Nearly everyone has encountered an aggressive driver on the road. These drivers may speed down I-95, tailgate or follow too closely in traffic, cut off other drivers with no regard for safety, or disobey traffic signals. These behaviors are not just annoying—in one study, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that aggressive driving maneuvers contributed to 56% of fatal traffic accidents.
When an aggressive driver causes an accident or an injury, that person should be held responsible for his or her actions in court. At Gerson & Schwartz, P.A., our Miami car accident lawyers are experienced in dealing with legal claims including claims against aggressive drivers. If an aggressive driver in Miami was the legal cause of an accident, or that you or a loved one were seriously injured, our Miami accident attorneys can help you get justice after someone else’s reckless behavior causes an injury.What is Aggressive Driving?
When a person is an aggressive driver, he or she maneuvers a vehicle in a way that increases the risk of an accident. Florida is one of only 11 states that have specifically defined the offense of aggressive driving in their state statutes.
In Florida, a person can receive a ticket for aggressive driving if he or she engages in two or more of the following behaviors at once or in succession:
- Unsafe or improper lane changes;
- Tailgating or following too closely;
- Failing to yield the right-of-way; and/or
- Violating traffic signals or controls.
All of these are dangerous on their own, but a combination of any of these behaviors can exponentially increase the potential for a deadly accident. For instance, a person might be speeding but otherwise driving in a safe manner. However, if that same person is speeding while weaving in and out of traffic and tailgating other drivers, that person is endangering every other driver on the road.What Can I Recover for Against an Aggressive Driver Under Florida Law?
Legal Compensation a claim may include for an auto, car or motor vehicle accident with an aggressive driver may include:
- Wage loss
- Damages for Pain and Suffering
- Future medical bills
- Out of pocket expenses
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Compensation for a permanent injury
- Inability to lead a normal life
- Emotional and psychological harms
Every year, Florida police specifically target aggressive drivers through their TACT campaign. The campaign, which stands for Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks, focuses on raising awareness of the dangers of aggressive driving and punishing those who disobey state law and endanger other motorists. This period of increased enforcement usually lasts for 2-3 weeks and results in thousands of aggressive driving traffic tickets across the state.
When a police officer stops an aggressive driver or responds to an accident caused by an aggressive driver, the officer has the option of checking a box on the traffic ticket indicating that the person receiving the ticket had engaged in aggressive driving.
While there is no additional statutory punishment for aggressive driving, the checked box on the traffic indicates to a judge or jury that the person who was ticketed engaged in extraordinarily reckless behavior. As a result, the driver may face stiffer punishments or sentencing in a criminal case or traffic court case. For example, the driver might be required to complete a traffic course specifically addressing aggressive driving.
Aggressive drivers may also face additional consequences in civil court. When an aggressive driver causes an accident, an injured person will usually sue for damages on the basis of negligence. When a driver has already been ticketed for aggressive driving, it serves as evidence that he or she was not operating the vehicle in a safe manner and will strengthen the injured person’s case.Get Help After an Injury or Accident in Miami
Aggressive drivers are not rare in South Florida. If you or a loved one was injured or killed as a result of an aggressive driver’s reckless behavior, you have options. At Gerson & Schwartz, our experienced Miami personal injury attorneys can review your case for free and will help you pursue justice for your injuries. To schedule your free consultation, contact us today by calling (305) 371-6000.