I Was Hit By An Aggressive Driver: Now What?
We have all seen a driver misbehaving: tailgating, sudden braking, weaving in and out of traffic, passing illegally, and other transgressions. But what happens when lousy driving goes too far and causes an accident?
If you were hit by someone driving aggressively, be smart and protect yourself. If the other driver confronts you, stay in the car, lock the doors, and use your cell phone to call 9-1-1. Once the police arrive, gather as much information as possible, then seek medical attention and, at your first opportunity, contact The Lebedevitch Law Firm to represent you.
What Is an Aggressive Driver?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an aggressive driver is defined as someone who “commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property." In other words, an aggressive driver is a person who drives recklessly, angrily, or without regard for the potential consequences of their actions. The NHTSA found that aggressive driving played a role in more than 55% of fatal car crashes.
Examples of aggressive driving include
- Illegal passing
- Erratic driving
- Driving more than 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit
- Excessive horn use
- Unsafe lane changes, often without signaling
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Obscene gestures or confrontational body language
- Ignoring traffic signals
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Driving on the shoulder, sidewalk, or median of the road
- Reckless driving
- Purposely causing a collision
What To Do When a Driver is Tailgating Your Vehicle
While you cannot control when an aggressive driver is tailgating your vehicle, you can control your reaction. Your goal should be to de-escalate the situation so you can arrive safely at your destination. Do your best to get out of their way, let them pass, and remove yourself from the situation.
If you encounter an aggressive driver, you should give them plenty of space and don’t respond. Avoid making eye contact. If possible, turn onto another road, or pull into the travel lane to let them pass. And if an aggressive driver hits you, you should report the incident to the authorities.
What To Do When an Aggressive Driver Hits You
If an aggressive driver hits you, you need to protect yourself. Start by staying calm. This will prevent the other person from becoming even more enraged and give you the opportunity to think. Then lock your doors and call 9-1-1.
Do your best not to engage with the other driver, and stay on the line with the 9-1-1 dispatcher until help arrives. If you can, make note of the make, model, and license plate of the other car, and try to provide a description of the other driver.
In Connecticut, aggressive driving is a crime that applies when a driver operates their vehicle in a way that endangers people or property on the road.
If an aggressive driver hits you, you can file a claim or bring a lawsuit against the other driver to hold them responsible for the damage they caused. Under Connecticut law, you might be entitled to compensation for
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Costs of a caregiver
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages
If someone you loved died because of the actions of a reckless driver, you might be able to bring a claim for wrongful death.
The Lebedevitch Law Firm Can Help If an Aggressive Driver Hit You
When you work with The Lebedevitch Law Firm, we will ensure that you receive full and fair compensation from the other driver and their insurance company. We have years of experience representing people who were hurt in car accidents and will fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
The Lebedevitch Law Firm is based in Fairfield, Connecticut, and handles car accident cases throughout Fairfield and New Haven counties. To learn how we can help, contact The Lebedevitch Law Firm today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.