Being in a road rage incident can certainly be one of the most nerve-wracking situations that drivers can experience.
Any car crash can be mentally taxing, but one where there's an angry driver involved is even worse! Apart from having to deal with potential injuries, there's the aggressive behavior of the other driver to contend with.
What's the best thing to do after a road rage accident? The first minutes after the crash are going to be essential. It's important to know who to call and how the process will potentially play out.
What to Do Immediately After a Road Rage Incident
This is going to be easier said than done, but the first thing that a person needs to do is to stay calm. Once that's achieved, they must check on the passengers of the vehicle and see if there are any injuries involved. If that's the case, the first call should definitely be 9-1-1.
The next call could be just as important. Calling the insurance company immediately can also help get the situation on the right track.
In a road rage accident, a person may fear for their own safety because they're dealing with an aggressive driver. If that's the case, the best thing to do is remain within the motor vehicle until someone from the local law enforcement agency arrives.
Effects of Road Rage on Drivers
Aggressive driving behaviors are the most common effect that road rage will have on drivers. That aggression, though, can lead to other situations. It's not uncommon for aggressive drivers to physically assault police officers or even other drivers involved in an accident.
That's why it may be a good idea to remain inside the vehicle rather than confront another driver after road rage incidents. Many enraged drivers have been known to carry a deadly weapon or just escalate traffic issues through verbal and physical abuse.
What Causes Road Rage?
There's usually a tipping point for an enraged driver who starts acting erratically. Some examples of these actions are disputes over parking spots or just getting cut off by another driver.
Most of the people who end up exhibiting road rage behaviors are dealing with some sort of mental issue. Unfortunately, there's no way to predict when road rage occurs.
Road rage incidents can be instigated by people who may have just been having a bad day.
What's the Difference Between Road Rage and Aggressive Driving?
Aggressive driving behaviors that could potentially lead to a road rage crash can be instigated by seemingly calm people. There are drivers out there who feel like the freeway is a NASCAR track. This form of reckless driving, particularly when there's massive traffic congestion, can cause accidents.
Often, people who are going through an episode of road rage will not only practice some unsafe lane changes, but they're also going to exhibit aggressive behavior. That will be evident when they confront other drivers or the police after a crash.
How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Road Rage?
Road rage can be experienced by anyone, so to minimize the possibility of becoming a road rage driver, limiting driving hours while in poor mental health is a good idea.
Many people may not have the luxury of minimizing their driving distances. In those situations, listening to calm music may help reduce road rage behaviors.
To avoid other drivers who may be exhibiting road rage behavior, it's important to be very alert on the road.
Looking at the side and rearview mirrors from time to time to spot aggressive driving maneuvers by other drivers might help people on the road avoid road rage accidents.
Evidence Needed to Prove Fault in a Road Rage Incident
The police report from the scene of the accident will be the most important document to prove fault in any car crash. What happens, though, when the report isn't consistent with what took place? In that case, hiring a vehicle accident lawyer to take the case to court is essential.
If there are cameras near the area, any footage that can prove fault from the road rage driver will be key, especially if those cameras were able to catch the driver performing dangerous maneuvers.
What Law Enforcement Will Do When Called to a Road Rage Incident
There are a couple of things that the police will do after arriving at the scene of an accident. They'll make sure that everyone involved is okay. If there's an injury, ensuring that person receives medical treatment will be a main priority.
What they'll also do is file that report of the incident that is so important. That report will dictate who is at fault in that particular case, at least initially.
As a driver, it's important to be aware of what the report states. If there's a physical altercation between drivers, they may even arrest one of the parties.
Options After Being Involved in a Road Rage Accident
That first call to the insurance company will help move things along to ensure that the person who is at fault for the accident pays for the vehicle damage.
If there's a personal injury due to the crash, then the other driver can file a lawsuit against the road rage driver.
When is it time to call a lawyer? If there's some resistance by the insurance company to pay for damages, that's a sign to call a lawyer. When there are injuries involved in the altercation, that could also be a perfect sign to get legal help.
Does Auto Insurance Cover Road Rage Accidents?
Each car insurance policy can be different, but for the most part, road rage incidents are covered. The best thing that a person can do after being involved in a road rage car accident is call their insurance company. If there's a need to file a unique claim or even a personal injury lawsuit, this can come later.
