Sometimes collisions on the road result from simple carelessness, such as falling asleep or texting behind the wheel, but accidents can also happen because of aggressive driving. This high-risk activity tragically can lead to serious injury or even death. The compassionate auto accident lawyers at Briggs & Wholey are experienced in helping individuals throughout Maine who have been hurt because others operated their vehicles recklessly. We are proud of devoting our careers to helping victims pursue compensation from those who caused their harm.Behaviors Defined as Aggressive Driving
Aggressive driving, as defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), is the commission of “a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” Speeding, tailgating, unsafe or rapid lane changes, and disregarding traffic control devices are examples of actions that can be a part of aggressive driving. Any of these behaviors poses serious risks. However, Maine, like many states, has not enacted specific laws defining and prohibiting aggressive driving. This means that a claim arising from an accident caused by these behaviors usually will unfold as a traditional negligence lawsuit.Take Legal Action to Hold Aggressive Motorists Accountable
To assert the right to compensation from an aggressive driver, a crash victim must show that the defendant had a duty of care, that the duty was breached, that the breach proximately caused the crash, and that the victim sustained quantifiable damages. Everyone who gets behind the wheel has a duty to use reasonable care on the road, which means refraining from conduct that could foreseeably harm those around them. Violating traffic laws, such as running a red light or speeding excessively, often constitutes a breach. Once the victim shows that the defendant engaged in this type of behavior, he or she also will need to show that the accident would not have happened if the defendant had acted with reasonable care.
In some extreme cases, aggression may extend beyond tailgating or other reckless driving maneuvers. If a driver threatens or attacks another person, that conduct is called road rage. Claims resulting from road rage can rise beyond negligence to include assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Damages for a victim who succeeds in a lawsuit arising from an accident tmay include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and property damage as well as more subjective forms of harm like pain and suffering or emotional distress. When the defendant’s behavior is especially egregious, such as in some situations involving road rage, an injured person may consider seeking punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you decide whether this is an appropriate option to pursue in your specific circumstances.
If a person is killed in an aggressive driving accident, the personal representative of his or her estate may be able to bring a wrongful death claim. The proceeds of a successful lawsuit on the behalf of a deceased person are distributed among his or her close relatives. Wrongful death damages can include compensation for medical and funeral expenses, the survivors’ loss of comfort, society, and companionship, and the conscious suffering of the lost loved one before he or she passed away.
Generally, a person injured in an automobile accident caused by another person’s negligence will have six years to file a lawsuit in Maine. In some circumstances, the statute of limitations can be much shorter. For instance, wrongful death claims must be brought within two years. It is important to promptly seek the advice of an experienced attorney who can advise you of how long you have to take action based on the specific details of your situation.Consult a Maine Lawyer for Your Car Crash Case
There is no need to bear the financial burden associated with a Maine accident alone. Instead, you should contact a car crash attorney immediately to explore the legal options that you may have for taking action against any parties that may have harmed you. At Briggs & Wholey, we have nearly 30 years of combined experience with injury claims. Call us at (888) 596-1099 today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to find out more about how we can help you.