When Can You Sue for Aggressive Driving or Road Rage in Miami?
Driving can be dangerous in Miami, and it is made worse by aggressive drivers and road rage incidents. If another driver tries to run you off the road or intentionally crashes into you, it can result in a horrific car crash. When you’re involved in a road rage car accident or another crash caused by aggressive driving, talk to a car accident attorney about your options to sue. Miami car accident lawyer Prosper Shaked explains how you can sue for a road rage car accident. For a free consultation on your Miami car accident case, contact The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today.
Aggressive Driving and Road Rage Car Accidents
Miami drivers are responsible for their driving, no matter how upset they are. Being angered by another driver’s decisions on the road does not give them an excuse to drive dangerously or to pressure other drivers on the road. In keeping with the rules of the road, an aggressive or angry driver is still responsible for their actions behind the wheel and can be held liable for any accidents or injuries they cause.
Fault in a car accident is determined according to traffic laws and the duties that drivers owe each other. In general, there is a duty that drivers use the proper care and skill that a reasonable driver would use. In addition, there is a duty to follow traffic laws, such as speed limit regulations, stop signs, traffic lights, yield signs, rules for signaling before turns, and other traffic rules. When a driver fails to drive with the proper care or skill, or if they violate any traffic rules, a court could find them responsible for the accident.
Road rage and aggressive driving are called by these names to indicate how they deviate from careful or reasonable driving. Once a driver starts putting their rage or heightened emotions into their driving, there is a good chance they are already violating their duty to drive with reasonable care and skill. In fact, Florida has a law to directly punish “aggressive careless driving.” Florida traffic law § 316.1923 considers “aggressive careless driving” to be driving with any two or more of the following conditions:
- Changing lanes unsafely or without signaling,
- Not yielding the right of way,
- Illegal passing, or
- Violating posted signs or lights.
This means that when someone speeds up to tailgate you in an attempt to force you to move right, they are already breaking the law by driving aggressively. If this leads to a car crash, it is likely that driver’s fault.
Suing for Road Rage Accidents and Aggressive Driving
In most cases, you cannot sue for aggressive driving unless there is an actual accident. In some cases, the other driver’s conduct may be so threatening or outrageous that it constitutes illegal threats or intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED). Criminal law may punish threats under the crime of “terroristic threats” or even “assault” for something like pulling a gun on a victim. In civil law ,victims may be able to sue for damages for the “tort” of assault or IIED if another person’s driving puts them in fear of imminent danger or fear for their life. This does not require an actual crash or vehicle damage.
Alternatively, you may be able to sue the other driver for a car accident if their driving forces you off the road or ends in a collision. In many cases, this may be similar to a hit and run if the other driver forces you off the road, then drives off. If that happens, it is vital that you get their license plate information and call the police as soon as you can so they can catch the culprit. If the other driver does pull their car over, you should collect their driver’s license information, personal contact information, and insurance information. If you were the victim of aggressive driving or road rage, you may want to wait until police arrive before trying to get any information from the angry driver.
Florida insurance is “no-fault” insurance, but still allows lawsuits in cases where injuries are worth more than $10,000 or constitute certain “permanent” injuries. If the other driver caused the crash through aggressive driving or by intentionally crashing into you, you may also be the victim of multiple crimes. This could lead to restitution through the criminal court system but does not stop you from filing a civil lawsuit for the car accident as well.
Lawyer for Aggressive Driving and Road Rage Victims in South Florida
If you or a loved one was the victim of overly aggressive, unsafe driving or was injured in a road rage car accident, talk to a car accident lawyer today. Miami personal injury attorney Prosper Shaked represents the victims of car accidents and other injuries in cases against those responsible for causing their injuries. For a free consultation on your case, contact The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today at (305) 690-0244