Road Rage - Who is Liable or Responsible? Miami Personal Injury Attorney Discusses
July 31, 2014
Whether you are driving in Miami, Hialeah, Miami Gardens or throughout South Florida, it is possible that you have witnessed or been a victim of road rage. A 2007 study revealed that Miami had the least courteous drivers - more drivers with road rage than any other city in the United States. Road rage can vary from angry insults to violent behavior including using a firearm or any type of weapon. Unfortunately road rage behavior can lead to physical injury, property damage and even wrongful death. Recently, two Miami Dade Police Officers were allegedly involved in a road rage accident where shots were fired at another driver. The Florida Highway Patrol is currently investigating these allegations. If you have ever been a victim of road rage you may have asked yourself "What can I do? ... Who will pay to fix my car? Who will pay for my medical bills? ... Who will take care of my family and bills because I am not able to work? ... Can I sue the driver who was aggressive?"
Identify Your Assailant
Whether you are looking to press criminal charges or you are filing a civil lawsuit for money, it is important that you get as much information about the person who was acting aggressively towards you. Many incidents of road rage happen quickly and your assailant may leave the scene of the incident. Therefore, you may only have a few seconds to get any information regarding the assailant's car. The only information that is readily available to you without speaking to your assailant is the make, model, color and vehicle tag number of your aggressor's car. An easy way to get this information is to simply take a picture.
Report the Incident to Police
Call 911 and report the incident. If possible, make sure that you complete a police report. Provide the identifying information regarding the car to the police. The police will seek out the aggressive driver and charge him appropriately. Unfortunately, if the police does not feel that road rage was involved, they may not issue a ticket or pursue any criminal charges. However, you may be at liberty to file a civil case against the aggressive driver.
Road Rage may be Assault and/or Battery
Assault and battery are intentional acts. This may be an issue when attempting to recover on a civil case from an aggressive driver's insurance. Many, if not nearly all, insurance policies have clauses excluding intentional acts. Which means that even though an individual may be a victim of road rage, the victim suffered a permanent physical injury, the victim's vehicle was a total loss, the aggressive driver has insurance and it is clear that it was a result of the actions of the aggressive driver, the aggressive driver's insurance may not cover your injuries and damages. If the driver is insolvent which means that they have no assets to collect on, then you will be responsible for your own medical bills and repairs to your vehicle. Certainly, you may file a lawsuit against the aggressive driver for your injuries and damages, but if the aggressive driver has no assets and no insurance coverage, you will get a judgment that you will never be able to collect on. A judgment that may cost you additional monies to present with no way to ever recuperate this money.
However, if you have underinsured/uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, you can place a claim to your own insurance. It is highly recommended that all driver's, especially in South Florida, carry UM insurance coverage because you never know if the driver next to you have any insurance coverage to pay for your injuries and damages.
If you or a loved one is a victim of road rage and have either suffered a physical injury or property damage, it is important that talk with an experience Miami Personal Injury Attorney. Olga Porven, P.A. is ready at any time to speak with your regarding any legal question you may have regarding your injuries or accident. Olga Porven, P.A. T 305-901-1227 for a free consultation or simply send an email or case review via this website.
Olga Porven, P.A., a Miami Personal Injury law firm, specializes in personal injury cases such as motor vehicle accidents, wrongful deaths, and cases involving road rage . We pride ourselves on our client centered representation and continuous communication with our clients. Olga Porven, a former insurance defense attorney, has the insight into what the insurance companies strategies are in defending personal injury cases.