The operation of a motor vehicle is a privilege that few take as seriously as they should. Unfortunately, most drivers neglect the fact that a car is a huge machine that weighs 4,000 pounds or more, and has the power to cause significant damage. Indeed, if individuals were able to comprehend the true risks of dangerous behaviors behind the wheel, there would be fewer crashes.
One driver action that continues to cause accidents in Florida is that of aggressive driving. If you have been injured in a crash caused by an aggressive driver, understanding what steps to take next and how to recover compensation is key. Here’s what you need to know–
Types of Aggressive Behaviors that Increase the Risk of Crash
Aggressive driving in a term that refers to a number of dangerous behaviors. These include:
- Illegally lane changing;
- Tapping brakes;
- Failure to yield;
- Improper passing;
- Racing; and
- Driving erratically or recklessly, or otherwise failing to follow traffic laws.
Aggressive driving may be the result of the driver being frustrated, road rage, a driver’s desire to reach their destination more quickly, or pure negligence and carelessness. Either way, when an aggressive driver causes a crash, they should be held liable for the damages that result.
Florida No-Fault Car Insurance
Before you rush into filing a claim or a lawsuit against an at-fault aggressive driver, remember that Florida maintains a no-fault car insurance system. This means that even if another driver was at fault for your crash, you must turn to your own car insurance policy’s personal injury protection (PIP) coverage before you can file a claim against the aggressive and at-fault driver. In fact, you can only bring forth a claim against the other driver if your injuries exceed Florida’s injury threshold.
The injury threshold in Florida is found in Florida Statute 627.737, and explains that a claim/lawsuit against another driver cannot be brought unless the plaintiff suffers:
- Significant and permanent scarring and disfigurement;
- Permanent loss of a bodily function; or/and
- Permanent injury.
Holding an Aggressive Driver Liable for Injuries
In the event your injuries do meet the injury threshold described above, you will need to take additional steps to hold the aggressive driver liable for injuries.
To hold the aggressive driver liable for your harm, you will need to prove that your injuries would not have occurred had it not been for the actions of the other driver. The driver’s actions need not be illegal – if the actions were negligent, meaning that they fall outside of what a reasonable driver would do, you have a cause of action.
To prove that the driver’s aggressive and negligent behavior caused your crash, you will need to gather evidence that will help to build your claim. Such evidence includes statements from witnesses, the opinions of accident reconstruction experts, and evidence at the scene, such as proof of skid marks.
You Deserve to Be Compensated
Whether you are filing a claim with your own insurance through your PIP, or filing a claim against an aggressive driver, you deserve to be fully compensated for the injuries you have suffered. Insurance adjusters aren’t always as eager about offering you your full settlement amount as they should be, and you may be offered a settlement that is less than you deserve.
One way that you can improve your chances of recovering your full settlement amount is to work with an experienced attorney. At the law offices of Whibbs Stone Barnett Turner, PA, our Florida automobile accident lawyers know how to investigate your claim, determine liability, and prove how much your claim is worth in order to get you the amount you need.
Taking the first steps towards improving your future after being involved in a crash with an aggressive driver starts today. To learn more, please schedule your free consultation by calling our law offices at 1-888-219-4561. You can also send us a message, or visit us in person at your convenience.