cases –getting out of their car and physically approaching you.
An accident caused by road rage or aggressive driving will generally include several moving violations or criminal charges. If you were injured in a road rage accident, any evidence of the other driver’s behavior would help prove that their conduct was reckless or negligent. We will use any police reports or traffic tickets to help demonstrate liability and fight for your compensation in court.
If another driver’s behavior is severely aggressive or turns violent, then their conduct may constitute “gross negligence.” Mere negligence – failing to act reasonably under the given circumstances – is often enough to hold the other driver liable for a crash. For example, failing to stop at a traffic light or speeding on a highway can lead to liability if it causes an accident. Gross negligence, on the other hand, is more severe. To prove gross negligence, it must be shown that the conduct was extraordinarily reckless and well below any reasonable driving standards. If you were injured in a car accident due to a driver’s gross negligence, additional compensation might be awarded.
It is also important to note that Maryland follows the “contributory negligence” doctrine. This means that if you contributed to causing the accident in any way, the other driver might not be liable for any injuries you suffered or for any damages incurred. When confronted with an aggressive driver, you should not respond with similar behavior.
Compensation in Baltimore for Injuries From Road Rage
The two types of damages generally awarded in Baltimore personal injury cases are economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are easily quantifiable and include medical costs, damage to the vehicle, and loss of income. Noneconomic damages are more difficult to calculate but can nonetheless be compensated with monetary damages. Pain and suffering damages are the most common examples of noneconomic damages.
If your injuries were caused by another driver’s gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional acts, you could be awarded additional punitive damages. Punitive damages do not arise from the injury but are meant as a punishment for excessive reckless conduct. For example, an aggressive driver who was drunk at the time of the accident could be required to pay punitive damages. In should be noted, however, that punitive damages are rarely awarded in Maryland.
What to Do if You Are a Victim of Road Rage in Baltimore
Road rage can lead to car accidents and, in some cases, physical attacks. If you have been in an accident that was caused by another driver’s aggressive driving and they were behaving violently after the crash, it is important to remain in your vehicle and avoid engaging with the other driver. Call 9-1-1 and stay in your car, if possible, until the Baltimore police arrive. Be sure to give a detailed report of any aggressive or reckless conduct the other driver was exhibiting as this could be evidence to help determine liability.
If you suffered an injury, get medical attention immediately. Once you have been treated and your doctor has determined that you are in stable condition, contact our experienced Baltimore lawyers for injuries caused by road rage.
Call Our Baltimore Lawyer for a Car Accident Caused by Road Rage for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s aggressive driving or road rage, call our Baltimore lawyers for car accidents caused by road rage to discuss the steps necessary to receive your just compensation. Injuries sustained in a car crash could lead to expensive medical costs, physical therapy, and lost wages. We will work with you every step of the way to help you get compensation for your accident. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 today to schedule a free consultation.