Michigan Road Rage Accidents Lawyer
Road Rage Accidents in Michigan
Road rage accidents can occur on any highway or roadway throughout the United States. As drivers hurry to their jobs or appointments, the slightest inconvenience can trigger aggressive driving. Many drivers treat the roadways as their own personal highways with no disregard for others. When a driver becomes angry behind the wheel, those emotions can show through acts of road rage. Some road rage behaviors can be minor, like yelling at another driver or flipping them the bird. However, when a driver uses their vehicle as a weapon, the targeted motorists can be seriously injured or even killed.
Injuries that result from road rage accidents can often be severe since the victims have no time to prepare or get out of the aggressive driver’s way. These injuries can lead to many medical bills and other expenses as you try to heal following the accident. If your injuries are serious enough, the recovery could keep you from working, which leaves you with no way to pay.
If you were injured in a car accident that was caused by aggressive driving, you could be entitled to damages. At Lipton Law, a Michigan road rage accident lawyer can help by evaluating your case and determining what legal action you can pursue.
What Is Road Rage?
Road rage occurs when a driver performs an aggressive, intentional act toward another driver. This can be shown in a number of ways, from cutting someone off in traffic to yelling obscenities at them. Regardless of the aggressive acts performed, the driver does so with the intent to cause fear, harm, or injury to the other motorist.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, defines aggressive driving, or road rage, as any behavior conducted by a motor vehicle driver that violates traffic laws with the intent to endanger another person or property.
Road rage is a problem throughout the United States. In 2019, over 80% of drivers admitted to some act of aggressive driving that year alone. No one is safe from road rage or aggressive driving. If you see a driver behaving aggressively, staying out of their way and not making eye contact is recommended. Over the past ten years, the reports of road rage-related incidents have increased by 500%, according to CNN.
What Are Acts Associated with Road Rage?
When you’re in a hurry to get somewhere or catch every traffic light, motorists can take out this anger on other drivers in various ways. Everyone acts differently and expresses these emotions differently. However, the most common acts associated with road rage accidents are as follows:
- Tailgating too close to another vehicle
- Cutting off another motorist by changing lanes quickly without using traffic signals
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Driving well above speed limits
- Honking your car horn to scare and/or intimidate other drivers
- Making a vehicle in front of another one slow down quickly
- Flashing your headlights or brights at oncoming motorists
- Shouting or making hand gestures at other motorists
- Forcing another driver off the road
- Throwing objects at other drivers
- Discharging a firearm or shooting a gun at another motor vehicle
Is Road Rage Illegal in Michigan?
Michigan currently has no laws stating that road rage is illegal. However, driving aggressively violates many state laws and ordinances. If the road rage incident involves a deadly weapon, the matter becomes criminal and can end with the arrest of the road-raging driver.
If the police pull over an aggressive driver, the traffic violation they will be given is usually reckless driving. This offense is more serious than careless driving and can result in the driver getting points added to their driving record and losing their license. If a motorist receives six points on their driving record, which is how many points they would receive for reckless driving, it means they’ve committed a major traffic offense. A driver that receives 12 points over 24 months can have their license suspended.
Reckless driving is described in Michigan Statute 257.626 and defines the offense as anyone operating a motor vehicle that disregards the safety of other people or property. It’s considered a felony and can have severe consequences for the reckless driver. If the driver’s aggressive behavior results in serious injury or impairment of another, they can face up to six years in prison. If the road raging driver’s actions result in the death of another, they could spend up to 15 years in prison.
Common Causes of Michigan Road Rage Crashes
Aggressive driving by motorists often causes road rage car accidents. An aggressive driver is different from one that’s driving negligently because their actions are deliberate and done with the intent to harm another driver. Oftentimes, drivers will get behind the wheel of their vehicle with other things on their minds that can affect their mood, which in turn affects their driving. Many road-raging drivers may not be angry with other motorists when they behave aggressively.
While it’s impossible to understand what triggers aggressive driving, the most common factors involved in road rage car accidents are:
- Remaining anonymous: Many drivers behave in a way that they wouldn’t be around their friends or family because they probably won’t ever see the other drivers again. This sense of anonymity can give drivers the courage to make obscene hand gestures, honk, or cut off other drivers when they normally wouldn’t behave this way.
- Traffic: Traffic is everywhere, but it can affect impatient drivers more so than others and cause them to become angry. Even the slightest inconvenience can trigger a driver into a fit of rage.
- Impatient drivers: An impatient driver is more prone to reckless driving, especially when running late for an appointment.
- Distracted driving: When a driver witnesses another motorist driving erratically because they’re texting or otherwise distracted, they can become angry at their blatant disregard for others’ safety. Instead of tailgating the other driver, it’s best to keep your distance so you don’t end up hurting them or yourself in a road rage accident.
If you’ve been involved in any of the above road rage accidents, you have the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. When angry drivers take out their aggression on other drivers, the other driver and passengers can sustain serious injuries. The Michigan car accident attorneys at Lipton Law can represent you against an aggressive driver that caused an accident that resulted in your injuries and property damage.
