Injury Lawyer For Accidents Caused By Road Rage In Dallas, TX
So-called “road rage” is a dangerous form of aggression by drivers that can lead to significant accidents and extreme injuries. In some cases, these acts are so dangerous that they may result in the death of victims of the driver who is raging. An accident caused by road rage can be handled in several different ways depending on the facts of the claim in question, including both criminal consequences and civil lawsuits for appropriate compensation. Injured people should get in touch with the skilled road rage accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins, a Dallas car accident law firm, for help navigating the legal process.
Filing a claim for compensation can involve many disparate steps that are foreign to laypeople unfamiliar with the intricacies of Texas law. Our knowledgeable attorneys are here to help every step of the way: from filing your claim within the two-year statute of limitations all the way through the successful resolution of your claim with an appropriate award of compensation.
The Many Forms of Road Rage
Though the term “road rage” is not a legal term, it encapsulates many actions that are referred to in the Texas Transportation Code. Essentially, road rage occurs when a driver acts in an excessively aggressive manner, dangerously removing their concentration from the act of their driving, usually because of some perceived slight. Examples of typical road rage behaviors include:
- Lewd gestures
- Excessive honking of the car horn
- Following too closely
- “Brake-checking” or sudden stops
- Swerving between lanes
- Failing to abide by traffic lights and stop signs
If any of these actions were exhibited by the person who caused your car accident, you probably have a case for a road rage personal injury claim.
How Road Rage Is Handled By Texas Courts
Since there is no legally defined definition of road rage, courts treat each case separately according to the fact pattern that accompanies it. Sometimes, road rage actions can rise to the level of criminal complaints, which often are categorized by their resultant harm. Other situations may only result in a civil lawsuit, though road rage may cause the jury to award additional compensation to the injured victim.
One way that road rage is dealt with in a criminal matter is by declaring it a form of reckless driving. The definition of such behavior, found in Texas Transportation Code §545.401, invokes the idea of the driver acting in a way that belies a willful disregard for the safety of other humans. If a road rage accident results in a reckless driving case against the at-fault driver, possible penalties include:
- Up to a $200 fine
- Up to 30 days in jail
- Both jail time and a fine
Some instances may warrant a charge of assault, or even assault with a deadly weapon, in particularly egregious cases of road rage. In Texas, an assault charge can be a misdemeanor like reckless driving or any class of felony depending on the circumstances of the case. This means that a road rage accident that results in serious injury can lead to punishments for the raging driver of up to $10,000 in fines and imprisonment for life.
When a road rage incident results in the death of a victim, the case may be charged in criminal court as vehicular homicide. This can lead to similar penalties as high-level assault, which befits actions that directly leads to a person’s death. As wrongful death car accident lawyers in Dallas, our attorneys are able to help surviving family members file a claim for compensation in these instances.
In civil court, road rage accidents are handled similarly to other kinds of car crashes. One important facet is that the raging driver is often assigned the larger portion of the blame for the wreck, allowing the injured driver to recover compensation for the harm they suffer. As usual, victims of car crash injuries can sue for different types of compensation. Economic damages like medical bills or lost income and non-economic damages like pain and suffering are all items for which the at-fault driver may be required to pay compensation.
In road rage accidents, the jury may decide to award additional compensation as a form of punishment to the at-fault party and a deterrent toward similar behavior in the future. This extra compensation is awarded in the sole discretion of the jury or judge, rather than being something for which the injured party sues.
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Dallas Car Accident Lawyers is dedicated to providing compassionate care to anyone injured in a road rage incident. We provide FREE consultations to hear the details of your claim and we do not collect a fee unless we win you the compensation you and your family deserve.