Road Rage Accidents in Louisiana

Road Rage Accidents in Louisiana

Road Rage Accidents in Louisiana: What Do Victims Need To Know?

Tempers can flare while sitting for long periods in rush-hour traffic. If you have spent time on Louisiana roads, you have likely encountered road rage or aggressive drivers. It is difficult to be passive and calm when someone purposely provokes you. Usually, drivers exchange harsh words and honk at each other, all followed by a two-word expletive send-off that isn’t “happy birthday.”

However, sometimes, these showdowns on Louisiana roads can turn violent. 

What Is Road Rage? 

Understanding aggressive driving is essential to better figuring out road rage. 

Although inter-related, aggressive driving and road rage are two different concepts. According to The National Highway and Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA), aggressive driving is “when an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses to endanger other persons or property.” Road rage takes things further into a more violent and potentially dangerous territory.

Road rage occurs when a driver expresses extreme aggression or anger, intending to create or cause physical harm.

Road Rage Behaviors

Examples of behaviors associated with road rage drivers include: 

· Shouting profanities, abuse, and insults.

· Hitting, bumping, sideswiping, or ramming into another vehicle.

· Rude and inflammatory gestures.

· Use of headlights and brakes to intimidate and harass other drivers.

· Forcing another car off the road.

· Brandishing guns or weapons at other drivers.

Factors That Cause Road Rage

Numerous factors can trigger a driver’s road rage. The NHTSA lists the following factors that can contribute to road rage:

Traffic Congestion

Outrage and frustration escalate every minute a driver sits behind the wheel while moving forward slowly or not moving at all in traffic.

Fear Of Being Late

Most drivers leave late and try to make up for time by speeding or using overtaking maneuvers. Being behind schedule can cause tension and boil over into road rage. A NHTSA study has revealed that running late was a leading reason for road rage.

Lack Of Compassion And Empathy For Others

Drivers have difficulty empathizing with others on the roads. Many believe laws do not apply to them and ignore the consequences of their actions on others.

Anonymity

Being in the confines of a car can make some drivers have scant regard for the well-being of others on the roads. Most individuals tend to care about their loved ones and feel they are not responsible for the safety and well-being of strangers.

Legal Remedies For Victims Of Road Rage

Road rage is a crime. Drivers who engage in road rage face legal consequences for their cowardly actions. Prosecutors bring charges against a road raging driver for specific motor vehicle code violations in Louisiana or for using a vehicle to commit a violent crime.

Road rage can even result in death, and the driver may face negligent homicide charges. 

A driver convicted of road rage is fined, sent to jail, or even convicted of a felony, depending on the severity of its consequences. 

If the driver is guilty of criminal charges, the injured victim or the deceased victim’s family may be entitled to restitution damages. 

Our knowledgeable road rage attorneys at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers recommend you pursue a third-party lawsuit against the at-fault driver. A case enables you to sue for damages. Most insurance policies do not cover acts of road rage. The raging driver’s insurance may drop their coverage, leaving you to seek compensation from them through a third-party personal injury lawsuit.

An attorney at our Louisiana personal injury law firm will protect and uphold your legal rights to secure financial compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. A criminal prosecution and a civil claim for damages against the at-fault driver are two distinct legal actions. It is beneficial if the at-fault driver is found guilty in the criminal case. However, you may have a right to recover damages even if the prosecutors decide not to press criminal charges or if the road rage driver is acquitted.

Your personal injury claim in Louisiana for damages does not depend on the outcome of the criminal case brought against the at-fault driver by the prosecution.

Road rage is a form of gross negligence. Gross negligence is an extreme form of recklessness in which a person’s actions cause a significant risk to the safety and welfare of others.

Gross negligence claims often result in higher award amounts. Damages are more because of the conscious disregard for people’s right to safety.

 While criminal prosecution requires the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of proof, a civil lawsuit applies to a much more lenient “preponderance of evidence” standard. It is far easier to win a civil suit than a criminal case.

Auto-insurance In Road Rage Accidents

In many cases, car insurance in Louisiana does not cover road rage. Insurance companies argue that road rage is intentional rather than careless behavior. Pursuing compensation can be challenging unless the driver is wealthy and can pay out-of-pocket for your damages. Alternatively, if the driver was working at the time, either as a delivery driver or a truck driver, your claim could be against their employee’s insurance policy.

If neither option is available, you may seek compensation through your auto policy if you have comprehensive or collision coverage. Comprehensive coverage would handle any event not traditionally covered by an accident. Additionally, collision coverage covers any situation where a vehicle comes in contact with another object. This coverage would kick in if a road-raged driver forces you off the road.

Immediately after your accident, review your insurance policy language and see what type and kinds of coverage you have, including your own uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) policy insurance. 

If you or someone you know has suffered injuries in an accident that may have been motivated by road rage, contact a Louisiana car accident attorney for expert guidance and skillful representation. At Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers, our lawyers can help an injured client properly characterize the alleged conduct to be more likely to be insured.  Initial consultations are free. Call our firm’s experienced road rage accident lawyer for a free case evaluation immediately.

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