Aggressive driving can endanger other motorists by increasing the risk of a crash. According to the AAA Foundation report, approximately 80% of drivers in the U.S. expressed aggressive driver behavior at least once in 2019. In addition, about 50% of aggressive driving incidents stem from one driver cutting off the other on the road.
Aggressive driving incidents are common in the state of Georgia as it is ranked third in the U.S. for aggressive driving, which is why you should be aware of the laws against aggressive driving and what you should do to keep yourself safe on the road. If you are involved in an aggressive driving accident that caused you injuries or property damage, you can contact our Augusta personal injury lawyer at T. Madden & Associates, P.C.
What Qualifies as Aggressive Driving In Georgia?
- Speeding: if someone exceeds the speed limit on a congested road, it is an act of aggressive driving.
- Tailgating: if you are driving extremely close to the vehicle in front, it can put you and the other driver at risk of an accident.
- Cutting off Another Driver: Pulling into the lane in front of another driver and deliberately slowing your vehicle down is aggressive driving.
- Running Red Lights and Stop Signs.
- Aggressive Lane-Changing: Weaving in and out of traffic to save time and get ahead.
- Changing Lanes Without Signaling
- Not Yielding to Other Vehicles: Not giving other motorists the right of way.
- Unnecessarily Flashing headlights or honking the horn.
- Driving On a No-Passing Zone: Passing emergency lanes, shoulders, or no-passing zones.
Aggressive Driving Laws in Georgia
The laws in Georgia state that when a motorist drives with the intent to intimidate, molest, harass, injure, overtake, or annoy another person, they are committing an act of aggressive driving. Aggressive driving could be targeted at anyone, including bicyclists, pedestrians, or property. In addition, any reckless regard for someone else’s property also counts as aggressive driving.
In Georgia, if a person gets convicted of such an act, they are guilty of a misdemeanor of aggravated nature. Their punishment is a fine of $5,000 and/or 12 months of jail time, depending on the specifics of their case. In addition, this kind of conviction adds 6 points to the individual’s driving license, which can be suspended for 24 months if they accumulate 15 or more points.
Statute of Limitations in Georgia for Aggressive Driving Cases
If you get injured in a vehicle crash caused by an aggressive driver, you can file a claim against them or sue them to obtain compensation. Georgia law states that anyone injured in a car accident has two years to pursue legal action against the other driver; otherwise, their claim can be nullified.
What Damages Can Be Recovered For an Aggressive Driving Accident?
If a motorist’s aggressive driving causes you property damage or bodily injury, they can be financially responsible for your damages. This means you may be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your medical expenses, any loss of income due to severe injuries, vehicle repair or replacement, additional property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
Pain and suffering are non-economic damages, such as emotional distress following the serious or life-altering injuries sustained in the accident. In addition, victims of aggressive driving can also be entitled to punitive damages in Georgia through the court’s discretion if the offending driver was malicious or extremely reckless.
Establishing Liability in an Aggressive Driving Case
Establishing liability in an aggressive driving case can be complex, especially if you don’t have an experienced attorney. After your medical condition has stabilized, you should gather evidence, including any surveillance footage and other evidence, to reinforce your case. Getting the police report from the accident would benefit your case. In addition, you should ensure that you document your injuries and the damage to your vehicle or additional property to serve as evidence in court.
Hire an Aggressive Driving Accident Attorney
An aggressive driving accident attorney can build a strong case for you to obtain full and fair compensation for your suffering. In some aggressive driving cases, the offending party can proceed to harass the victim after the accident to avoid any charges. Your attorney could press criminal charges to protect you if that happens to you. Your attorney can also handle all your case paperwork and help you obtain the settlement order you deserve if you file a claim with the other party’s insurance company.