The words “road rage” are not defined in Indiana law, but we know it when we see it. For whatever reason—maybe they were cut off in traffic, or maybe it was something in their personal life—a motorist becomes angry and drives aggressively, endangering those around them.
Sometimes, road rage incidents lead to acts of violence, as in July 2020, when a man was fatally shot on the westbound I-465 near the Indiana 37 interchange, the Indiana Star reported.
But more commonly, this sort of driving leads to accidents. In 2018, more than 6,700 collisions resulted from aggressive driving, according to a report from the Indiana University Public Policy Institute.
If you were injured in a road rage incident, do not try to handle it yourself. Insurance companies will have teams of adjusters and lawyers who will work every angle to reduce your compensation. You may want someone in your corner who knows how to fight back.
Your Indianapolis car accident caused by road rage lawyer from Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. only handles personal injury cases. This means that, unlike some other firms that know a little about many types of cases, we focus on personal injury law.
For your free consultation, call our offices today at 317-720-3229.
What You Need to Know About Road Rage Law
What we think of as “road rage” is legally covered in IC § 9-21-8-55, which establishes the crime of aggressive driving. According to the statute, motorists are driving aggressively if they commit any three of the following acts in “one episode of continuous driving.”
- Following too closely
- Unsafe operation of the vehicle
- Overtaking another vehicle on the right by passing on the shoulder
- Unsafe stopping or slowing
- Unnecessary sounding of the horn
- Failure to yield
- Failure to obey a traffic control device
- Driving at an unsafe speed
- Repeatedly flashing the vehicle’s headlights
The statute also includes a “person who, with the intent to harass or intimidate a person in another vehicle, knowingly or intentionally engages in aggressive driving commits aggressive driving.” In other words, road rage.
Enraged drivers might also violate IC § 9-21-8-52, which prohibits reckless driving. A reckless driver is someone who goes dangerously fast or slow, passes vehicles in a dangerous manner or prevents them from passing, or drives in and out of the line of traffic (among other specific actions).
How We Will Prove Liability for Your Injuries
Per IC § 34-51-2-3, Indiana requires the person responsible for the accident to pay for property damage and injuries of the other drivers involved. With a road rage accident, this can be straightforward. Because the at-fault driver committed an infraction (aggressive and/or reckless driving) that led to the accident, he or she is deemed negligent, as the Indiana Law Journal affirms.
However, that does not mean you should forgo the help of an Indianapolis car accident caused by road rage lawyer. Your lawyer will work to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
What You Should Do After an Accident
IC §9-26-1-1.1 requires anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident to stop at the scene, provide their name and information to the operators of other vehicles involved in the accident, and provide assistance in the case of death or injury. You should call 911 as quickly as possible, so a law enforcement officer can arrive and investigate.
If it is safe to do so, document as much of the accident as you can. Take pictures and speak with potential witnesses. Contact your insurance company to inform them of the accident. Whether you notice an injury or not, seek medical attention as soon as you can; sometimes, symptoms do not show up right away. Finally, keep records of everything—your expenses, time away from work, even the level of pain you experience.
Call Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. at 317-720-3229 to speak to a team member about what else you can do to help our investigation.
We Can Help You Pursue Insurance Claims
As with any other accident, you will file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Indiana requires drivers to maintain a minimum level of coverage, as noted by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles:
- $25,000 in bodily injury liability (BIL) per person
- $50,000 in BIL per accident
- $25,000 in property damage liability (PDL)
- Opt-out BIL and PDL coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists
Even if there is no dispute over the road rage that led to the accident, that does not mean the driver’s insurance company will offer you what you deserve. This is why you may decide to retain a lawyer who focuses on personal injury law. If the insurance company proposes a settlement that does not sufficiently compensate you, we will negotiate. If we need to, we will go to court.
Potentially Recoverable Damages in Your Road Rage Accident Case
In Indiana, there is no limit to what a jury or judge can award in compensatory damages, regardless of whether they are economic (i.e., tangible damages such as wage losses) or non-economic (i.e., non-quantifiable damages such as pain and suffering). These can cover things like medical costs, the cost to repair or replace your vehicle, pain and suffering, therapy, lost wages, and loss of enjoyment of life.
As noted in IC §34-11-2-4, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of the accident. Call us now to begin working on your case. We do not want you to miss the deadline. However, there may be exceptions to the deadline. We can discuss these with you.
How We Can Help You and Your Family
Even if the facts of your accident are cut and dry, take no chances. Insurance companies will do everything they can to pay you as little as possible. You deserve better than to needlessly suffer because of someone else’s negligence and aggressive driving.
Let Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. fight back on your behalf. We only handle personal injury cases. Additionally, because we work on a contingency basis, you never pay us until your Indianapolis car accident caused by road rage lawyer recovers damages for you.