Road Rage in California and What to Do if it Impacts Your Family
Eight years ago, superstar football quarterback Aaron Rodgers famously told fans of his team, the Green Bay Packers, that they should "R-E-L-A-X" and clam down about the team's poor play. While far away from Wisconsin, drivers in California could stand to heed this advice and relax on the roads. Aggressive driving and road rage are twin troubles that, too often, lead to injuries or death. If you or a loved one has been harmed by one of these kinds of drivers, an experienced San Mateo auto accident lawyer
can help you undertake a civil legal action and get everything you deserve from it.
One of the most recent episodes in this ongoing tragedy of road rage occurred in Fresno. Eyewitnesses described seeing a black car chasing a motorcycle on a street north of downtown. The driver of the car pulled a gun and fired upon the motorcycle. That caused the motorcyclist to crash and the bike to burst into flames. The driver of the motorcycle died from his injuries, according to a yourcentralvalley.com report.
Road Rage in California
Southern California has seen similar problems with similar tragic results. Last August, a 26-year-old man was chasing another vehicle in a suspected road rage incident in Long Beach. The other driver "attempted to disengage" but the man persisted, according to police. The man struck an uninvolved Toyota Corolla, lost control, and crashed into a parked vehicle. His 23-year-old passenger, a woman who was eight months pregnant, suffered injuries that killed her and her unborn child, according to a KTLA report.
Two months earlier, on an Orange County freeway, a 6-year-old boy died in a suspected road rage shooting. A white car cut off the boy's mother in the carpool lane, so the mom flipped off the white car. The driver then maneuvered behind the woman and the passenger, a man in his 20s, shot into the woman's car, fatally wounding the boy.
According to statistics from AAA, California ranks third in the frequency of road rage incidents
involving guns, behind only Florida and Texas. If you are hurt (or a loved one killed) in one of these kinds of accidents, there may be many different categories of damages that a jury can include in your overall compensation award. One type is something called "economic damages." This covers things like the cost of past and future medical care, pain and suffering, along with past future lost income. These are things that are potentially available in any auto accident case
where you succeed in proving that the defendant was negligent.
Seek Compensation From a Car Accident Lawyer
In a road rage case
, though, you may be entitled to more. California law allows for the award of "punitive damages" when the defendant's action (or inaction) was intentionally harmful or displayed extreme recklessness. These awards are meant to punish the wrongdoer and deter others. Your accident attorney can advise you regarding whether or not to pursue this type of award. In some circumstances, it may be disadvantageous a punitive damages case because that might possibly impair your ability to recover insurance payouts.
Any time a family loses a loved one in a vehicle accident, it is a tragic situation. That tragedy is rendered all the more senseless when the underlying cause is another driver's road rage. If you family has been touched by this problem -- either in terms of a fatality or a non-fatal injury -- you need thoughtful, resourceful, and diligent legal counsel to guide you forward in dealing with the courts, the lawyers, and the insurance companies. Count on the skilled San Mateo auto accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos to be that advocate for your family. Reach out to our helpful attorneys today to find out more. To set up a free consultation
, contact us at 650-345-8484
or through our website.