Road rage accidents in Chicago: Leave your temper at home
Car Accident - September 28, 2023
Chicago roadways are often congested with everyday commuters and visitors. More cars are on the streets, driven by people who may become angry and aggressive. However, getting worked up behind the wheel puts everyone in danger when those emotions translate into road rage accidents in Chicago.
Leave your temper at home and protect yourself and others from serious car accidents. If you have suffered injuries and damage from an angry driver, schedule a free consultation with a qualified Chicago road rage attorney to learn more about your options.
How is aggressive driving different from road rage?
While we often use these terms interchangeably in conversation, there is an important difference between aggressive driving and road rage in the eyes of the law. This is critical if you are filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against another driver.
Aggressive driving occurs when a driver commits traffic violations such as speeding, following too closely or making unsafe lane changes. They are taking actions that put others at risk but may be doing so because they feel pressed for time or from a sense of bravado. They do not always feel anger or rage, although it can fuel aggressive driving.
Road rage can be considered a criminal offense when it occurs with other traffic violations.
Those who experience road rage may scream at others, make offensive gestures, use obscenities, or physical violence. This can happen while they are driving or after they are involved in an accident. They may become enraged after pulling over after the crash, and in some cases, road ragers have committed murder.
Proving aggressive driving or road rage can help your car accident case
Seeking compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit in Illinois can be complicated and frustrating. The insurance representatives are interested in protecting their profits. The other driver’s lawyer will try to present their client as mild-mannered and incapable of the allegations.
Working with an accomplished and diligent car accident attorney in Chicago can make the difference in securing the compensation you deserve. They will examine every angle of the crash, uncovering evidence to prove the at-fault party was reckless, aggressive, and negligent. They will establish a connection between the driver’s choice to drive dangerously and your injuries.
To build your case, your attorney will collect evidence such as:
- Photos of your injuries and vehicle damage
- Dashcam videos of what happened before, during, and after the accident
- Surveillance, traffic, and security camera footage
- Witness statements
- Expert testimony
Dashboard cameras can provide invaluable proof in a road rage crash. In many cases, an angry driver will continue to escalate their actions after both vehicles are pulled over after a crash. Showing this video evidence to an insurance company or in court can go a long way to supporting your claims. In addition, if the other driver is charged with road rage or aggressive driving offenses by law enforcement, they will often settle quickly.
How many accidents are caused by road rage?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the AutoVantage Road Club, the rates of aggressive driving and road rage are on the rise. Statistics reported on SafeMotorist show that over 12,000 injuries and more than 200 deaths were attributed to confrontational drivers. As much as 66% of traffic fatalities were caused by aggressive driving behaviors.
Seeking compensation after a road rage or aggressive driving incident
Once you have been hurt in a road rage or aggressive driving accident by another driver, you may wonder where to turn and what to do. If you have medical bills, auto repair costs, and other expenses, you likely need guidance in understanding how to get compensation for them from the at-fault party.
At-fault driver’s insurance policy
In Illinois, drivers are required to carry automotive insurance and must pay for the injuries and damage they cause in a crash. After a crash, you can file a claim against their insurance for your bills. Insurance companies don’t like paying settlements and will often push back to reduce your claim. They may even say you are partly at fault.
Illinois uses the modified comparative negligence rule, meaning that even if you did contribute to the crash, you can still receive payment for your losses. The catch is that your liability can’t be more than 50%. It takes an experienced road rage car accident lawyer to demonstrate greater blame on the part of the aggressive driver to ensure you get the compensation you need.
Your insurance policy
If your injuries and expenses are more than the at-fault driver’s insurance policy covers, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance. Keep in mind, however, that insurance only pays for economic losses, such as medical bills and lost income.
Your subjective losses (considered non-economic) that address how your life has been affected are not covered by insurance. To secure compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and similar damages, you’ll need to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Personal injury lawsuit
If you have severe injuries and significant non-economic losses, you may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover all your losses. A skilled Chicago road rage accident attorney can build a robust case to hold the liable parties responsible for their negligent actions.
Get help with your road rage case today
Don’t fall victim to a road rage driver, and don’t become one. Angry emotions behind the wheel are a recipe for disaster. If you’ve been hurt in an aggressive driving or road rage case, contact Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates at (800) 985-1819 or online for a free consultation today.