Road rage accidents are becoming a severe problem in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania is currently ranked among the top twenty states with an issue of aggressive driving nationwide. Residents of Philadelphia face greater risks on the road as the incidence and severity of road rage accidents increases. For example, drivers have been shot and killed as a result of road rage in Pennsylvania. There are ways to prevent road rage incidents. A skilled personal injury attorney will look at every aspect of your nightmarish episode to sort out who is ultimately responsible. Highly experienced personal injury attorneys have the foresight to look at these cases and skillfully determine what actions can be pursued. Anyone who has been injured due to the unwarranted anger of another driver needs someone who will not stand for excuses and will be proactive in protecting and defending your rights.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car crash due to the reckless acts of an enraged driver, you need a sensible and comprehensive legal representation. The award-winning team of attorneys of The Reiff Law Firm has an established practice of seasoned road rage accident lawyers dedicated to representing people who suffer these injuries in Philadelphia. Road rage should not be tolerated, and when injuries, losses, and even death occur as a result of these reckless acts, financial recovery can be obtained. To schedule a free legal consultation call (215) 246-9000.
Road Rage Statistics in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania vehicle code defines a reckless driver as “any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property…” Pennsylvania and carries penalties such as license suspension, hefty fines, and possible incarceration time. If you’ve been injured by a reckless driver, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible since there is a better chance of obtaining accurate data closer to the time when the injuries occurred. Road rage encompasses a vast number of behaviors common during rush hours when people become impatient, including:
- Tailgating/following too closely behind
- Racing or accelerating speed to beat red lights
- Failing to stop completely at stop signs
- Passing illegally on the right
- Failing to yield right of way to oncoming vehicles
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Not using turn signal
- Mentally or verbally cursing other drivers.
- Speeding suddenly
- Honking aggressively
- Flashing your headlights for no apparent reason
- Brake checking or stopping suddenly
There are levels of escalating behavior typical of road rage. Aggressive or violent behaviors develop as the rage ensues, showing recklessness and uncontrolled anger directed at other drivers. These behaviors include:
- Hitting or bumping their vehicle with your car.
- Running the other driver off a lane or off the road.
- Following, pulling over, getting out, and engaging in a physical confrontation.
- Inciting your passenger(s)to fight and incense the other driver.
- Using guns or other weapons to hurt another driver or their property.
Anyone looking objectively at these behaviors understands that there are ways to prevent these moments of anger from escalating. In addition, an experienced attorney will help you determine what causes of actions or legal bases are available based on data of preventable behaviors.
Penalties for Aggressive Driving in Philadelphia, PA
Reckless driving is considered a summary offense in Pennsylvania and is penalized with a fine of $200 upon conviction. When someone is injured, the penalties are $1,000 minimum and jail time for a minimum period of 90 days. The judge can also suspend your license for six months. The $200 fine can be increased up to twice the amount if the incident occurs in a work or emergency zone in Pennsylvania. There are incidents that jail sentences have been imposed. For example, when deaths occur then the minimum jail sentence increases to 12 months, and the minimum fine increases to $25,000. A driver who kills a person while driving recklessly may face criminal charges of murder charges, vehicular manslaughter.
The Complexity of Road Rage Lawsuits
If there is no consequence and no accountability and “rage” can be used as an excuse to drive recklessly, then road rage will continue to be an increasing problem. Skilled personal injury attorneys understand the importance of holding all responsible parties accountable for their actions—whether it’s someone who could have stopped that driver in time before a tragedy or if other drivers witnessed the conflict escalating heavily and just drove away.
Civil cases under the theory of negligence can be brought in these cases against anyone who was in a position to prevent the accident. There are hallmarks that characterize the escalating nature of the incident indicating there are potentially other drivers who could have alerted the police before a tragedy occurs. A crash related to road rage can be mistaken for an accident until the facts are investigated. This can make cases somewhat more complicated. However, an experienced road rage accident lawyer can help victims navigate the process.
There are ways in which a reckless driving conviction can help establish civil liability. This is known as “negligence per se.” Negligence per se is a legal theory that supports civil cases with proof of criminal prosecution. Liability in the civil case is established through evidence of the criminal prosecution. It may seem self-evident for the individual who broke the law to pay for the injuries caused. However, there are significant questions that can be raised in negligence cases regarding what or who caused the actual injuries. For this reason, the lawyer’s experience can make a difference in the outcome of a personal injury case.
Call Your Philadelphia Road Rage Accident Lawyer
The highly accomplished legal team of The Reiff Law Firm is known for their commitment to representing victims of road rage accidents. We are known for an aggressive and results-oriented approach to legal representation. We have been serving Philadelphia residents for over 35 years. We get paid if compensation is awarded to our clients. Call (215) 246-9000 to schedule a consultation.