Birmingham Road Rage Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
After a long, stressful day at work or school, being stuck in traffic or cut off on the highway can cause already frazzled nerves to hit their breaking point. Unfortunately, some drivers don’t handle this extra stress in a safe and healthy way, and they resort to behavior that has become known as “road rage.” Road rage has serious and sometimes deadly consequences, especially for unprotected motorcyclists.
At Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, we understand the devastation that can be caused by an enraged driver. A motorcyclist who gets caught in the path of an angry driver can quickly become the victim of a serious accident. Motorcyclists involved in road rage accidents can end up with complicated medical injuries that may impact them for the rest of their lives, even preventing them from returning to their beloved two-wheeled ride.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a serious motorcycle accident and road rage played a role in the crash, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. To find out more about how an experienced Alabama lawyer can fight to protect your rights, contact the legal team at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP. We have seasoned attorneys who have worked on road rage cases before and who can guide you through the legal process of seeking damages for your injuries and time missed from work.
If an aggressive driver caused your accident, you may be able to take legal action to recover the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait. Call (205) 324-1212 today to schedule your confidential free legal consultation with a Birmingham motorcycle accident lawyer.
What Is Road Rage?
Road rage is the popular term for a set of aggressive and often reckless driving behaviors. Media reports credit the term “road rage” to a media outlet who coined the phrase decades ago after a series of fatal shootings on Los Angeles highways.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines aggressive driving as a set of actions where a driver commits moving traffic offenses that endanger the safety and property of other drivers. It also defines aggressive driving as an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the driver or passengers of one vehicle against another.
Aggressive Driving Factors
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that 94 percent of all traffic accidents are caused by driver error. Of those accidents, at least 33 percent have been linked to road rage and aggressive driving behaviors. That makes road rage and aggressive driving one of the leading causes of accidents on U.S. roadways today. Unfortunately, many of these road rage incidents don’t just include the use of a vehicle as a weapon, they also include the use of firearms.
Road rage may be easily defined, but what types of driving behaviors can be categorized as aggressive driving actions? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lays out some of the most common behaviors that tend to fall under the aggressive driving umbrella. They include:
- Following too closely, tailgating
- Improper or erratic lane changes
- Cutting in front of others, cutting off other drivers
- Passing where it is prohibited
- Suddenly changing speeds
- Illegally driving on the shoulder of a road
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Failure to obey traffic signs and signals
- Failing to properly signal
- Blocking cars trying to pass or change lanes
- Throwing objects
- Displaying or using a weapon like a firearm
What Leads to Road Rage Accidents?
The term aggressive driving began to emerge during the 1990s as a way to describe an increasingly set of dangerous driving behaviors. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that there were more than 10,000 reported cases of road rage between the years 1990 and 1996, leading to a 51 percent increase in serious incidents.
The cause of these behaviors, however, is still being debated today. Psychologists will lay the blame on the combination of anonymity and power that driving gives motorists, while traffic engineers blame poorly designed roadways for road rage incidents. While the root cause of road rage is still being debated, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has identified and outlines a number of factors that seem to contribute to road rage accidents in the cases of both cars and motorcycles.
Those factors include:
- Running late
- Traffic delays
- Disregard for others
- Habitual or clinical behavior
- Disregard for the law
Injuries Associated with Road Rage Accidents
No matter the type of road rage incident, there is one almost inevitable factor that comes into play in the majority of motorcycle accident cases: serious injury. When a motorist feels the need to take out their aggression on another vehicle, and that vehicle is a motorcycle, the consequences can be devastating and sometimes even life-threatening.
A motorcycle simply does not have the same safety features and protections that a car has. This leaves a rider exposed and vulnerable to an attack by an angry driver. While the driver of the vehicle gets a twisted sense of power or vindication from an incident, a motorcyclist can end up facing serious injuries and a life-long struggle to fully recover from the incident.
Some of the more common injuries associated with a road rage accident can include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Facial injuries
- Dental injuries
- Neck injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Gunshot wounds
- Wrongful death
Compensation for Road Rage Accidents
There may be several avenues available for motorcyclists to receive compensation following a road rage incident. The most common way of seeking compensation is through insurance. Alabama is considered a “fault” state for auto accidents, which means the person who is at fault for causing the accident is responsible for compensation. That can mean filing a claim through the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In some instances, you may not have that information and will need to file a claim through your own insurance company.
The amount of compensation you may be able to recover greatly depends on the circumstances of the accident. An experienced attorney can better outline what you can expect by reviewing your situation and medical information. In general, you may be able to recover the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
Remember, insurance companies want to keep their hands on their profits and may offer you a sum that won’t fully cover your damages. They may also harbor a bias against motorcycle riders and manipulate you into accepting partial blame for an accident. An attorney working on your behalf can aggressively negotiate with the insurance company to make sure you are not being taken advantage of and are getting what you are due.
An attorney also has the power to take the company to court if they will not negotiate in good faith. There are also situations where it may be in your best interest to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Getting a skilled attorney on your side means you have a knowledgeable individual who can lay out all your legal options and help advise you on which option is best for your specific case.
Alabama Road Rage Laws
A driver who is caught exercising aggressive driving behaviors may be held accountable for damages if that behavior leads to a serious accident. However, currently, in the state of Alabama, there are no specific criminal offenses that call out road rage as strictly defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
What Alabama has done that is moving the state in the right direction to punish aggressive drivers is to pass HB212, known as the Anti-Road Rage Act. This piece of legislation went into effect on September 1st, 2019. The legislation makes it illegal to travel in the far-left lane if the driver has not passed another vehicle for 1.5 consecutive miles. The aim of this law is to keep traffic flowing smoothly and keep drivers from feeling slowed down or boxed in by slower vehicles, something the state feels contributes to aggressive driving and road rage.
Contact an Experienced Birmingham Road Rage Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries as the result of a road rage incident while you were riding a motorcycle, you may be entitled to compensation. The firm of Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP wants to help you hold the aggressive driver accountable and make sure you get the money you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP today by calling (205) 324-1212 and scheduling your free, no-obligation consultation.