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Aggressive Driving in Florida

trafficEach year, many people are injured and killed due to aggressive driving. Florida is one of 15 states that have enacted laws that specifically address the issue of aggressive driving. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we understand these laws and can help you pursue damages from an aggressive driver that caused you harm.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 50 percent of drivers who are on the receiving end of aggressive behavior respond with a rude gesture. Reports also estimate that approximately 66 percent of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving.

Aggressive driving describes a variety of unsafe driver behaviors. Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles defines aggressive driving as “violent or visibly angry behavior by a driver” that can lead to accidents or other incidents on the road. The NHTSA defines road rage as a step above aggressive driving in which one driver actually assaults another vehicle, either by using his car or by using a weapon, such as threatening with a gun.

Under Florida State Statutes, Section 316.1923, aggressive driving actions include at least two of the following:  speeding, unsafe or improper lane changes, following too closely, failing to yield the right of way, improper passing, and failing to obey traffic control devices. Punishments for aggressive driving may include monetary fines, license suspension, and in some cases, mandatory jail time.

In some cases, road rage will give rise to criminal claims. In many cases, however, aggressive driving will support a civil claim for negligence. Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care while driving. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent or sensible individual would behave in the same or similar circumstances. For example, a prudent driver would not speed and tailgate another driver, knowing that it could cause an accident. Thus, if a driver causes an accident in this way, that driver will likely be deemed negligent.

In order to prevail on a negligence claim, the plaintiff must demonstrate the following elements:  the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to drive with reasonable care, the defendant failed to drive with reasonable care, the defendant’s failure was the direct cause of the accident, and the plaintiff incurred actual damages.

If the elements of negligence are established, the plaintiff may be able to recover damages such as medical expenses, lost income and benefits, therapy costs, pain and suffering, property damage, and any other costs arising out of the accident.

To find out if you have a claim under Florida law, it is wise to speak to a Miami road rage attorney who can assess the merits of your case. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our team will work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve for your harm. We believe in holding negligent drivers accountable for their actions. We will zealously advocate for your rights in the context of a settlement as well as in the courtroom. We proudly represent clients across South Florida. To learn more, call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or contact us online today.

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