Aggressive Driving Car Accident
Aggressive driving is one of the most common causes of North Carolina car accidents. Aggressive driving can include driving too fast for the conditions, racing, or exceeding the posted speed limit. According to the Governors’ Highway Safety Association, aggressive driving is a contributing factor in nearly one-third of all deadly car accidents in the United States. In 2018, over ,9000 people died in speeding-related car accidents. Speeding is only one component of aggressive driving, however.What is Aggressive Driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as “a combination of moving traffic offenses to endanger other persons or property.” Aggressive driving often involves speeding and includes dangerous passing, abrupt lane changes, tailgating by following the car in front too closely, and ignoring stop signs and other traffic signals.North Carolina’s Aggressive Driving Laws
Even though North Carolina is among several states that have adopted laws to prevent aggressive driving, aggressive driving continues to be a common cause of traffic fatalities and injuries. Speed is a common factor in aggressive driving, and the following types of accidents are more likely to include one or more drivers using excessive speed:
- Nighttime crashes
- Young male drivers
- Male driver crashes
- Crashes involving drivers or passengers not using seat belts
- Alcohol or drug-related crashes
- Crashes on curves
- Crashes in rural areas
- Single-vehicle crashes
Under North Carolina law, aggressive driving involves driving carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of others’ rights or safety. Prosecutors can convict drivers of aggressive driving when the drivers are speeding and also engaging in one or more of the following practices one or more of the following practices:
- Running a stop sign
- Running a red light
- Illegal passing
- Failure to yield to the right of way
- Following another car too closely
Sometimes it can be confusing for people injured in an aggressive car accident to understand the difference between criminal charges and bringing a personal injury lawsuit. As defined by North Carolina law, when a driver engages in aggressive driving, prosecutors can bring criminal charges against the driver. Whether or not the courts convict the aggressive driver of a crime, victims of a car accident caused by the aggressive driver can have a personal injury lawsuit against him or her.
Suppose you were injured in a car accident involving an aggressive driver, and the driver was convicted of aggressive driving in a criminal court. You still have the right to sue the driver in a civil court for damages as a result of your injuries. Similarly, even as a prosecutor did not bring charges or the aggressive driver was not convicted of a crime, you still have the right to bring a civil lawsuit against the driver.
As with all car accident cases, you will need to prove several elements to secure damages for your injuries. First, you will need to prove that the aggressive driver breached his or her legal duty to drive reasonably under the circumstances. Your lawyer will help you gather evidence to prove the driver is negligent or reckless driving. In some cases, the driver will admit to aggressive driving. In other cases, you will be able to rely on witness testimony from people who saw the accident.
There may be CCTV footage or other video footage you can use to prove the driver's negligence. In some cases, you will need to use an accident reconstruction specialist to recreate the accident based on the damage to the car and the tire marks on the road.Recovering Damages After an Aggressive Driving Accident
North Carolina is one of only a few states that still follow the doctrine of contributory negligence. Even if you were partially responsible or at fault, you would not be able to recover any compensation for your injuries for the accident. For example, even if you fail to use your turn signal, you may not be able to recover under North Carolina law. North Carolina's contributory negligence rule makes it more difficult, but not impossible, for victims of aggressive driving accidents to recover the compensation they deserve.Contact a Charlotte Region Car Accident Lawyer Today
One of the best things you can do is contact an experienced car accident lawyer who can begin gathering evidence for you and developing your legal strategy. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we have helped many aggressive driving victims recover the compensation they deserve. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.