Road Rage Accidents
While all drivers on the road should drive safely, the reality is that many people do not. When drivers get angry behind the wheel, they make decisions that can jeopardize the safety of everyone else on the road. If you or a loved one has been injured by a driver exhibiting signs of road rage or other aggressive driving behaviors, you need to contact a Wheaton or Schaumburg car accident lawyer who can assert your rights. With extensive experience, the team at Therman Law Offices can help you recover the compensation that you deserve in your road rage accident case. Time is of the essence in these situations, so it is important to act as quickly as possible after your accident.Risks Posed by Road Rage
Certain hostile behavior behind the wheel increases the risk of accidents on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), road rage occurs when a person drives in a way that endangers others by:
- Illegal passing;
- Carelessly weaving in and out of traffic lanes;
- Running a red light or failing to stop at a stop sign; or
- Failing to yield the right of way.
While it can be hard to point to an exact behavior, generally a combination of any of the aforementioned conduct will be sufficient to show road rage. In Illinois, road rage is addressed in the state’s reckless driving statute, and it takes place when an individual willfully or wantonly disregards the safety of other persons or property or knowingly uses an incline in a roadway to jump a vehicle.
Road rage accidents cause a relatively small but increasing percentage of deaths on U.S. roadways. Data from the NHTSA reveal that road rage was linked to 467 fatal crashes in 2015, or 1.3 percent, up from 80, or 0.2 percent, in 2006, an increase of almost 500 percent in 10 years. In addition, the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety found that around 8 percent of all drivers on the road noticed anger, aggression, or road rage behind the wheel at least once throughout the previous year.
Road rage leads to a number of preventable accidents in Illinois and across the United States each year. If you or a loved one has been injured in such an accident, an attorney can likely recover compensation for you through a negligence claim. Every driver on the road has a duty to drive safely and not intentionally cause harm to others on the road. If a motorist causes an accident and resulting injuries due to road rage, that motorist will likely be considered negligent.
In order to establish negligence following a road rage accident, you must prove the following elements: the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care; the defendant breached the duty of care by exhibiting signs of road rage (such as dangerously weaving in and out of traffic); the defendant’s breach was a direct cause of the accident; and the plaintiff suffered compensable damages.
Once negligence is established, the plaintiff will be able to recover a variety of economic and non-economic damages. Of course, the specific amount of compensation that a plaintiff will be entitled to recover will depend on the nature and extent of the harm suffered. Generally speaking, however, a plaintiff will be able to recover damages for items such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages due to missed work, and property damage. In rare cases, you may be entitled to punitive damages as well because this conduct is often egregious and intentional.Get Advice on Your Case from an Attorney in Schaumburg or Wheaton
Driving can often be a frustrating task, especially during rush hour or other times of heavy traffic. While some drivers lack courtesy on the road, others are downright angry, lashing out at others and increasing the risk of serious accidents. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident caused by another driver’s road rage, we can help. At Therman Law Offices, our attorneys are committed to getting you the compensation that you are rightfully owed after a car crash. We take on clients from the areas around Wheaton, Schaumburg, Addison, Elmhurst, West Chicago, Lemont, Westmont, Oakbrook, Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Downers Grove, and Lisle. Feel free to call us at 312-588-1900 or reach us online.