Birmingham Road Rage Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
The phrase “aggressive driving” was coined during the 1990s as a label for a category of “dangerous on-the-road behaviors” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s report presenting the results of a study on the effects of programs implemented to reduce the incidence of such behaviors. “Road rage” is described in the same report as “the label that emerged to describe the angry and violent behaviors at the extreme of the aggressive driving continuum.”
NHTSA defines aggressive driving as the “operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property,” but notes that aggressive driving is commonly a traffic violation while road rage can be a criminal offense. Although Alabama has neither an aggressive driving nor a road rage law, Alabama State Representative Phillip Pettus introduced the Anti-Road Rage Act in May 2019, a bill that would make it illegal for drivers to drive more than 1.5 miles in the left lane without passing someone on the right.
While Alabama might not have a law making road rage a criminal offense yet, an aggressive driver who causes a traffic accident can be responsible for the damages caused. If you have suffered catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed in a road rage accident in Birmingham or a surrounding area of Alabama, do not wait until it is too late to take legal action to recover the compensation you are owed.
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP understands that these kinds of crashes can involve contentious disputes, and we will fight to protect your rights. You and our attorneys can discuss your rights when you call (205) 324-1212 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.
Do I Need A Road Rage Accident Lawyer if I was Hurt in a Motorcycle Crash?
No matter how angry or unreasonable a driver may have been before an accident, or even at the scene of the crash, they are presumably going to be much calmer and more composed in the weeks that follow. Regardless of the conduct you might have seen; you can be sure that the negligent driver’s insurance company is almost certainly going to deny your road rage allegations.
As a result of this, you will likely be facing an uphill fight in your effort to recover compensation for your injuries. Insurance companies all share the same goal, which is protecting their bottom line by settling cases for as little as possible.
The settlement negotiation process can be quite lengthy, and it is best for an experienced lawyer to handle negotiations on your behalf. Firstly, the attorney will have a much better idea of the real value of your case, and secondly, the lawyer will also know how to use your case to negotiate an adequate settlement.
Some people believe they are capable of negotiating their own settlements, but this often does more harm than good. Some people inadvertently admit to negligence and see their claims denied, and others rush to settle for far less than what they are entitled to and then struggle to pay all future bills.
Why Choose Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP To Handle My Case?
Kirby Farris and Ken Riley are both lifelong Alabama residents who are proud to call Birmingham home, and they are committed to helping the people they consider their friends and neighbors. Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP continually supports our community through work with such organizations as Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, United Way, and Children’s of Alabama.
Mr. Farris and Mr. Riley are both members of the Alabama Bar Association, Birmingham Bar Association, and American Bar Association. They are also both admitted to the Alabama Supreme Court, United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, and United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP is committed to helping you obtain a settlement that provides for all of your past, present, and future needs. When an insurance company refuses to make an acceptable offer, we will immediately file a lawsuit as we are always preparing cases for trial.
You also do not have to worry about payment as our firm works on a contingency fee basis. In other words, you pay no legal fees unless you get a monetary award.
Types of Road Rage Accident Cases We Handle
NHTSA noted in its report that several factors could contribute to a single example of aggressive driving. Some of the most common contributing factors seem to be traffic congestion or delays, people running late, disregard for other people or the law, and habitual or clinical behavior.
NHTSA also noted that another unique factor behind road rage could be drivers who “develop a sense of anonymity and detachment, as if an observer of the surroundings, rather than a participant.” The actual actions that a driver with road rage may take can vary.
Some of the most common kinds of aggressive driving behaviors identified by NHTSA include:
- Weaving through traffic
- Running stop signs or lights
- Failure to yield right of way
Some road rage incidents involve personal confrontations, and those that end in violence can indeed result in a road rage driver facing criminal charges. It is important to keep in mind that any criminal case will be completely separate from your own civil action, so a driver who avoids a conviction can still be held civilly liable.
What should I do after being involved in a road rage accident?
