Experienced Colorado Springs Car Accident ATtorneys
While there are no official data on road rage in Colorado Springs, these new reports indicate that it is common and that incidences may increase. The availability of weapons, the desire to use them, and even the fears and obstacles of the COVID epidemic during the last year, according to Colorado Springs police, may all contribute to road rage accidents.
If you or a member of your family is threatened or injured due to a road rage accident, you must know what to do. Here’s a quick rundown of the law and road rage.
WHAT IS ROAD RAGE?
Aggressive driving and road rage are cousins. However, it has its definition and set of characteristics. What is the definition? Any risky driving move carried out with malice or a disregard for the safety of others.
Sideswiping a car
Forcing a car off the road with another car Ramming a car
Cursing and using rude or obscene gestures Throwing things
Threatening with a pistol, the car, or other harmful weapons
Aggressive driving is a technique of expressing or conveying displeasure in a less severe manner.
Blocking cars attempting to pass or change lanes
Cutting in front of another driver and immediately slowing down afterwards Weaving in and out of traffic
Changing lanes without signaling Running red lights
Flashing headlights or abruptly slowing down to communicate anger at their driving
Both road rage and aggressive driving have the potential to be very injuryful to other motorists. They’re both ways too frequent in the United States, sadly. In 30 days, over 80% of drivers questioned performed in a manner consistent with road rage or aggressive driving, according to the AAA Foundation’s Annual Traffic Safety Culture Index for Traffic Safety.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE INVOLVED IN A ROAD RAGE ACCIDENT
Because of its pervasiveness, it’s a good idea to know what to do if you’re a victim of road rage.
MAKE YOUR SAFETY A PRIORITY.
Responding with your safety in mind is the first line of protection against road rage. It may seem natural to retaliate in like, particularly if you’ve been shouted at or slammed. But, to be honest, it’s risky.
Responding in like only serves to exacerbate the problem. You want to de-escalate the situation.
Panic is also a normal reaction. Maintain as much calm as possible.
De-escalate the situation and maintain your composure by pulling your car out of injury’s way as swiftly as possible. If you can, pull over to the side of the road and wait for the road rager to pass.
Call 911 if the person gets out of the car and tries to engage you or damage your car. Get out of your car as soon as possible. Individuals who are enraged or unreasonable may use things against you. Objects such as baseball bats and even machetes have unfortunately been used in road rage situations.
Do not interact with the person in any manner, including chatting or gesturing. Road ragers may see any form of interaction as an escalation and incitement to even greater wrath.
Call 911 or your local police department as soon as possible.
Clearly describe what happened. Give them information about the car, including the make, model, color, and, if available, the license plate number.
Taking images of the car so that law enforcement can locate it is a smart idea if you have someone in the car with you.
Driving aggressively, recklessly, or attempting to attack someone are all illegal. Even if you are not hurt in the encounter, law authorities may arrest and punish anyone accused of committing these crimes.
Clearly describe the location of the occurrence. If surveillance film is available, law enforcement may often get it.
IF YOU’VE BEEN HURT, GET MEDICAL HELP.
If you or anybody else in your group gets hurt, call 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency facility.
If you aren’t hurt physically, but the road rage episode ended in a car accident or an attack, you should seek medical help as quickly as possible. Some injuries don’t show up right away or have no symptoms at all. Only a doctor can determine whether or whether you have been wounded.
OBTAIN A COPY OF THE LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORT’S RECORD.
You must get a record of the occurrence after reporting it to police enforcement. Did they detain the person if they found them? What is the charge?
If you or anybody else in the car is hurt and you wish to file a police report or seek compensation, this is required.
Inquire with law enforcement about any eyewitnesses or supporting evidence.
ALL RECORDS SHOULD BE KEPT.
Keep all the event documents, including any photos you took, records of hospital appointments and treatment, and details of any car repairs you need. If you wish to sue for damages, you may use any of them as proof.
OBTAINING COMPENSATION FOR INJURIES IN ROAD RAGE ACCIDENTS IN COLORADO SPRINGS
What should you do if you or another passenger in your car gets hurt?
Of course, the first step is to seek medical help. Follow all medical advice on your treatment plan.
However, you must also consider compensation for injuries and property damage. Road rage accidents are not only distressing, but they may have long-term consequences for which the
offender may be liable. Parties responsible for causing injury or other injury are legally obligated to compensate victims, but victims must seek such compensation.
Here’s a quick rundown of how Colorado compensates injury victims.
