Road Rage Accidents
Road rage can cause some catastrophic injuries. Aggressive driving includes tailgating, shouting obscenities, rudely gesturing, and blocking other cars. Sometimes visible displays of road rage spur road rage in other drivers, resulting in negligent or intentionally unsafe driving by multiple parties. If you are hurt due to another driver's road rage, you may be able to recover damages. Car accident lawyer Mark Hartsoe can help Knoxville victims negotiate with insurers to pursue a favorable settlement or skillfully present your case to a jury if necessary.Seeking Damages after an Incident of Road Rage
There are numerous statutes designed to promote safety on the road, but in the throes of road rage drivers often ignore these laws. If a driver violates a law designed to protect the public safety and thereby causes a car accident that results in injuries, the doctrine of negligence per se may apply. In other words, the violation of the statute would create a presumption that the driver was negligent. A police report and a traffic citation or conviction after the accident can be used to establish the violation.
In most car accident cases, compensatory damages may be available. These are damages that are intended to make the plaintiff whole. They may include economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are tangible costs and losses that can typically be proven by reference to documentation, such as medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, vocational rehabilitation, and household services. Noneconomic damages include costs and losses that naturally flow from the type of accident and injuries at hand. These may include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.
In some cases, road rage causes a driver to act intentionally, maliciously, or recklessly. In Tennessee, the court may award punitive damages if a defendant has acted not just negligently, but with the conscious objective or desire to engage in a particular set of actions or cause an accident. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant and act as a deterrent. Someone is considered to act maliciously if he or she is motivated by hatred, spite, or ill will. Someone is considered to act recklessly if he or she is aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm but consciously disregards it.
The defendant's malicious, reckless, or intentional conduct must be proven not by the usual preponderance of the evidence standard, but by the much higher standard of clear and convincing evidence. Clear and convincing evidence is evidence in which there is no serious or substantial doubt about the correctness of any conclusions to be drawn.Protect Your Rights after an Auto Accident by Consulting a Knoxville Lawyer
The Hartsoe Law Firm is dedicated to representing victims of motor vehicle collisions in Knoxville and the surrounding communities. Attorney Mark Hartsoe knows that insurers and attorneys for defendants tend to offer a victim less compensation than is warranted. They may even try to blame the victim for causing an accident, such as by doing something that caused the other driver to get angry. Road rage is not acceptable, and at the Hartsoe Law Firm we can take your case to trial if an insurer does not offer an appropriate settlement. For a free initial consultation, call (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form.