Recover Compensation After A Rear-End Incident?
Nowadays, everyone seems to be in a hurry while on the road, and many drivers will do anything they can to get ahead of other motorists. When overly aggressive drivers tailgate vehicles, weave in and out of highway traffic without using turn signals and run stop signs and red lights, the chances are good that they will cause an accident with another vehicle or pedestrian.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident that resulted from road rage, you should speak with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can promptly investigate your crash and file a claim with or lawsuit against the appropriate insurance company.
If the insurance company accepts fault for the accident, your lawyer can pursue a favourable settlement offer, jury verdict, or binding arbitration award on your behalf.
Common Characteristics of Enraged Drivers
In a nutshell, road rage describes a driver’s reaction to an actual or imagined situation that arises on the road. Many drivers become upset when they are in a hurry and another person drives too slowly for their liking. At other times, drivers become resentful when others stay in the fast lane too long. Finally, in some situations, there is no rational explanation for why a driver becomes enraged behind the wheel.
Angry drivers often exhibit risky driving maneuvers, such as tailgating other vehicles, abruptly weaving in and out of traffic, and speeding. At other times, enraged drivers try to beat yellow or red traffic lights, entering a traffic intersection when the adjacent traffic obtains the right of way, causing a collision. Finally, some aggressive drivers run yield and stop signs or cut off another motorist when merging onto a highway causing a severe crash.
Drivers must operate their vehicles in a careful, safe, and prudent manner at all times. When they exhibit risky driving maneuvers, they violate that standard of care. Consequently, they can be responsible if their negligence causes a traffic accident.
To prove that you are eligible for monetary compensation in a road rage crash, you must demonstrate that the other driver breached their duty of care by violating a law that caused your accident.
In addition, you will need to show that you suffered an injury in the crash and that your injury directly resulted from the accident. If you can prove these legal elements successfully, you might be entitled to recover various monetary damages for your injuries. A car accident lawyer can prove all of your claim’s legal elements and work to maximize the compensation you recover in your case.
Injuries in Road Rage Accidents
When drivers become enraged, they tend to violate the speed limit. When that happens and they strike another vehicle, serious injuries can occur. The force of the impact may cause an accident victim’s body to hit the headrest, door frame, console, dashboard, or window, leading to a severe injury.
At the very least, the impact force might cause an accident victim’s body to move around inside their vehicle or from side to side, causing soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash and muscular contusions.
Car accident victims commonly suffer internal organ damage, bone fractures, bruises, abrasions, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and traumatic head injuries. These injuries may require treatment at a hospital emergency room or urgent care center. In fact, a car accident victim should seek medical treatment as soon as possible following their crash preferably on the same day.
A medical provider can examine you thoroughly and diagnose your medical condition at the hospital. In addition, the provider can order the necessary X-rays, brain scans, and MRIs to see if you sustained internal organ damage in your accident. Finally, the doctor can recommend follow-up treatment after you leave the ER.
When treating your injuries following a car crash, you must follow up with your treatment provider regularly. When insurance companies see delayed medical treatment and lengthy treatment gaps, they become skeptical of an accident victim’s injuries. Specifically, the handling adjuster might believe that the accident victim did not take their medical treatment seriously and that they did not suffer significant injuries in their car crash. Consequently, they may not offer much money to settle the accident victim’s car accident claim.
The benefit of having a knowledgeable car accident lawyer on board in your case is that they can start handling the legal aspects while you treat your injuries. Your lawyer can begin to gather up medical documentation, lost income statements, photographs, police reports, and other information to assemble into a settlement demand package.
Your lawyer can send this demand package and a settlement demand letter to the insurance company once your treatment is over. Your lawyer can then begin the settlement negotiation phase of your car accident claim.
Filing a Claim with the At-fault Driver’s Insurance Company
In most instances, your lawyer will file a car accident claim with the at-fault driver’s motor vehicle insurer. Once your lawyer submits a demand package, which typically includes a copy of the police report and eyewitness statements, the insurance company will determine how much liability it wants to accept.
If the insurance company accepts liability in your case and admits that the accident resulted from their insured’s road rage, the parties can start talking about a settlement.
In most instances, insurance companies make low settlement offers initially. Adjusters want to settle car accident claims for as little as possible, saving their insurance company money. After all, insurance companies make money by collecting insurance premiums from their insureds. They don’t make money by paying large car accident settlements, arbitration awards, and jury verdicts.
By making a low initial settlement offer, the insurance company is seeing whether you are in a hurry to settle. Your lawyer will typically need to negotiate with the insurance company adjuster several times or even threaten them with litigation before the adjuster will increase their settlement offer meaningfully.
