Aggressive driving: It’s a problem, and most of us have experienced it in one form or another. Unfortunately, driving aggressively can escalate to road rage incidents, accidents, and even homicides in some cases. Here are some examples of aggressive driving behaviors:
Speeding, especially in thick traffic.
Moving over in front of another vehicle, then slowing down.
Running red lights or stop signs.
Weaving between lanes of traffic.
Moving lanes without using a signal.
Blocking other vehicles as they try to change lanes or pass.
Keeping brights on to irritate other drivers or “punish” them for some perceived slight.
If you notice any of these behaviors from other drivers on the road, stay calm and resist the urge to respond in kind. Do your best to stay away from the aggressive driver and try to avoid making eye contact. If they seem to be in a hurry, move over and let them pass if you can do so safely. When that doesn’t work, you may consider getting off at an earlier exit to avoid them.
If an aggressive driver seems to be following you, don’t stop and confront them. Drive to a police station or another public place like a hospital or fire station—sometimes aggressive drivers will back off when faced with witnesses and potential law enforcement attention. You can also call 911 and report the other driver’s troubling behavior.
How Can a Bridgeport Aggressive Driving Accident Attorney Help After An Accident?
Aggressive drivers don’t always take responsibility for their actions. They may cause an accident, then turn around and blame you. If you expect help from their insurance company, you might be disappointed there as well. The insurance carrier is likely to take their client’s side because if they say the accident was your fault, they have a reason to deny your claim.
An experienced aggressive driving attorney will review the police report and work on compiling evidence to prove your case. We’ll search for photo or video evidence, which we are often able to recover from doorbell, dashboard, or security cameras—especially if you contact us quickly after the accident. Additionally, we may visit the accident scene and try to find witnesses among residents or people who work in the area. We’ll also request event data recorder or EDR data from both vehicles to create a more complete picture of what happened.
Once we’ve built a strong case, we’ll seek to recover compensation for your injuries from a lawsuit or an insurance claim. In most cases, we can negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance carrier, but less commonly, the insurance adjuster may be unwilling to reach an equitable solution. If this happens, we’re prepared to fight in court for your right to recover your damages.
What if the Insurance Company Says You Are Partially at Fault?
Connecticut’s modified comparative negligence laws permit shared fault in accidents, and each party is apportioned a percentage of responsibility. If you are less than 51 percent responsible, you can collect damages from the other party (in this case, the aggressive driver), but you will lose your percentage of fault.
You may be thinking, “But I wasn’t at fault at all!” and you may be correct, but the insurance company might not see it that way. Remember, if they shift even some of the blame to you, they can pay less for your claim. It’s worth it for the insurance adjuster to at least make the argument that you were at fault.
We’ll work to show that the aggressive driver was entirely at fault. If there is not enough evidence to demonstrate they had all the blame, or if you made a small mistake that contributed to the collision, we will present evidence to show that your role in the crash was minimal so you can recover as much of your claim’s total value as possible.
What Damages Can You Seek in an Aggressive Driving Accident?
It’s very common for the insurance company to undervalue your claim if they don’t refuse to pay it entirely. In many accident cases, the insurance carrier’s first offer is much lower than the actual value of the claim. Worse, it’s hard to know if an offer is fair on your own. Here are some typical concerns:
Are all your damages covered? Frequently, an initial offer only covers some of your damages. This is complicated by the fact that the average person doesn’t know all of their damages and may have only asked for some of them, so the offer might appear reasonable.
Are future costs included? When you have complex injuries, you might need follow-up doctor visits, physical therapy, or more treatments. We usually wait until the client is finished with treatment before settling the case to ensure all costs are covered, but if you need long-term care for the most drastic injuries, we can estimate your future expenses.
Did the insurance company refuse to pay for some of your existing bills? Sometimes, the insurer deems a treatment unnecessary or ignores other damages you’ve claimed.
One of the first things we do to help our clients after an aggressive driving accident is to determine the value of their claim. We’ll ask about your expenses and other damages, such as:
Medical bills. Hospital bills, doctor bills, therapy bills—the deluge of invoices after an accident can seem endless. Medical expenses can also include out-of-pocket costs for mobility aids, traveling to see a different doctor, prescriptions at the pharmacy, etc. Please save all your bills, as this will help us with your claim evaluation.
Lost income. Not only does your medical treatment for an aggressive driving accident come with bills, but you may lose income if you can’t work while recovering. We’ll figure out how many days or weeks of work you missed and seek compensation.
Lost earning potential. If your aggressive driving accident caused you severe injuries, you may develop a permanent disability that prevents you from returning to your job. You could be unable to work at all, or you might have to reduce your hours or take a different job at lower pay.
Permanent disability or disfigurement. We can seek compensation for any permanent injury that reduces your quality of life, even if it does not affect your work.
Pain and suffering. People often think of physical pain, and that can be considerable after a severe car accident. But mental or emotional distress is also common after aggressive driving collisions. Not only is the accident itself scary and traumatic, but being bullied by another driver can add even more stress. Some people feel anxious or have trouble sleeping after these incidents, and you can seek damages for both physical and mental pain and suffering.
Property damage. Unfortunately, the aggressive driver’s anger may have caused body damage and other problems with your vehicle. We’ll ensure you receive complete repair or replacement costs and depreciation if the accident has reduced the car’s value.
Wrongful death. If you’ve lost a loved one to an aggressive driver’s reckless actions, we can help you pursue a wrongful death claim. Damages include loss of financial support, loss of consortium or companionship, funeral or burial expenses, final medical bills, and more.
What if the Aggressive Driver Just Takes Off?
Try to get the vehicle’s plate number, and if it isn’t visible, note as many details about the car’s description as possible—make, model, color, bumper stickers, etc. Call 911 to report the accident immediately, and give them all the information you have on the car. Do not attempt to chase the aggressive driver.
Get medical attention for your injuries right away, even if you don’t believe they’re significant. Many people think they’re all right after an accident, only to have severe pain or other symptoms in the next few hours or days. A healthcare provider can screen you for any potentially serious problems—such as a traumatic brain injury—which may not always cause immediate symptoms. Additionally, you’ll establish a record of your injuries that may be useful if you have further problems and need more treatment in the future.
Contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible so we can begin investigating and looking for the aggressive driver.
Where Can You Get Help From a Bridgeport Aggressive Driving Accident Law Firm?
Please contact Bert McDowell Injury Law today for a free consultation about your aggressive driving accident. We’ll review the details of your accident, seek further evidence if needed, and explain your options for recovering damages. There is no obligation, and if we take your case, you won’t owe us anything until we win or settle it.
Bert McDowell, Jr., is an experienced trial attorney who has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injured people and their families. His experience in the insurance industry and knowledge of insurance company tactics allows him to maximize settlements for clients. Mr. McDowell has been recognized in 40 Under 40 Connecticut Magazine and was also chosen for the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 in 2018. Additionally, he received the 100 Men of Color Award for his nonprofit work and successful law practice and has been a Super Lawyers Rising Star for four consecutive years.