Aggressive Driving Accidents
“Aggressive driving” in New York means any display of aggression by a driver. It can include tailgating, failing to signal, cutting off other drivers, speeding, chasing or racing other vehicles, honking, yelling, making obscene gestures, or flashing headlights for no reason. This kind of behavior is very likely to lead to an accident at one point or another. If you were injured or a loved one was killed due to an aggressive driving accident, you should consult the skilled Syracuse car accident attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano can help you understand and assert your legal rights.Aggressive Driving Accidents
Aggressive driving as a form of reckless driving is illegal. In New York, it’s a misdemeanor to unreasonably interfere with the free, appropriate use of a public highway, or to conduct yourself in a way that endangers others on the road. Road rage, which happens when a driver uses a car as a weapon or gets into a physical fight with another driver, can also result in criminal charges. Those who spot aggressive drivers should keep their distance. It can also be helpful to call 911.
But sometimes none of those defensive tactics work. Aggressive driving accidents can result in serious, catastrophic injuries. You may be able to hold an aggressive driver liable under a theory of negligence if you are injured and your injuries meet the threshold to go outside of New York’s no-fault insurance system. In a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll need to show: (1) the other driver owed you a duty of care, (2) breach of the duty of care through aggressive driving, (3) causation, and (4) actual damages. Often it’s necessary to testify and rely on the testimony of witnesses to offer proof of the aggressive driver’s conduct. Sometimes there is surveillance footage at intersections that can be used to show the aggressive behavior. For example, if an aggressive driver was unhappy about your lane change and ran a red light, making obscene gestures out the window and trying to chase you in retribution for the lane change, this might be captured on the camera at the intersection.Comparative Negligence
An aggressive driver may be aggressive in his or her defense as well. Often at-fault drivers still raise the issue of comparative negligence when their own liability is clear, but a skilled injury lawyer can help you counter these arguments. Courts apply comparative negligence to determine whether a plaintiff’s damages should be reduced by his or her percentage of fault. Many states modify comparative negligence so that if you are responsible for a certain degree of the damages, you can’t recover compensation, but this is not so in New York. The jury will look at what your damages are and also evaluate your percentage of fault alongside the defendant’s percentage of fault. For example, if the total damages are $100,000, and you are 10% at fault, while the aggressive driver is 90% at fault, you can recover $90,000 from the aggressive driver.Compensatory Damages
You can recover compensatory damages for injuries arising out of an aggressive driving accident. These may include economic and noneconomic items of loss such as medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and replacement services. For example, if you need to have an emergency surgery because you suffered internal organ damage in an aggressive driving accident, you may be able to recover the cost of that surgery from the aggressive driver’s insurer. Every plaintiff’s situation is different, and we can explore your losses fully to help present your case in a way that allows you to pursue the full amount of your damages.Car Accident Attorneys for Injured Victims in Syracuse
If you were injured or lost a loved one in an aggressive driving accident in Syracuse, you a seasoned trial lawyer can evaluate the viability of recovering damages in your situation. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano handles personal injury lawsuits in Syracuse, as well as Rochester, Lowville, Oswego, Oneida, Utica, Herkimer, Watertown, Elmira, Lyons, Auburn, Wampsville, Cooperstown, Binghamton, Canandaigua, and Ithaca. Please call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.