Aggressive Driving Car Accident Lawyer in Queens, NY
If you were injured in a car accident caused by an aggressive driver, you might be struggling to afford the medical care you need while also being too hurt to work. Moreover, aggressive driving car accidents can be traumatic, so you might also be experiencing emotional distress. You should know that you could be entitled to compensation for these and other losses.
The money you recover could help you cover your healthcare and repair bills, replace lost wages from missed time at work, and compensate you for the pain and suffering you experienced. Additionally, holding aggressive drivers legally responsible for their actions can provide a sense of accountability.
At The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., our injury lawyers have years of experience advocating of injured New Yorkers in Queens and throughout the city. We are committed to delivering outstanding results, which is why we take a personalized approach to each case we handle. Contact us today for a free case review with an aggressive driving car accident lawyer and we’ll tell you what we can do for you.
What Is Aggressive Driving?
Various unsafe driving behaviors comprise aggressive driving, but it is difficult to define it from a legal perspective. In most states, “aggressive driving” refers to a range of dangerous driving behaviors that put people and personal property at risk. Some common aggressive driving behaviors include tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and running red lights.
A recent report from the Insurance Information Institute suggests that aggressive driving may be a factor in up to 56 percent of fatal accidents nationwide. But what causes aggressive driving? One reason for the prevalence of driver aggression in the United States may be the steadily increasing number of automobiles, which leads to more traffic congestion, one of the top causal factors in aggressive driving incidents. Drivers stuck in traffic are often frustrated and aggressive behind the wheel.
Aggressive driving is especially hazardous because:
- Aggressive drivers frequently exceed safe driving speeds, so they have less time and distance to react to unforeseen traffic events.
- Aggressive drivers often tailgate or follow too closely behind other vehicles, which means they have little room for error in avoiding rear-end collisions.
- Aggressive drivers often behave erratically, which means they are not consistently in control, and other drivers don’t know what to expect on the road.
What Is the Difference Between Aggressive Driving and Road Rage?
Many people use the terms “aggressive driving” and “road rage” interchangeably, but these phrases can have distinct meanings in some accident cases.
Aggressive driving occurs when a motorist puts other individuals or property at risk by driving recklessly or belligerently.
Common examples of aggressive driving behaviors include:
- Tailgating or following too closely for conditions
- Improperly or abruptly changing lanes or turning
- Failing or refusing to yield the right-of-way to others
- Illegally driving on shoulders, sidewalks, or medians
- Failing or refusing to obey traffic signs or police officers
- Improperly passing or passing where it is prohibited
- Driving in a careless or reckless manner
- Failing or refusing to signal before turning or merging
- Illegally racing with other vehicles on public roads
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants
- Intentionally going against the proper flow of traffic
The key distinction between aggressive driving and road rage is that in an aggressive driving incident, the driver’s primary goal is not to put others at risk. Instead, they drive aggressively for self-centered reasons without real consideration for others.
However, in a road rage incident, an already aggressive driver engages in deliberate behaviors to intimidate, harass, or harm others.
Common examples of road rage behaviors include:
- Causing or attempting to cause other vehicles to crash
- Deliberately trying to run other drivers off the road
- Shouting, cursing, or making rude hand gestures at others
- Purposely cutting off or “brake checking” other drivers
- Exiting vehicles to initiate confrontations with other drivers
- Deliberately blocking other drivers from merging or turning
- Excessively blaring horns or flashing high beams at others
- Intentionally crashing into other cars or people
- Causing or threatening to cause direct harm to others
When Does Aggressive Driving Become a Legal Issue?
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1212 prohibits reckless driving, which occurs when someone operates a vehicle in a way that “unreasonably endangers” other road users or interferes with others’ “free and proper use” of public roads. Other illegal aggressive driving behaviors include exceeding posted speed limits, following too closely for road conditions, and executing improper turns or merges.
