Road rage and aggression on the road are on the rise. In fact, drivers are likely to face daily road rage or behavior associated with angry driving in some way. Almost 80% of drivers show significant aggression while driving at least once in the previous month. Being a victim in an Austin Road rage crash can be catastrophic and leave you with life-changing injuries. If you have suffered injuries in an accident involving road rage, you should contact a car accident attorney as soon as you can.
What’s In This Guide
- Road Rage Itself is not Considered a Criminal Offense
- Legal Remedies Available to a Victim of a Road Rage Accident
- Seek Legal Representation for a Road Rage Accident
Road Rage Itself is not Considered a Criminal Offense
In Texas, road rage is not considered a crime, as bad behavior while driving does not trigger a criminal investigation. While road rage behavior does not always lead to a criminal offense, it may lead to a crime.
Additionally, you can sue someone for road rage if the road rage driver is acting negligently, recklessly, or intentionally causes you an injury.
There is a difference between aggressive driving and road rage, which Texas treats differently.
Specifically, Texas considers aggressive driving actions to be illegal and classifies these as moving violations. Additionally, Texas treats physical attacks (with or without the vehicle) as assault and battery. If there is an assault or damage caused, then it will be investigated as a criminal act.
How To Avoid Road Rage Trouble
Most aggressive driving and road rage can be attributed to driving while rushed and late, being distracted, or simply having a rough day.
While you may be tempted to engage with a road rage-filled driver, there are some things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones in your vehicle:
- Do not respond to the other driver’s aggression or road rage. This includes restraining from making eye contact, hand gestures, not allowing the other driver to merge into your lane, excessively using your horn, using high beams, making eye contact
- In the case where you feel in danger and/or threatened, drive away and to a place of safety and/or call the police.
Legal Remedies Available to a Victim of a Road Rage Accident
If a driver’s road rage and/or aggressive actions were the cause of an accident that injured you and/or your loved ones, you need skilled legal representation to ensure they are held responsible for their actions.
Road Rage Damages
Personal injury damages fall under economic and non-economic losses. Where the other driver engages in extreme recklessness, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the driver and deter others by setting an example.
Economic damages are intended to financially cover actual economic loss such as:
- Medical expenses: medical visits, treatment, and procedures related to the accident, including future treatments and services (i.e., surgery and/or physical therapy or chiropractic treatments).
- Loss of income: earnings you lost out on due to the accident, including future wages because of the car accident injury.
- Property damage: for example, repairing or replacing your car that was damaged in the crash.
Non-economic damages are awarded to compensate you and/or a loved one for the pain and suffering experienced because of the car accident, such as:
- Chronic pain
- Loss to quality of life
- losing a loved one’s support
Road Rage Compensation
In some cases, financial compensation for the victim may be reduced where the fault is shared by the drivers. Texas adheres to modified comparative negligence when making fault determinations amongst the parties. This means that if a Texas driver is 50% or less at fault, then the financial award will be lowered according to the percentage of fault. On the other hand, where the driver is 51 percent or more at fault, they lose out on recovering any damages at all.
For these reasons, it is also important to not engage in road rage behavior if you encounter it—as you can be held partly responsible for causing an accident. Where you are not at fault, and you can establish that the other driver was driving carelessly and caused your injuries—then you will likely be entitled to recovering the full and fair amount of financial compensation that covers your losses.
Additionally, as Texas is an at-fault state, the other driver would be required to use their auto liability insurance to cover your damages. On the other hand, if you are found responsible for the accident and the other driver has damages, then your auto liability insurance should cover the other driver’s expenses such as medical visits, car damage repair, funeral expenses, and lost wages.
It is important to note that generally, insurance policies will not cover damages that you intentionally caused. In the case of road rage accidents, if you started racing with the other driver, then you intentionally caused the damage and would not be able to have these damages covered under an insurance policy.
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- Determining Liability for an Austin Accident Involving a Broken-Down Vehicle
Seek Legal Representation for a Road Rage Accident
Experiencing a car accident due to road rage can be traumatic and stressful. An experienced Texas personal injury lawyer with experience in such cases can guide you through the legal process and help you understand and pursue legal options that are in your best interests and even in the event you were at least partially responsible. You are entitled to receiving just compensation for your injuries and suffering, and an attorney with a track record of success is a good sign of an effective personal injury attorney. Additionally, a skilled attorney will be experienced in collecting and analyzing evidence to best support your case, zealously advocating on your behalf, whether it is in the courtroom or before an insurance company.
Consult with a Texas Road Rage Car Accident Attorney
If you and/or a loved one have sustained injuries in a road rage car accident, you are likely feeling overwhelmed and in need of legal guidance. While you focus on recovering from your injuries, the committed personal injury attorneys at the Patel Firm are prepared to help you achieve just compensation. Our attorneys have the experience and skills to effectively represent you and advocate for your best interests in a road rage accident case. The best way to get started is to call (361) 400-2036 to schedule a free evaluation where we will discuss the details of your case and your legal options.