Attorney Goyen is a Texas-licensed Dallas car crash attorney who has been handling personal injury cases since 1997. We represent clients in need of the services of a road rage injury lawyer in Dallas. We provide our clients with aggressive, experienced, and powerful representation. You can rely on us to obtain the compensation you are entitled to in your case. There is no charge unless and until we win!
Road rage is involved in one out of every three collisions. There is no denying that aggressive driving increases the likelihood of being involved in a road rage accident. However, you may be surprised to learn that road rage is the cause of nearly one out of every three car accidents. Road rage behavior, such as illegal maneuvers, speeding, tailgating, and changing lanes without signaling, is responsible for one-third of all car accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), human error is responsible for more than 94 percent of driving incidents involving crashes.
The Law Office of Doug Goyen assists people who have been injured in accidents in recovering from the consequences of the accident. We help our clients recover the costs of their ambulance ride, hospital stay, emergency room doctors, and other medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
If our clients are unsure where to go for treatment, we help them find a medical facility that can treat their injury. If our clients are unable to afford the treatment they require for their injury, we will assist them in locating a medical facility that will defer billing the client while they receive treatment.
If our clients were unable to work due to their injury, we can help them recover lost income from their auto insurance company. We assist clients in obtaining compensation from the insurance company for vehicle damage, towing charges, storage fees, and rental car expenses. We help our clients recover out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
We help our clients obtain the maximum settlement amount for their pain and suffering, physical impairment, disfigurement, and other accident-related damages.
Contact the Law Office of Doug Goyen at (972) 599 4100 so that a Dallas personal injury attorney can assist you. The consultation is free, and you will not be charged unless you win!
People who are involved in a car accident may sustain injuries as a result of another driver’s “road rage.” The majority of us have seen it. Another driver acts out their rage by slamming on their dashboard, screaming at another driver, weaving in and out of traffic to catch up to another driver, and frequently swerving towards another driver.
Sometimes a road rage driver will intentionally ram into another vehicle, but more often than not, the road rage driver was trying to scare the other driver and in doing so lost control of their vehicle and caused an auto accident – or caused the accident by causing another person to lose control through their aggressive driving.
If the insurance company learns that their driver was experiencing road rage at the time of the accident, the insurance adjuster will contact the accident victims to see if they believe their driver intentionally caused the collision. Most likely, you have no idea whether the road rage driver intended to hit your vehicle or simply lost control of their vehicle while driving during their road rage incident.
Unless the other driver admitted to you that they intended to hit you, the question of whether the other driver “intended” to hit your vehicle is left to the other driver. The other driver’s erratic driving during their road-rage incident is sufficient to cover your damage and injury claims for their negligence. If you go too far and claim that the other driver intentionally hit you, the other driver’s insurance company will try to deny the claim because the car accident was caused by an intentional act.
The Issue of Intentional Acts in Automobile Accident Injury Cases:
Automobile liability insurers do not cover “intentional acts.” If the insurance company believes the car accident was caused on purpose, the driver’s insurance company will make every effort to avoid paying the claim. As soon as the insurance company is notified that their driver is being accused of reckless driving, the adjuster will try to contact you as soon as possible to obtain your statement about what happened. When they speak with you, one of the first things they will ask is whether you believe the other driver caused the car accident on purpose. If you make the mistake of saying that you believe they caused the car accident on purpose, you may have lost your claim with the insurance company because intentional acts are not covered.
When someone is driving recklessly, usually all you know is that the other driver intended to blow through a red light, drive extremely fast, or weave dangerously in and out of traffic. The reckless driver was most likely not intending to cause the collision – or, at the very least, they were not intending to cause an auto accident. All you know is that they violated the traffic laws. They were probably driving recklessly to see if they could get away with it – not with the intent of causing an accident, but because they were late or angry about something.
Evaluating a personal injury claim caused by someone’s negligent behavior during a bout of road rage entails a Dallas personal injury attorney evaluating several different aspects of a claim in order to make sense of how the evaluation process is carried out.
