Driver Road Rage Bicycle Accident in Charlotte

Many bicycle accidents are caused by someone not paying attention and driving negligently. However, other accidents are caused by motorcyclists driving aggressively or engaging in road rage. When drivers engage in road rage, it becomes even more difficult for them to see and respond to bicyclists on the road. Road rage bicycle accidents can lead to serious injuries or death.

How Do Road Rage Bicycle Accidents Happen?

Road rage is a form of aggressive driving illegal in North Carolina. Sometimes road rage involves highly aggressive behavior, such as speeding or swerving between other vehicles or lanes of traffic. In other cases, road rage involves a specific target. Perhaps a driver thinks that the bicyclist cut in front of him, and he decides to speed up to the bicyclist and try to intimidate him by yelling and swearing. The driver may lose control and collide with a bicyclist, causing severe injury. Most road rage incidents involve someone honking, yelling at the person they think has offended them, or even trying to physically harm the person.

When it comes to road rage against bicyclists, there are many reasons motorists feel rage toward a bicyclist sharing the road with them. The driver may be annoyed that they had to slow down for a bicyclist or think that the bicyclist was disrespectfully cutting into their traffic lane. Some drivers do not like bicyclists and become resentful when sharing the road with them. Most of the time, drivers who engage in road rage habitually do so. Road rage is an issue that has more to do with the driver's state of mind than anything that a bicyclist has done to trigger those emotions.

North Carolina Bicycle Accidents Caused By Road Rage

Bicyclists are at a disadvantage when they are on the road. They are in a particularly hazardous position when another driver decides to act out using road rage. Bicyclists do not have the same type of protection that other drivers have. As a result, drivers can easily injure cyclists, even if they only bump into them at a slow speed. It only takes a tap from behind the vehicle, a small sideswipe, or even a quick stop in front of the bicycle to send the bicyclist flying off their bicycle.

Road rage is serious and dangerous. It is a violent act committed against another person. Unfortunately, road rage can be difficult to prove. It is not impossible to prove, however. In severe cases of road rage, the offenders that injure bicyclists can be convicted of crimes such as assault with a deadly weapon. Whether or not a person can prove road rage, the driver that causes a bicycle accident will usually be liable for the victim's injuries. Victims can seek compensation through the at-fault driver's insurance policy or a personal injury lawsuit. 

Punitive Damages in Road Rage Cases

In North Carolina, victims of personal injury accidents can pursue damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Typically, bicycle victims must prove that the at-fault driver's negligence caused their injuries. Negligence means the defendant did not use reasonable care to protect other people on the road from injury. Successful plaintiffs are entitled to economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are easy to prove, such as medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other expenses. Injured bicyclists can also pursue non-economic damages for disability, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and more.

When a plaintiff can prove that the defendant engaged in road rage, causing the bicycle accident and subsequent injuries, they can claim additional punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the offender and act as a warning to others who may engage in road rage. 

Punitive damages are awarded on top of economic and non-economic damages. Finally, if your loved one was killed in a bicycle accident involving road rage, you may be entitled to damages through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Contact a Charlotte Bicycle Accident Attorney Today

If you or your loved one has been seriously injured in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. The sooner you discuss your case with an attorney, the sooner your attorney can gather evidence and develop a legal strategy. Contact the experienced bicycle accident attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule your free initial consultation. 

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