Michigan Road Rage Accident Statistics
The number of car accidents in Michigan increased in 2021, with over 37,000 car accidents in District 6 alone as of November 9. This is an increase of over 2,000 from the year before on the same date. The Michigan State Police (MSP) believe that road rage was the culprit as drivers’ speeds have increased as well as their road rage. State Troopers working in the Great Lake State said they stopped many drivers traveling over 100 miles an hour.
Road rage isn’t just a problem on Michigan highways; throughout the United States, aggressive driving has been linked to thousands of injuries. Over the past seven years, more than 12,000 injuries have been caused by road rage car accidents, according to statistics published by the SafeMotorist.
Michigan Road Rage Death Statistics
If you think the injuries caused by road rage are staggering, the fatalities linked to aggressive driving are overwhelming. In 2021, the number of car accident fatalities in Michigan was over 960, with still some months left to go. This number was an increase in car accident deaths from 2020. The MSP believes these deaths are caused by drivers’ increased speeds and road rage.
Aggressive driving is a widespread problem throughout the 50 states and is responsible for 218 fatalities, according to that same study by the SafeMotorist. In fact, the NHTSA found that aggressive drivers caused 66% of traffic fatalities. What’s even more frightening is the statistics published by the AutoVantage Club stating that 37% of road rage incidents include a firearm.
Proving Liability in Road Rage Car Accidents
In order to prove liability in your road rage car accident case, you’ll need to show that the driver acted intentionally to cause you harm or injury. All drivers are required to operate their vehicles with a standard of care that keeps all other motorists safe. When they breach that standard of care by driving aggressively, they can cause serious harm to others.
In addition to proving that the driver of the vehicle intentionally hurt you, it’s important to confirm that your injuries were a direct result of the accident their aggressive behavior caused. Your road rage attorney will rely on your medical records and the medical treatment that you were given following your accident to show that the accident and injuries are related. Finally, your attorney will prove liability by showing that the accident caused you both financial damages and emotional damages that deserve compensation.
It’s important to note, though, that Michigan is a comparative negligence state. If you’re found to be somewhat responsible for the car accident, your compensation amounts will be deducted based on the percentage you’re responsible for.
Can You Sue After a Road Rage Accident?
In Michigan, you can sue a road raging driver that causes a car accident. The purpose of pursuing legal action against a reckless driver is to seek compensation for the injuries and property damage that were sustained from the road rage crash.
Can You Sue if Someone Hits You With Their Car on Purpose?
You could potentially seek legal action against a person that intentionally hit you with their motor vehicle. You’ll need to hire an experienced road rage lawyer to pursue this type of claim because the other driver will try to prove that the act was not done intentionally so they can avoid criminal charges. The at-fault driver will claim it was an accident or negligent act.
If a road raging driver hits your car then flees the scene before law enforcement arrives, this is known as a hit and run. Michigan hit and run laws clearly outline that it is illegal to leave the scene of a crash without first giving one’s contact information to the police and other parties involved.
Will I Get No-Fault Benefits After a Road Rage Accident in Michigan?
The circumstances surrounding your road rage accident will determine whether you qualify for Michigan No-Fault insurance benefits. The benefits that are included if you qualify are payments covering medical bills, lost wages, and more. You could potentially qualify for the No-Fault benefits if you don’t own a motor vehicle or have car insurance.
Michigan offers No-Fault insurance coverage to help those involved in accidents regardless of who was the at-fault driver. You could also qualify for these benefits if you were involved in a road rage accident and were a pedestrian, motorcyclist, or bicyclist.
When you hire Lipton Law to handle your road rage accident, we also work with insurance companies on your behalf. We can determine whether your accident and injuries qualify for coverage under Michigan No-Fault benefits. Your road rage accident lawyer will also work with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to recover compensation for your injuries.
Michigan Road Rage Accident Settlement Amounts
Even though a road-raging driver caused your injuries, the settlement amounts are based on the damages and amount of economic losses the victim has sustained. The type of accident that caused those injuries and financial losses does not affect the amount. If your road rage accident case goes to trial, a jury could be more likely to award more monetary compensation, knowing that the driver was behaving aggressively.
You could be entitled to financial compensation if you were injured in a road rage car accident and sustained injuries. The car accident attorneys at Lipton Law have recovered the following damages for those injured in motor vehicle accidents.
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of earning potential
- Property damage
- And more
The injuries one can sustain from a road rage accident can be severe, especially if the other driver is traveling at a high speed. Serious injuries can leave you with a mountain of medical costs and no way to pay for them when you can’t return to work during your recovery. If you were injured by aggressive driving, you deserve to be financially compensated for those injuries. If you were injured in a road rage incident, call the Michigan personal injury attorneys at Lipton Law to discuss your legal options.
Road Rage Wrongful Death Claims
If an aggressive driving accident caused the death of your loved one, you can file a Michigan wrongful death claim. A wrongful death lawsuit can be pursued by family members of an individual killed in a road rage car accident to recover compensation for funeral and burial costs and more.
Contact a Michigan Car Accident Attorney with Lipton Law Today
You could be entitled to financial compensation if you were injured in an accident caused by aggressive driving. The car accident attorneys at Lipton Law have been helping Michigan residents pursue personal injury lawsuits related to their car accident injuries. To discuss your case with a road rage accident lawyer, call Lipton Law at 248-557-1688 today to schedule a free consultation.