Reckless Driving and Road Rage
Despite there being fewer drivers on the road during 2020 due to the pandemic, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed traffic deaths up 12% from April 2020 to September 2020 compared to the same time period in 2019. Driving behavior is a major factor - unsafe driving, speeding, drug and alcohol use, and distracted driving were noted factors. https://www.santaclaraca.gov/Home/Components/News/News/42518/95
Auto Accidents Caused by Reckless Driving:
Reckless Driving is defined by the Texas Transportation Code section 545.401 as driving a vehicle with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. Examples would be intentionally blowing through a red light without care of whether other vehicles are entering the intersection, or driving at an exceedingly high speed compared to the speed limit in the area. Racing on the highway is another reckless behavior prohibited by Texas Transportation Code Section 545.420. Fleeing or Eluding Police is covered by Texas Transportation Code Section 545.421. These are other examples of reckless driving that often results in a car accident injury.
Auto Accidents Caused by Road Rage:
Sometimes people involved in a car wreck injury due to another driver experiencing “road rage”. Most of us have seen it. Another driver becomes extremely angry acting, slamming on their dashboard, screaming towards another driver, weaving in and out of traffic to catch up to another driver, and often swerving towards another driver. Sometimes the road rage driver may intentionally ram into another vehicle, but more often than not what happens is the road rage driver did not intend to actually cause the accident, they were trying to scare the other driver and in doing so lost control of their vehicle and caused an auto accident – or through their aggressive driving caused the accident by causing another person to lose control of their vehicle.
Just like in Reckless Driving above. If the insurance company hears that their driver was in the midst of road rage when the auto accident occurred, the insurance adjuster will call the victims of the accident to see if they say they think their driver caused the collision intentionally. My advice is to not answer this question. Most likely you honestly do not know whether the road rage driver was trying to actually hit your vehicle or if they just lost control of their vehicle while driving during their road rage incident. Unless the other driver admitted to you that he intended to hit you, whether the other driver “intended” to strike your vehicle is a question left to the other driver. His erratic driving during his road rage incident is enough to get your claim covered. If you go too far and claim the other driver actually intended to hit you then the other driver’s insurance company will try to deny the claim due to the auto accident being caused by an intentional act.
The Problem With Intentional Acts in Car Accident Injury Cases:
Automobile liability insurance companies do not cover “intentional acts”. The driver’s insurance will make an effort to get out of paying for the claim if the insurance company believes the auto accident was caused intentionally. As soon as the insurance company is notified that this may be a case where their driver is being accused of reckless driving, the insurance company’s adjuster will try to speak to you as soon as possible to get your statement about what happened. One of the main things they will look for when speaking to you is whether you think the other driver caused the car wreck intentionally. If you make the mistake of saying that you do think they caused the auto accident on purpose, then you just might have lost your claim with the insurance company – they do not cover intentional acts.
When someone is driving recklessly, typically all you know of what the other driver intended to do is to blow through a red light, or drive extremely fast, or weave in and out of traffic in a dangerous way. Likely, the reckless driver was not intending to have the collision – its at least possible that they were not intending to cause an auto accident. All you know is that they broke the rules of the road. They likely were driving recklessly to see if they could get away with it – not with the intent of causing an auto accident, but due to being late, or being angry about something.
HIRE A LAWYER IF INJURED IN A CAR WRECK BY RECKLESS DRIVING OR ROAD RAGE
If you have been injured in an auto accident by someone who was experiencing road rage or was a reckless driver you are likely entitled to compensation for your injury. You need to talk to a car accident injury lawyer regarding what happened and what your rights are in your case. If someone has a car accident injury caused by a reckless driver they should definitely hire a car accident injury lawyer. In addition to the typical steps in car wreck injury cases, there are some additional issues that need to be addressed.
The Law Office of Doug Goyen has helped injured victims of road rage and reckless drivers recover compensation for their injuries since 1997. Our clients are our first priority. Contact us today regarding your case. Call us at (972) 599 4100, or contact us on our website contact form.