When the driver who's experienced road rage tries to file a claim to get help covering the damages they caused, they could face some resistance from the insurance company. The company could claim that this person's actions were deliberate. Therefore, their accident coverage would not apply in those cases.
Determining Fault in a Road Rage Incident
In any car crash, finding who is at fault will be key to what's to come. The person who is at fault can be held liable for damages. As was mentioned, the police report of the accident will likely determine who has to pay compensation.
Will the person who is at fault be automatically liable for punitive damages? That can actually vary in a road rage incident. Therefore, it's very important to get the right legal counsel early in the investigation process.
Criminal Charges for Causing Damages During a Road Rage Incident
Can a driver in a road rage accident face criminal charges? Yes, there are actually multiple charges a person can face in this scenario.
That'll be especially true if people in other vehicles sustained injuries. The person involved in a road rage accident will have to build a defense.
People who've been consumed by road rage could potentially explore a temporary insanity defense. Some of the symptoms of true road rage can be so severe that the person experiencing them may not have control over their mental state.
That lack of control over their own actions will likely be at the center of their defense. Otherwise, a simple car accident could turn into a criminal case that results in the accused party spending time behind bars because of a road incident.
Why People Should File a Claim as Soon as Possible
When a person is involved in one of these roadway incidents, it will be in their best interest to file a claim with the insurance company as soon as possible. It's hard to collect evidence in these cases to begin with. When time is allowed to go by aimlessly, it will be harder to build any type of case.
If the accident occurred recently, there is a chance to collect skid marks from the road that could prove the direction that each vehicle happened to be moving towards. Once those are gone, though, the case will have to hold up through eyewitness accounts or video footage.
While a good lawyer will be able to build a case through these avenues, the more evidence they are allowed to collect, the better. Since evidence in these cases can fade quickly, it's important to act fast.
Reasons Why an Insurance Company May Deny Coverage
There are a couple of reasons why an insurance company may deny coverage in these types of accidents. When the person behind the wheel is proven to have been drinking, that's an easy out for the insurance company.
People who experience road rage and cause an accident may also be at risk of not being covered. What the insurance company is going to try to prove is that the driver's actions were deliberate.
Due to this aggressive driving style, the insurance company can claim that their client was deliberately at fault for the accident due to their own actions.
It's important to check each policy and understand the individual clauses that it may feature. Insurance companies are known for writing outs for themselves in the fine print that the client may overlook when they buy their insurance.
Ways an Attorney Can Assist with Filing Claims
Attorneys can actually help in a variety of ways after a road rage accident. When there's a need to build a case to be able to file claims to recover damages, attorneys can start an investigation into the matter. As mentioned before, it will be easier for them to collect evidence.
Lawyers can also be valuable assets when it comes to knowing what type of claims to file. One of the main issues that keeps people from collecting their fair due in damages is this lack of information.
With a free consultation, a decent lawyer will be able to present enough reasons to each person who's been in an accident as to why they should hire them. They can also advise on situations like falling asleep while driving car accident.
Evidence Needed to Support an Emotional Distress Claim
Drivers who experience road rage and cause accidents because of this will have a limited pool of options to defend themselves. One of the few avenues of defense has to be filing an emotional distress claim. How can a person file one of these claims successfully?
Presenting an evaluation from a certified mental health specialist could be one of the ways to approach one of these claims.
In most of these cases, an emotional distress claim can help the accused party minimize the legal consequences against them. However, it won't get them out of paying a settlement for the damages they caused.
Compensation Available for Passenger Injuries
People who have been victims of deranged drivers will be able to file claims to have their medical expenses covered. The way that these injury claims ultimately get settled depends on the subsequent court case.
Drivers with or without road rage would want to argue that those injured have partial fault for the accident.
As was previously stated, pedestrians hit by a car will have the biggest chance to win a settlement for their injuries. The other party will still try to pin part of the blame on them to get the payments for damages reduced. That's why it's still necessary to hire a lawyer even when the case seems like an easy win. They also have information on what types of motorcycles crash the most.
Final Thoughts on What to Do After a Road Rage Accident
Finding a sense of clarity to call the police and the insurance company after an accident will be the most important step. When the other driver in the incident is the one experiencing signs of road rage, remaining in the vehicle to wait for help is the best course of action.
Downplaying the situation does no favors to anyone. People shouldn't hesitate to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. That can help make the entire process less stressful for people who may already be experiencing physical pain because of the accident. Getting the right type of help on time is essential.