For any car accident injuries, Colorado is a no-fault state. The term “no-fault” refers to an insurance system where no one is held responsible for the accident’s cause.
Instead, before you can register a car in our state, you must get numerous types of insurance. Medical payments coverage MedPay for yourself in the event of an accident is one of the required kinds of insurance. Your PIP may be used to pay for medical expenditures incurred due to an accident, regardless of the cause or blame.
PIP WILL ALSO REIMBURSE UP TO 75% OF ANY LOST INCOME DUE TO AN ACCIDENT.
However, there are circumstances when injury victims are legally permitted to leave the no- fault zone. You may file a claim for damages against the at-fault party’s insurance company if your reasonable medical expenditures surpass $2,000, or if you have shattered bones, significant loss of hearing or sight, or permanent and severe disfigurement. You may also sue for damages in a civil court after an car accident.
Furthermore, property damage from a car collision isn’t covered until it’s determined who is responsible. If a road rage accident damages your car or other personal property, you may file a claim against the at-fault party or seek compensation via a car accident lawsuit.
It should be highlighted that stepping outside of no-fault and seeking compensation for property damage both require knowing who the at-fault party for injuries and damage is. It’s normal for all drivers to share contact and insurance information in more typical traffic accidents.
However, you may not know who the culprit is in a road rage accident—and it’s quite unlikely that you’ll exchange insurance or contact information.
That’s why it’s critical to either photograph the car, particularly the license plate number, or report the accident to police authorities. Road rage events are taken extremely seriously by law enforcement. They will do everything possible to find a culprit if given adequate and timely information.
It’s also a good idea to maintain contact with law enforcement overtime. You or an attorney may take measures to acquire insurance coverage or file a lawsuit if they figure out who the culprit is.
DAMAGES THAT ARE PERMITTED IF YOU LEAVE THE NO-FAULT ZONE
Victims may file a claim for compensation in one of the following categories.
Doctor’s appointments, hospitalization, diagnostic testing, emergency treatment and transportation, surgery, prescription medication, and other medical expenses
Wages lost from employment for the period you could not work due to the event and treatment for your injuries.
Suffering and discomfort caused by physical, mental, and emotional stress.
PIP does not cover pain and suffering, but you may include it in your damage claim if you can go outside of no-fault. The unfavorable long-term repercussions of your injuries, as well as their impact on your life, are used to assess pain and suffering.
THE LINK BETWEEN ROAD RAGE AND CRIMINAL LAW
In many circumstances, road rage offenders may be prosecuted with a felony, such as reckless driving or negligent driving. The accusation of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon might be brought in circumstances when their car was used to hit a person. If the victims die, the perpetrators may face charges of manslaughter or murder.
However, accident victims must comprehend the distinction between criminal and civil court. The matter will be prosecuted in criminal court if the driver is accused. The police make the charge, and prosecutors, judges, and jurors handle criminal court matters.
Victims seeking compensation for their injuries, on the other hand, must file cases in civil court, which is a different judicial system.
The two judicial systems are completely distinct. You have the right to file an car accident lawsuit regardless of the outcome of any criminal proceedings—or even if none exist.
WHAT IF A LOVED ONE IS KILLED AS A RESULT OF ROAD RAGE?
Unfortunately, some road rage episodes result in death, either due to a car accident or via the use of force, such as hitting or even discharging a pistol.
Crimes may be pursued and tried in criminal courts, much as road rage events that result in injury. But what options are there for restitution if a loved one was murdered due to road rage?
While no money can make up for the loss of a loved one, Colorado Springs courts acknowledge that injuries and death have financial ramifications for families that ought to be compensated.
In a nutshell, if the dead could have launched a civil lawsuit if they had lived, the executor or agent of their estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit for damages. The estate receives damages.
Wrongful death lawsuits may seek redress for carelessness, such as a failure to exercise reasonable care or willful or reckless conduct.
Reasonable funeral and burial costs are included in allowable damage compensation.
The care, companionship, comfort, guidance, counsel, and advice the dead would have offered to family members had they lived
The worth of any money the deceased may reasonably be anticipated to have earned over a lifetime
When a court determines that a death was caused by intentional, deliberate, wanton, reckless behavior or gross negligence, punitive damages may be awarded. As the name implies, punitive damages are designed to penalize the offender for causing injury, sometimes a pattern of injury.
ROAD RAGE CASES AND THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Most car accident cases include a statute of limitations, a time restriction after which you may no longer file a civil lawsuit.
In Colorado, the statute of limitations for injuries and fatalities caused by road rage is three years.