If the adjuster ultimately offers fair and reasonable compensation, you might decide to settle your case. If that happens, the case concludes and will not proceed to a jury trial. However, if the parties reach an impasse, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court and begin the litigation process. Because a car accident case is in litigation does not mean it cannot settle. Most car accident claims settle long before the case ever gets to a jury trial. Your lawyer may continue their settlement negotiations with the insurance company adjuster even while litigation is ongoing.
During litigation, a defense attorney will enter an appearance in the case to represent the at-fault driver. They will typically send your lawyer written questions, called interrogatories, and they may request your discovery deposition. Your lawyer can help you handle all the legal aspects of discovery, including completing answers to interrogatories for you and preparing you for your deposition.
Once discovery is complete, the insurance company may increase its settlement offer further. However, if that does not happen, the parties have several options. First, they can take their case to a jury trial and allow the jury to decide all disputed issues. Alternatively, they can present their case to a binding arbitrator who will determine the damages in the case.
Your car accident lawyer can help determine whether an adjuster’s so-called top settlement offer is reasonable. Moreover, they can help you decide whether you should accept a pending settlement offer, take your case to a jury trial, or pursue binding arbitration to resolve your claim.
The MNH Injury Team Gets Results
We get you the results you need and provide legal advice through the whole court process. Don’t be unprepared when you could have one of the best legal teams out there to assist you. Reach out to us today to get your consultation.
Deadline to File Suit in a Road Rage Car Collision Case
In all car accident cases, accident victims do not have unlimited time to pursue monetary compensation. Following a car crash, accident victims only have two years from their accident date to bring a claim or file a lawsuit seeking monetary damages.
Absent extremely limited circumstances, if they file their lawsuit too late, they forever waive their right to recover monetary damages for their car accident injuries. Therefore, it is in your best interest to retain a skilled car accident lawyer to represent you as soon as possible in your road rage accident case.
Your lawyer can file a timely lawsuit for damages and efficiently pursue settlement compensation from the adjuster. If the insurance company refuses to compensate you adequately, your lawyer can swiftly begin the litigation process and work to bring your case to a favourable conclusion.
Potential Damages in Road Rage Accident Cases
Road rage accidents can leave their victims severely injured and in significant pain. In some instances, accident victims suffer permanent injuries for which they experience pain and symptoms for the remainder of their lives.
You can recover various damages if you can prove the legal elements of your car accident claim. However, the damages that one accident victim obtains in their case may differ from those that another accident victim recovers. The types and amounts of damages typically depend on the injuries involved, the extent of the accident victim’s medical treatment, and whether or not the accident victim missed time from work following their crash.
Accident victims who miss work time to attend medical appointments and physical therapy sessions can bring a lost wage claim. To prove their claim, they will need to submit a statement from their employer, which indicates the number of days they missed and the total amount of money they lost. In addition, the accident victim will need to submit a statement from their healthcare provider authorizing them to take off work.
In some instances, accident victims suffer permanent injuries which prevent them from returning to the same job and performing the same work duties. They may need to switch to light duty work or to switch entire career fields. If the accident victim must move to a lower-paying job due to the injuries they suffered in their road rage accident, they can bring a claim for loss of earning capacity.
Road rage accident victims can also pursue compensation for their inconvenience, mental distress, pain, and suffering. Past pain and suffering damages compensate accident victims for everything they endured between their accident date and the present. Future pain and suffering damages compensate accident victims for the anticipated suffering they will experience, sometimes for the remainder of their life.
When accident victims cannot spend time with family and engage in recreational activities following their crash, they can bring a claim for loss of life enjoyment. If they suffer a permanent injury, such as paralysis, which prevents them from using a body part or group of body parts, they can bring a loss of use claim. Finally, accident victims can recover compensation for loss of spousal companionship and family support.
If you suffered injuries in an accident that an enraged driver caused, your lawyer can determine which of these damages you are eligible to recover—and help you seek the full amount of monetary compensation you deserve.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer Today
Sharing the road with angry drivers is a frustrating experience, especially if one of these drivers causes an accident in which you sustain injuries. When drivers violate their duty of care by engaging in aggressive driving maneuvers and they cause accidents, you can hold them and their insurers responsible for your injuries and damages.
A skilled car accident lawyer can help you investigate your accident and determine your eligibility for filing a car accident claim. If you can file, your lawyer can assist you throughout the process and work to recover the maximum amount of compensation that you need for your injuries.
You maximize your chances of getting fair compensation for your losses when you retain the help of an experienced lawyer.