Aggressive driving is one of the leading causes of accidents in Georgia. Drivers who are overly aggressive can be held liable to others they injure. The Atlanta auto accident lawyers of The Angell Law Firm have significant experience holding irresponsible drivers accountable for their actions. If you have been injured by an aggressive driver, you can file a lawsuit for compensation.Aggressive Drivers Kill Thousands Each Year
Speed and other aggressive driving tactics kill thousands of people each year. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, more than 10,000 people were killed in speed-related accidents in the United States and Puerto Rico in 2010. To combat this problem, Georgia law specifically prohibits aggressive driving. Under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-397, drivers who attempt to annoy, harass, intimidate, or obstruct another driver have engaged in aggressive driving. Not only could aggressive drivers face prosecution for this misdemeanor, but a driver who injures another person while driving aggressively may also face civil liability.Aggressive Drivers Are Negligent Drivers
Aggressive drivers who cause an injury accident may face civil liability for negligence if the plaintiff proves that the aggressive driver:
- Owed a duty to the plaintiff;
- Breached that duty; and
- Proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Every Georgia driver owes a duty to other people on the road to drive the same way a reasonable person would under the same circumstances. A driver who speeds, cuts off other drivers, drives on the shoulder, or behaves otherwise aggressively has breached this universal duty. If the plaintiff was injured in an accident caused by the aggressive driver’s actions, the aggressive driver will be liable.
Aggressive drivers might also face civil liability under a legal cause of action called negligence per se, especially if the defendant was cited for a violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-397, the aggressive driving statute. In a negligence per se case, the defendant will be deemed negligent if the plaintiff proves that the defendant violated a safety-related statute, such as the aggressive driving law. Once that is proven, this leaves proving the causation element as the primary remaining obstacle for the plaintiff in establishing liability.Negligent Drivers Can Be Required to Pay Damages to Injured Plaintiffs
If an aggressive driver is deemed liable under a theory of negligence or negligence per se, she may have to pay damages to the plaintiff or plaintiffs she injured. Economic compensatory damages reimburse the plaintiff for the direct costs of her injuries, such as medical bills, lost wages, and damage to her car. A prevailing plaintiff can also collect damages for injuries that have less objective costs, like pain and suffering. Finally, some plaintiffs may be able to seek punitive damages from defendants who acted with a conscious disregard for the consequences of their actions. If the consumption of illegal drugs or alcohol contributed to the accident, Georgia’s statutory punitive damages cap is inapplicable.Protect Your Rights by Hiring Experienced Counsel
Aggressive drivers can be made to pay for their choice to endanger other people. If you have been injured by an aggressive driver, an Atlanta car accident attorney from The Angell Law Firm can explain your options to you, and help you seek the compensation that you deserve. Call (770) 217-4954 or contact us online to schedule a case evaluation. Our consultations are always free and completely confidential.