When you believe that another driver is exhibiting road rage, ask a passenger in your vehicle to attempt to record video of that driver on their cell phone. Do not attempt to record video while you are driving. After a crash, always make sure that you receive medical care. Go to a hospital even if you do not think that you were hurt. Also, try to take as many photographs as you can of the vehicles, people, and other notable factors involved in your accident.
If anybody else saw the crash, attempt to get contact information from them in case they are needed as witnesses. Avoid the temptation to write about your accident on a social media website, as that will be the first place an insurance company will look for information to use against you. Instead, contact an attorney as soon as you can.
What is contributory negligence?
The Supreme Court of Alabama adopted the following language from Comment n to § 402A of the Restatement of Torts 2d in its decision in Atkins v. American Motors Corp., 335 So. 2d 134 (Ala.1976)as being “a clear statement of this assumption of risk rule”: “. . . If the user or consumer discovers the defect and is aware of the danger, and nevertheless proceeds unreasonably to make use of the product and is injured by it, he is barred from recovery.”
Rule 8(c) of the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure includes contributory negligence as an affirmative defense, and contributory negligence must be pleaded as an affirmative defense with the defendant having the burden of proving contributory negligence. Alabama is one of only five states that recognizes contributory negligence, which essentially means that a defendant has to have been 100 percent at fault for an accident. Two legal doctrines can allow for recovery in some Alabama contributory negligence cases.
The sudden emergency doctrine holds that a person who is faced with an unexpected emergency by no fault of their own will be held to the same standard of care as a reasonably prudent person under the same or similar circumstances, and the last clear chance doctrine holds that a defendant can be held liable when the defendant had the last opportunity to avoid the accident but failed to use reasonable and ordinary care in avoiding the accident, causing injury to the victim.
What kinds of compensation can be awarded for a road rage accident?
Most road rage cases will be resolved through settlements because trials are expensive, and insurance companies do not want to spend the money. If a case does go to trial, then a person could be awarded compensatory damages, which are usually a combination of economic damages and noneconomic damages that could include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
Because the circumstances of every accident and the severity of injuries can vary significantly, the exact types of damages and amount of compensation you are owed can only be determined by an experienced accident attorney.
Alabama Road Rage Accident Statistics
NHTSA reported that The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found a 51 percent increase in serious incidents between 1990 and 1996 after studying over 10,000 reported cases of road rage. NHTSA noted that the estimate of 10,000 cases of road rage during the first six years of the 1990s was “really quite low” in the context of the more than 22.7 million people injured in motor vehicle crashes and over 290,000 killed during the same six-year period.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported in July 2016 that a study found almost 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression, or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the past year. According to the study, 104 million drivers or 51 percent purposefully tailgated, 95 million drivers or 47 percent yelled at another driver, 91 million drivers or 45 percent honked to show annoyance or anger, 67 million drivers or 33 percent made angry gestures, 49 million drivers or 24 percent tried to block another vehicle from changing lanes, 24 million drivers or 12 percent cut off another vehicle on purpose, 7.6 million drivers or 4 percent got out of their vehicle to confront another driver, and 5.7 million drivers or 3 percent bumped or rammed another vehicle on purpose.
According to The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study, almost two in three drivers believed aggressive driving is a bigger problem today than three years ago, while nine out of 10 believed aggressive drivers are a serious threat to their personal safety. Male and younger drivers between 19 and 39 years of age were much more likely to engage in aggressive behaviors.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the American Automobile Association attempted to identify behaviors associated with aggressive driving based on data tracked by NHTSA’s Fatal Accident Report System (FARS) and found that aggressive driving played a role in 56 percent of fatal crashes from 2003 through 2007.=
Contact a Birmingham Road Rage Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
Did you sustain severe injuries or was your loved one killed in a motorcycle accident involving road rage in Alabama? Contact Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP right away. Our team will immediately get to work on your case, and we will be committed to doing whatever we can to help. Call us at (205) 324-1212 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Birmingham motorcycle accident lawyers today.