Aggressive Driving Car Accident Attorneys in Austin
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports almost 20,000 traffic accidents on the roads of Travis County during 2017. The vast majority of car accidents are preventable; some might occur because of complacency, but others occur when drivers deliberately disregard the rules of the road and the safety of others.
A recent survey reported that eight out of 10 drivers in the United States admitted to engaging in at least one aggressive driving behavior during a year. Many people conjure up images of road rage behaviors when thinking of aggressive driving, but many different types of driving behavior and traffic violations fall under the aggressive driving umbrella. Aggressive driving can lead to severe and catastrophic injuries that devastate victims and their families. Victims must hold aggressive drivers accountable for their actions to recover damages and to prevent future accidents.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Austin-area car accident because of another driver’s aggressive actions, Texas law entitles you to seek damages in civil court as long as you take action within the two-year statute of limitations window. Contact the legal team at The Law Offices of George Salinas at (512) 851-1004 to discuss the details of your accident and injuries.
What Is Aggressive Driving?
The American Automobile Association defines aggressive driving as “any unsafe driving behavior, performed deliberately and with ill intention or disregard for safety.” This is the broad definition applied by government agencies, including the State of Texas and its municipalities. Examples of aggressive driving behavior include the following:
- Punishing other drivers with brakes and headlights
- Following too closely
- Cutting off another vehicle and slowing down
- Running stop signs and red lights
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Changing lanes without using turn signals
- Blocking other vehicles who are trying to pass or change lanes
Aggressive driving also includes behaviors associated with road rage, such as:
- Yelling at another motorist
- Angry honking
- Making obscene and angry gestures
- Getting out of a vehicle to confront another motorist
- Purposefully hitting or ramming another vehicle
Not all road rage behaviors are illegal, but they might lead to a dangerous situation or an accident.
Texas Aggressive Driving Initiatives
Texas doesn’t have laws that broadly address aggressive driving, but most aggressive driving behaviors may be ticketed as moving violations. When Texas law enforcement recognizes aggressive driving behavior, they may fine up to $200 for each moving violation.
Austin has taken special measures to crack down on aggressive drivers by instituting suggestions from the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration’s (FMCSA) Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) program. The TACT program addresses the aggressive driving that often occurs between large commercial trucks and cars by educating the public on how to interact with trucks when they are on the road.
What Should You Do if You Encounter an Aggressive Driver on Austin Roads?
When you encounter an angry or aggressive driver, it’s in your best interest to avoid a potentially dangerous confrontation. The Texas Department of Transportation recommends the following actions when you encounter an aggressive driver:
- Avoid making eye contact with the angry driver.
- Give aggressive drivers plenty of room by steering clear of them.
- Avoid making inappropriate or obscene hand or facial gestures.
- If you feel that you are in immediate danger, call 911 immediately.
Recovering Damages From an Aggressive Driver in Texas
After an accident caused by an aggressive driver in Texas, anyone injured in the accident can seek compensation from the driver (usually through his insurance carrier). When an accident leaves victims with severe or catastrophic injuries, however, the driver’s insurance policy often does not cover all their damages. When that happens, an attorney can advise car accident victims about whether the best route forward is to pursue legal action against the aggressive drive and/or anyone else potentially responsible for the victim’s injuries. The compensation Texans injured by an aggressive driver can typically seek includes:
- Medical costs including ambulance and emergency services, hospitalization, surgery, X-rays, prescription medications, and follow-up visits
- Future medical treatment costs for injuries that need significant time for recovery or that cause a permanent disability that requires around-the-clock healthcare
- Rehabilitation expenses including physical therapy, assistive devices like crutches, artificial limbs, canes, and wheelchairs
- Lost wages from time away from the job as a result of injury
- Lost future wages when a victim cannot return to work because of a severe or catastrophic injury or permanent disability
- Pain and suffering caused by the accident and injury
- Loss of consortium with a spouse
- Scarring and disfigurement from severe injuries that require amputations or leave scars
- Punitive (or exemplary) damages when the defendant acted with intent to harm or with wanton, willful, or gross negligence. These damages aim to punish the defendant and to deter future wrongful conduct. They’re generally rare, but may be likely in aggressive driving cases involving road rage.
If a loved one lost his or her life because of an aggressive driver, you might be entitled to compensation. Under Texas law, surviving family members can seek damages by filing a wrongful death suit in civil court. In addition to some of the aforementioned damages, family members might also be able to recover funeral costs and burial expenses.
Hire an Experienced Austin Aggressive Driving Car Accident Attorney
Aggressive driving comprises many dangerous, often criminal, behaviors. If you or a family member have suffered injuries because of the actions of an Austin-area aggressive driver, you deserve to recover compensation and to hold the driver to account.
An experienced Austin car accident attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the legal process while you focus on recovering during this challenging time. Do not wait to obtain the legal services you need. Contact The Law Offices of George Salinas in Austin at (512) 851-1004 for a free consultation with a member of our team to determine the best path forward for your situation. We frequently represent clients on contingency, collecting our fees only out of any settlement or verdict we obtain on their behalf.