Driving can be frustrating, especially during times of high traffic volume. When motorists are running late, or are in a hurry to get somewhere, they tend to set common courtesy aside, along with the safety of those around them. In some situations, drivers get so angry, and they lash out at others, further increasing the danger of causing a serious or fatal car accident.
Aggressive drivers can be held liable for the injuries that are caused as a result of their negligent and reckless conduct. This is achieved through a lawsuit based under the theory of negligence, which allows for recovery when the other driver's conduct is at least negligent. In many road rage accidents, the driver's conduct goes beyond negligent and crosses into the realm of reckless or intentional. The law does not precisely define what aggressive driving is, but the term is commonly understood to include:
- Frequently changing lanes,
- Failing to use turn signals,
- Cutting other motorists off,
- Running stop signs or traffic lights,
- Cursing or using obscene hand gestures, and
- Following too closely
Of course, this is not a complete list, and an aggressive driver sometimes exhibits several of the above behaviors.
Defense Verdict in Road Rad Case Reversed for Defendant's Failure to Disclose Previous Citations
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia issued an opinion, reversing a defense jury verdict based on the defendant's failure to disclose traffic tickets when asked about his driving history. According to the court's written opinion, the plaintiff was a truck driver who was traveling on a West Virginia highway when another motorist pulled in front of him, gave him the finger, and then slammed on the brakes. The truck driver tried to maneuver around the vehicle in front of him, but ended up crashing the truck.
The truck driver sued the other motorist, and at trial the defendant claimed that he was not the one who caused the accident, and that he was a safe driver. In response, the plaintiff confronted the defendant with a 2011 citation for reckless driving. The defendant, however, denied having any recollection of the event. The court then made an evidentiary ruling, preventing the plaintiff from continuing the line of questioning.
The jury found that the plaintiff failed to prove his case. However, on appeal, the case was reversed because of the defendant's failure to admit to his previous citation for reckless driving. The court noted that it was not important whether the defendant was intentionally misrepresenting his driving record. What was important was that the plaintiff was denied a fair cross examination by the withholding of the information.
Have You Been Injured in an Aggressive Driving Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in any kind of Illinois car accident, including one caused by an aggressive driver, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled and dedicated attorneys at Cavanagh Law Group have decades of experience representing clients in all kinds of personal injury cases, including aggressive driving accidents.