A Michigan road rage accident lawyer can help after a car crash caused by an aggressive driver. These types of auto accidents increase every year and often result in injuries and deaths.
You may be entitled to a significant money settlement from the raging driver.
If you or someone you care about was injured in a road rage accident, you should contact The Buckfire Law Firm immediately. Our award-winning personal injury lawyers will investigate your case and work hard to get you top compensation from the aggressive driver.
- What is Road Rage?
- Location and Timing of Road Rage Accidents
- Is Road Rage a Crime in Michigan?
- National Road Rage Statistics
- Do I Get Michigan No-Fault Benefits After a Road Rage Crash?
- Can You Sue for a Road Rage Accident?
- Can I Sue if Someone Intentionally Hits Me with Their Car?
What is Road Rage?
Road rage can occur when an angry or hostile driver intentionally uses a vehicle in an overly and unnecessary aggressive manner. An innocent, unprovoked driver is often at significant risk of harm in a road rage accident. Many intentional acts result in fatality.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines road rage as when a driver “commits moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property; an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger of one motor vehicle on the operator or passengers of another motor vehicle”.
Common Causes of Michigan Road Rage Accidents
Road rage crashes often result from aggressive behavior from other motorists. Unlike when a driver is inattentive or negligent, these car accidents are caused by intentional behavior and acts meant to intimidate or harm the occupants of another vehicle.
Some common aggressive and intentional driving acts include:
- Cutting off a driver with quick lane changes without using turn signals
- Driving at a high rate of speed, well above the posted speed limit
- Tailgating too closely behind another vehicle
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Forcing a vehicle directly in front of another one slowing down
- Honking the car horn to intimidate and frighten other motorists
- Flashing headlights and bright lights at cars and motorcycles
- Making hand gestures and shouting at other drivers
- Throwing objects out of the vehicle window at other cars
- Forcing, or trying to force, another vehicle off the road
- Shooting a gun or discharging a firearm at another car
These acts violate the rules of the road in Michigan. A motorist who intentionally and recklessly endangers others on the road can face criminal penalties and be sued by any person injured because of their aggressive driving. You need an experienced auto accident lawyer on your side.
Location and Timing of Road Rage Accidents
As you would expect, most road rage accidents occur when driver stress is the highest. The most common location for a crash is in and around a major city or in urban areas. Traffic is congested in the areas and there are often construction zones, causing frustrated and angry drivers to drive aggressively and without regard to the safety and welfare of others on the roadways.
The highest number of road rage crashes occur in the summer months. They are most prevalent on Friday afternoons, especially in peak traffic hours. Drivers often have end of the week fatigue or are in a hurry to get somewhere before places close or for a weekend away.
Is Road Rage a Crime in Michigan?
There is no “road rage” law or criminal statute, but the act of aggressive driving can violate many laws and ordinances. When a gun or other weapon is involved, there are criminal laws that apply and can result in an arrest and even a lengthy term of imprisonment.
When the police ticket a driver with road rage or one involved in an intentional accident, the most common violation is for reckless driving. Reckless driving is a much more serious offense than careless driving and can result in 6 points on a driving record and loss of a license.
In Michigan, reckless driving occurs when a person drives a motor vehicle “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” It is a felony offense and if found guilty, the offender can be punished by up to 5 years in prison if it causes “serious impairment of a body function to another person.” (MCL 257.626(2) and (3)) Reckless driving is punishable by up to 15 years in prison if it “causes the death of another person.” (MCL 257.626(4)
National Road Rage Statistics
A survey by The Zebra in 2021 compiled some interesting road rage statistics. It found the most frequently witnessed act of road rage (45.4%) was another driver angrily honking their horn. Second was other drivers using rude and obscene hand gestures. Other observed acts of road rage included blocking cars (26.3%) and yelling (35.8%).
There are statistics for road rage and aggressive driving, but no solid statistics on the number of auto crashes caused by these behaviors. Drivers are not ticketed for road rage, but rather the intentional and negligent acts that cause an accident, so the exact statistics are unknown.
Further, some road rage injuries are caused by criminal conduct more significant than a traffic violation. As many road rage deaths are caused by shootings, the statistics relate more to firearm injuries and deaths than to regular roadway crashes and accidents.
Do I Get Michigan No-Fault Benefits After a Road Rage Crash?
In most circumstances, you will get Michigan No-Fault insurance benefits after a road rage accident. These benefits include payment of medical bills, lost wages, and other benefits.
You may be entitled to no-fault benefits even if you did not own a vehicle or have car insurance. Our auto accident lawyers will investigate all potential sources of insurance and assist you in filing your claims so your medical expenses are paid, and you can recoup your lost income.
Can You Sue for a Road Rage Accident?
Yes, you can sue a reckless driver that causes a road rage accident in Michigan. These lawsuits demand money compensation for the harm caused by the crash.
If the driver intentionally tried to hurt or kill someone with a motor vehicle, there may be issues with the insurance company refusing to pay a settlement. At Buckfire Law, we have successfully won big settlements in cases against drivers charged with road rage.
Can I Sue if Someone Intentionally Hits Me with Their Car?
If someone intentionally hits you with a car or truck, you still may be able to sue that person for your pain and suffering damages. For example, a driver may strike you with a car or even run over your foot causing a serious injury. The driver will likely deny it was an intentional act to avoid criminal charges and say it was simply an act of negligence.
In these situations, our lawyers will proceed on a theory of negligence or careless driving. This triggers the person’s car insurance policy to pay you a settlement.
How Much are Settlements in a Road Rage Accident Case?
The settlement amount in a road rage accident is based upon the injuries suffered by the victim. The fact that the injuries were caused by an overly aggressive driver may not impact on the settlement amount because settlements are based primarily on the injuries and economic losses.
However, a jury might be more inclined to award higher damages to a person harmed because another motorist was too reckless and aggressive, and not simply inattentive.
Settlements in all car accident cases include payment of money damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, disability, and scarring and disfigurements. There are also economic damages for an excess loss of wages and medical expenses caused by the motor vehicle accident.
Aggressive Driving Settlement Example
Buckfire Law recently settled a car accident case against an aggressive driver for $1,990,000. The claims were settled with the insurance company before a lawsuit was even filed.
Our client was a passenger in a rideshare vehicle that was struck at a high rate of speed by an aggressive driver. We obtained and downloaded the vehicle’s digital recorder to show the defendant was travelling well above the speed limit and witnesses said the driver was aggressive. Our client suffered a serious injury to his spinal cord that resulted in permanent paralysis.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim for a Road Rage Accident
When an aggressive driver kills someone in a road rage accident, or just driving too aggressively, it gives rise to a Michigan wrongful death lawsuit. These cases are filed by a family member seeking justice for the decedent and the surviving family members who lost a loved one.
Wrongful death lawsuits demand compensation for the pain and suffering of the decedent from the time of the crash until death. In addition, settlement compensation is demanded for the loss of companionship suffered by the family members caused by the death in the fatal accident.
Contact Our Michigan Road Rage Car Accident Lawyers Now
Get started today by contacting our Michigan road rage accident attorneys. We will start working on your case immediately to get your benefits paid and win you a great settlement.
We charge no legal fees unless you win your case and it costs no money to get started.
Call us now to speak with an experienced Michigan auto accident attorney.
- 29000 Inkster Road
Southfield, MI 48034
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Detroit, MI 48226
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Detroit, MI 48226
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Ann Arbor, MI 48104
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Shelby Township, MI 48316
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Flint, MI 48502
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