The ability to pay (insurance), negligence (what the person did that caused the injury), damages (what harms and losses did the negligence cause), and liens are some of the first things you look at (what is owed out of the settlement to others).
Insurance issues/ability to pay: The first step in determining the value of your claim is to determine whether or not the person who caused the injury has the financial means to pay the claim. In the event of a car accident, the law requires that people have insurance. In most cases, insurance is available to cover the damage caused by an automobile accident.
Liability Insurance: In most injury cases, you’ll want to make sure there’s liability insurance somewhere that will pay any claims that may be owed. In most cases, liability insurance does not cover “intentional acts.” As a result, if someone causes harm on purpose, their liability insurance will not cover the damage they cause. Typically, “business-related activities on a personal policy” are not covered. For example, if someone has a personal auto liability policy on their personal car but is driving a dump truck for a construction company at the time of the accident, their personal auto liability insurance will most likely not cover the claim. In most cases, the company that owns the dump truck has insurance that will cover the negligence (so no need for personal insurance). Problems arise when someone works in a small business that lacks insurance (for example, a small courier service that requires their drivers to drive their own cars for delivery) and the courier has not informed their insurance company that they use their vehicle for business purposes. You may discover that there is no insurance, and because the company is small, there may be no assets to collect.
Coverage Amount vs. Injury Severity: Liability insurance may not be sufficient to cover the injury. In Texas, for example, many drivers have only $30,000.00 in liability insurance coverage for any injuries they may cause. If a person is seriously injured and needs to stay in the hospital for several days, this amount of insurance will likely not cover the entire claim.
The inability of the defendant to pay damages:
Regardless of the number of a person’s damages, if you cannot collect, the claim has no real value. If your damages are $10,000,000.00, but you can’t collect a dime because the person who caused the injury is bankrupt and uninsured – and there’s no other insurance or way to cover the injury – then the “value” of the claim is zero – because it can’t be collected. As you can see, the ability to collect for the damage caused has a large impact on the claim’s value.
Once you’ve determined that there is a way to collect (insurance or sufficient assets to cover the claim), negligence, damages, and collection/lien issues are considered.
Negligence: In Texas, negligence is generally defined by the reasonably prudent person theory – as well as whether or not the injury was foreseeable. This is not the “legal jargon” definition, but we look to see if the person who caused the harm acted in the way that a normal reasonably cautious person in their situation would act. We don’t expect people to run red lights, stop signs, speed, change lanes without checking for traffic, drive without paying attention to the road ahead of them, and so on. People have a “duty” to act in ways that do not pose an unreasonable risk of harm to others in the world. If that duty is breached, and the breach causes injury, and the injury was foreseen if someone breached their duty, the person who caused the injury is liable for the harms and losses he caused.
Value of the negligence: To determine how much value is added to a claim as a result of negligence, consider how a “Jury” would view the claim if they were asked to place a monetary value on it. This is because if you cannot get the insurance company to agree on a value, the next step is to file a lawsuit and ask a jury to determine the value of your claim.
Duty & Breach: To assess the value that the duty and breach add to the claim, consider the type of breach. For example, suppose the person who caused the breach was paying close attention but let their foot slip off the brake, resulting in the injury. If that person is apologetic, admits fault, and is forthcoming with his insurance information, it is unlikely that the claim will be enhanced. A jury does not usually become enraged with someone who is truthful and takes steps to make amends for the harm they have caused. In the case of a road rage accident that caused injury, a jury might look at that behavior as unacceptable – but the other driver might deny the behavior, so then it will come down to whether there is evidence of road rage.
Type of Breach: If the person who caused the injury was intoxicated, on drugs, racing their car, or doing something else at the time that society would consider “unacceptable,” (such as driving dangerously close to your vehicle because they were having a fit of road rage) then a jury will typically be upset about the behavior that caused the injury regardless of their honesty about their shortcomings. This will usually increase the value of your claim. The amount it adds is determined by the severity of the behavior.
