Road Rage Assault
Road rage is very unsafe behavior that puts everyone at risk. When angry drivers let their emotions take the wheel, the results can be very damaging. If you are harmed by someone with road rage, who pays for your medical expenses? This can be complicated but largely depends on the details of the situation.
Is Road Rage The Same As Aggressive Driving?
Aggressive driving is unsafe driving behavior. Actions, like following another driver too closely or speeding, are considered aggressive driving behavior. Aggressive driving behaviors are different from road rage. While both types of behavior are dangerous, there is an important distinction for insurance coverage and how it applies to each situation.
What Is Road Rage?
A driver with road rage is typically focused on another driver on the road. The driver with road rage is fixated on some perceived slight and has decided to engage in risky, illegal, and/or dangerous activity while behind the wheel to punish the other driver or cause direct physical harm.
Road Rage Is Malicious
Drivers with road rage fixate on a target, for whatever reason. An enraged driver has malicious intent toward their target. This enraged driver may scream or give rude gestures. More dangerous behavior from a raging driver will include all factors of aggressive driving in addition to intimidation tactics, side sweeping, bumping, forcing the vehicle off the road, as well as intentionally causing a crash or damage to the other vehicle. Some road rage drivers shoot at other vehicles and drivers.
Road Rage Can Lead To Injuries
Road rage can lead to a crash – many times with vehicles of innocent drivers, passengers, bicyclists, or pedestrians. Even the target of another driver’s road rage can be completely innocent. So, who pays for injuries when a crash involves a road rage driver?
Does Insurance Cover Road Rage Injuries?
Road rage is a deliberate and harmful attack on another driver. While you could argue aggressive driving is deliberate and harmful, insurance companies classify aggressive driving as negligence. Negligent acts by the insured driver are covered. But, injuries caused by an intentional act won’t be covered by the road rage driver’s insurance. It’s not fair to the people injured by this kind of driver.
Catching A Road Rage Driver
You might be able to sue a road rage driver, but this is a difficult and lengthy process. Another problem with holding a road rage driver accountable is the fact that many will flee the scene after they have caused harm. This is illegal, but road rage drivers are betting they will get away with it. While technology is making it easier to find hit-and-run drivers, sadly, they sometimes do get away.
How Are Injuries Covered After An Injury?
If you have been injured by a road rage driver, you are probably in a bad situation. But, if you understand your options there might be some help available. You might already have insurance coverage that will help.
Personal Injury Protection
Even state-minimum coverage in Pennsylvania includes a small amount of personal injury protection coverage. Insured drivers have at least $5,000 of PIP coverage. This coverage can be used for medical treatment and expenses regardless of
Uninsured/Underinsured Insurance Coverage
You might have uninsured/underinsured coverage on your own insurance policy. If the road rage driver flees the scene – or even if they stay – their insurance won’t cover your claim. But, your own uninsured/underinsured is designed to protect you in this kind of situation.
Bicyclists And Pedestrians Injured By Road Rage
Unfortunately, road rage drivers hurt all kinds of people. As a bicyclist or pedestrian, you may not have your own insurance to cover this type of injury. However, Pennsylvania has a program called Pennsylvania Financial Responsibility Assigned Claims Plan. The PFRACP provides a limited amount of coverage for PA residents who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania.
New Jersey has similar coverage available under the New Jersey Unsatisfied Claim Judgement Fund. This is a program for New Jersey residents injured by an uninsured driver.
Learn more about coverage available for pedestrians and bicyclists without their own coverage in this article about hit-and-run injury claims.
It is important to note if you are injured by a driver while you are a bicyclist or pedestrian your claim can qualify for full tort coverage. This makes you eligible for pain and suffering payments in addition to your injury expenses. If you are an innocent bystander injured during a road rage incident, you should talk to an injury lawyer for guidance.
When Should I Hire A Personal Injury Attorney?
If you have an injury from any kind of vehicle crash, you should talk to a local personal injury attorney for advice. A free consultation with a personal injury attorney can help you understand your options and how much compensation you deserve. Contact Kane & Silverman today to talk to a Pennsylvania injury attorney with a free consultation.