If you were the victim of a road rage motorcycle accident in St. Louis, contact OnderLaw, LLC immediately. Road rage is a serious problem throughout the country. When drivers get behind the wheel of their vehicle and drive recklessly or aggressively, they put other people in danger.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines road rage as a moving violation a driver commits that endangers people and property. Various behaviors constitute road rage, such as:
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Slowing down or stopping suddenly
- Yelling, honking the horn, or gesturing
Did you get hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by road rage? Do you need medical treatment to recover from your injuries? If so, call OnderLaw, LLC at (314) 963-9000 to find out how we can help you get on the road to recovery.
Road Rage Accident Statistics
The Zebra, an insurance comparison website, performed a survey in early 2020 of drivers throughout the country to determine how many people experienced or witnessed road rage. They found the following statistics:
- 19.3% felt intense aggression or anger while driving in the last year. 5.5% experienced those same feelings weekly
- 48.3% of motorists witnessed another driver exhibiting road rage by honking their horn
- Rude hand gestures and yelling accounted for 41.1% and 35.8% of road rage incidents respectively
- 40.8% of people believe road rage is just as dangerous as driver distraction and 41.4% think it’s just as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- 10% of drivers admitted to calling the police on someone who showed road rage
- Most road rage incidents don’t lead to confrontation, but 7% of people say they got out of their vehicle to confront the other motorist, while 6% threw an object, and 5% bumped into the other car on purpose
- During a seven-year period, road rage caused 12,000 injuries and 200 fatalities
How to Hold a Driver Accountable for Their Road Rage
Motorcycle accidents typically cause severe injuries. If someone’s road rage led to your accident, you deserve to seek compensation from them. Missouri fault rules establish negligence after a crash and how you can pursue a financial award.
Under the fault system, the negligent party that causes a motor vehicle crash is automatically financially responsible for resulting injuries and damages. If the other driver was to blame, you could file a claim with their liability auto insurance.
It’s a legal requirement for all vehicle owners and operators to carry liability auto insurance. The policy includes minimum bodily injury and property damage limits. Those limits could compensate you for your medical expenses, lost wages, and damage to your motorcycle.
If they don’t have auto insurance, you can file a lawsuit against them. Road rage is irresponsible and dangerous behavior. Suing the driver for their role in the crash is your right. You can seek compensation from them directly by filing a lawsuit with the civil court system.
You must adhere to a five-year statute of limitations if you want to win monetary compensation. A statute of limitations is the deadline for pursuing legal action against another party. That means you only have five years from the date of the motorcycle crash to sue the driver for their road rage.
Pursuing Compensation for Your Damages
When you file an insurance claim with the negligent driver’s liability auto insurance, you can attempt to get compensation for your damages. Damages are losses suffered by an accident victim. Compensatory damages are typically what you will pursue in a claim. They fall under two different categories: economic and non-economic.
The various damages available include:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Motorcycle damage repairs
- Disfigurement or disability
- Emotional distress
- Loss of earning capacity
At OnderLaw, LLC, we understand the factors that could contribute to a higher settlement. Generally, the more severe your injuries, the higher the compensation will be. Common factors an insurance company will review to determine how much money you deserve are:
- The type of injury you sustained and how extensive it is
- If the injury led to a permanent disability
- Future medical treatment you will need
- Duration of care with medical providers
- Sufficient evidence provided to the insurance company
- Coverage listed on liability, UM, and PIP policies
- Time spent away from work due to the motorcycle crash
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Information on police reports
- Impact of the injury on your quality of life
You Can File a Claim with Your Insurance Company
If you don’t want to pursue a lawsuit and the other driver doesn’t carry liability insurance, it’s possible to file a claim with your insurance carrier. UM insurance is uninsured motorist coverage. All motorists must have UM insurance to cover their damages if the at-fault driver doesn’t hold insurance.
UM doesn’t cover damage to your motorcycle, but you could seek compensation for other expenses. In a UM insurance claim, you could receive a settlement for the following:
- Ambulance, ER, and medical costs
- Out of pocket expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
You could also file a PIP claim. Personal injury protection isn’t a requirement under Missouri law, but all insurance companies are supposed to offer it to their policyholders. If you chose to add PIP to your coverage, you could file a claim for payment of your medical treatment and lost wages.
Unlike UM or liability insurance, PIP provides upfront payment. It works like health insurance by paying for your medical bills directly. When you go to the doctor, they will send your bill to your PIP insurance carrier for payment. PIP will continue to pay for your treatment up to the limit you chose on your policy.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident
If road rage caused your motorcycle accident, there are crucial steps you need to take following your accident to maximize the value of your case, including:
- Call the police and wait for them to investigate the crash scene.
- Take photos of the accident site, including damage to your motorcycle and other vehicles, debris, skid marks, and other relevant details.
- Seek medical attention for your injuries and continue treating until your doctor releases you from their care.
- File an insurance claim immediately after the accident with the at-fault driver’s liability insurance and your UM/PIP insurance.
- Keep records of your medical treatment, motorcycle repair estimates, prescriptions, out-of-pocket expenses, and anything else related to the accident.
- Hire an experienced lawyer to help you with your case.
There are also things you should never do after sustaining an injury in a road rage motorcycle accident. Below is a list of actions or behavior that could result in a low settlement offer or denied claim:
- Don’t admit any amount of fault for the crash.
- Don’t wait to go to the doctor for treatment.
- Don’t sign anything from the liability insurance company.
- Don’t speak to the insurance adjuster without hiring a lawyer.
- Don’t settle the insurance claim before you finish medical treatment.
- Don’t leave the accident scene until the officer completes their investigation.
- Don’t submit to a recorded statement by the insurance company.
- Don’t get rid of evidence.
How to Protect Yourself from Road Rage
If you come across a driver behaving aggressively, you need to protect yourself from injury. Motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable individuals on roadways because of their lack of protection. If you notice acts of road rage from another motorist, take these steps to protect yourself:
- Remain calm: Don’t try to fight fire with fire. Stay calm, treat them with respect, and try to avoid any conflict.
- Don’t make eye contact: Avoid making eye contact with them. If you stare them down, they could perceive that as a challenge, and the situation could escalate.
- Avoid gesturing: Don’t make a gesture with your hand, honk your horn, or use inappropriate language. Ignore the other driver, and don’t do anything that could make them angrier.
- Provide space: If necessary, move over to the slow lane, let them pass you, or exit the road. Try to get away from them to avoid a crash.
- Follow traffic laws: To prevent instances of road rage, don’t cut off another driver or behave aggressively.
- Keep driving. Don’t stop if the other person signals for you to pull over. That could lead to a physical altercation.
- Call the police. If someone’s road rage scares you, report the behavior to law enforcement.
Why Choose OnderLaw, LLC
We understand the burden you’re facing. Getting hurt in a motorcycle accident is a stressful experience. You might have life-threatening injuries and require expensive medical treatment to recover. Medical bills can add up over time and cause financial strain. The St. Louis motorcycle accident attorneys at OnderLaw, LLC will help you pursue the compensation you need to pay for your expenses.
You shouldn’t suffer the consequences of someone else’s road rage. We’ll fight for your rights and seek justice against the negligent driver. When you hire us, we’ll handle each step of the legal process on your behalf and ensure you receive the maximum financial award available.
To find out about the legal services we offer, call (314) 963-9000 to schedule a free initial consultation. We’ll begin working on your case immediately and help you recover and move forward with your life.