If an aggressive driver causes an accident in New York, they may face traffic citations and possibly even criminal charges. If you were harmed by an aggressive driver, you may be eligible to file an injury claim seeking compensation regardless of whether they were ticketed or charged for their behavior.
Legal Consequences of Aggressive Driving in N.Y.
When a New York driver receives a ticket for reckless driving, speeding, or other unlawful behaviors that contribute to aggressive driving accidents, they might face one or more of the following legal consequences:
- A court order to attend traffic school or remedial driving courses
- Steep fines of up to several hundred or thousand dollars, plus administrative fees
- Demerit points against the driver’s license, which remain on their record for years
- Potential suspension or revocation of the driver’s license, if they have accumulated too many demerit points within a certain timeframe or committed an especially severe offense
- Incarceration in a New York local or county prison, if the aggressive driving accident resulted in severe or fatal injuries to others
These are only the criminal consequences. An aggressive driver who causes a car accident can also be held civilly liable for the damage they cause. Civil liability is not predicated on criminal guilt. In other words, you can still hold an aggressive driver liable for your injuries even if they were not found guilty of a crime.
Tips to Avoid Aggressive Driving Accidents
Most people get frustrated behind the wheel at some point. However, frustration is no excuse for placing others in harm’s way. You can avoid driving aggressively or provoking aggressive drivers on the road by:
- Planning your route and anticipating delays when you drive
- Staying calm, considerate, and focused on your driving
- Using left-hand lanes, high beams, and horns sparingly
- Refraining from tailgating, brake-checking, or cutting off others
- Refraining from yelling, cursing, or gesturing rudely at others
- Doing everything possible to avoid aggressive drivers
- Avoiding challenges, confrontations, or eye contact with others
- Ignoring verbal communications or gestures directed at you
- Calling 911 or *47 to report aggressive drivers to local police
- Pulling over to give a statement if you see an aggressive driving wreck
Compensation for Aggressive Driving Accident Claims
New York follows a no-fault car insurance system, which means all drivers must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. When a driver is injured in a crash, they turn to their PIP policy to seek compensation for their crash-related medical and lost-wage expenses. Typically, the no-fault system prevents litigation among drivers. However, if a driver can prove they suffered a “serious injury” as defined by New York state law, they might have grounds to step outside the no-fault system and file an injury claim against the other driver.
The compensation you get from your PIP policy is usually limited to medical expenses, a portion of lost wages, and minor incidental expenses, up to your policy limits. But with a successful third-party claim, you could be entitled to additional compensation for the following:
- Hospital bills and medical expenses beyond those covered by your policy
- Property damage, such as repairs to your vehicle
- Additional incidental costs, such as mileage expenses for medical travel
- Lost wages from any time you miss from work, beyond those covered by your PIP policy
- Projected losses in earning capacity, if your injuries are permanent
- Pain and suffering caused by the accident
What to Do After an Aggressive Driving Accident in Queens
If you get hurt in a Queens car accident involving an aggressive driver, you can protect your health, safety, and legal rights by taking the following steps:
- Contacting the police and remaining in your vehicle until they arrive at the scene to avoid potential altercations with the aggressive individual
- Seeking prompt medical care and attending all follow-up appointments to ensure your injuries are correctly diagnosed, treated, and documented
- Gathering evidence from the crash scene, including photos of the wreckage, the contact and insurance details from the other driver, and eyewitness statements
- Hanging on to your medical bills, bank statements, proof of income losses, and other documentation of your crash-related injuries and expenses
- Watching what you say to other parties or post online about the accident
Contact Our Aggressive Driving Accident Attorneys in Queens, NY
The aggressive driving lawyers at The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C. are dedicated to seeking maximum compensation on behalf of our clients. We work relentlessly to demand justice and accountability for those we represent, and our seasoned litigators do not hesitate to take a case to trial if necessary.
For help with your aggressive driving accident injury claim, please contact The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C. to speak to our aggressive driving accident attorneys in Queens, NY. We can evaluate your case during a free initial consultation.