Dishonesty: Honesty is a true wildcard in determining the value of a claim. Both your honesty and the other person’s honesty are at issue. If you are perceived to be dishonest about something related to your claim, a jury may “pour you out” – that is, award you “zero” in damages, even if you were seriously injured and the other guy was clearly at fault. Why is this so? Because your dishonesty will give the jury a reason to doubt your claims.
On the other hand, if you are truthful, but catch the other person lying about their responsibility in the claim, this can increase the amount a jury will award. However, you must be able to demonstrate that the other person is lying. It cannot be a case of “he said/she said,” where the jury must rely on your word to determine who is telling the truth. If you have a video, a witness, or some other way to prove the other person is consciously being dishonest (rather than simply being mistaken), a jury might “punish” that person in their verdict, often awarding awards far in excess of what you might expect.
Causation & Damages: You must demonstrate that the occurrence “caused” your damages. If you already had a hurt neck or back and had recently seen a doctor for your injury, a jury may not believe a claim that your neck or back was injured in this occurrence or that it was caused by the occurrence. Don’t make claims that aren’t supported by evidence. Only assert what is directly caused by the occurrence. Insurance companies can frequently obtain information about your prior injury history from other insurance companies or even prior doctors you treated with. If they find a similar injury in your history – and it appears that they can claim that this prior injury is the same as the current injury you are claiming – they will use that against you.
If you had a preexisting condition that was no longer in need of treatment, but the accident caused the injury to flare up and cause you to seek additional treatment, say so – this way there will be no confusion later on about whether you were being honest or not in making your claim. In this type of case, the insurance company still owes the claim; they just don’t owe for causing the original injury – but they do owe for aggravating it or causing additional harm to that preexisting injury – and whatever treatment is required for that aggravation/additional harm.
Damages: If you go to the doctor once and never return, the value of your injury will be much different than if you need months or years of treatment for your injury. The extent of the damage varies.
Collection and Lien Issues: Liability insurance policies are frequently required to repay other sources (other than the injured person) from the injured person’s claim. The following are some of the sources that may require payment from your claim – this reduces the amount you receive from the claim.
Health Insurance Subrogation: If your health insurance paid any of the claimant’s medical bills, they may be able to collect (subrogate) for that amount from your claim. The health insurer is not always owed repayment, but sometimes they are. Your lawyer needs to verify this for you.
Medicare & Medicaid Subrogation: Cases involving Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs are subject to automatic “super liens.” Prior to settling your claim, you will always have to deal with these entities. They must be paid back, or you must obtain a written agreement from them agreeing to accept a lesser but certain amount out of your settlement.
Workers Compensation Subrogation: In Texas, workers’ compensation always has a lien – with a few exceptions. Most personal injury lawyers can look for exceptions to see if you qualify for any.
Hospital Liens: Hospitals frequently file liens against settlement funds. Assume that any hospital emergency room you visited as a result of your injury has a lien. In Texas, they have the ability to file a lien almost at any time before you cash your settlement check.
Summary: The value of your case to you is determined by whether there is an ability to pay for the injury caused; if so, determine what type of wrongful act was committed (how egregious was it, would it make a person who didn’t know anyone involved in the case angry that they did such a horrible thing, or is it the type of negligence that is often referred to as “just an accident”); next, assess the harms, losses, and damages that were caused by the wrongful act. Finally, see who is required to be paid back in the form of liens (Medicare, Health Insurance, Hospital liens, etc.) – as this money is frequently taken from your settlement to satisfy the liens – whether you want it taken out or not.
The Law Office of Doug Goyen has extensive experience handling personal injury cases over the years. Please contact us at (972) 599 4100. We can deal with all the moving parts of an injury claim. If you need a road rage injury lawyer, then our Dallas auto accident attorney can get started on your case today.
By Doug Goyen, email@example.com
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