Can I Sue for Injuries Due to a Road Rage Accident?

By Greg Kohn

When we think of car accidents, we usually imagine an impersonal event where two or more vehicles collide due to negligent behavior. Often times though, car accidents are the result of a more personal exchange, one that we commonly call road rage. The increase of motorists has resulted in the rise of road rage and aggressive driving. If you have been injured in an accident involving road rage, you should protect your rights by talking with an experienced New Jersey car accident attorney.

What Is Road Rage?

Road rage occurs when a driver reacts in anger to someone else and becomes more aggressive. Drivers who cut someone off, tailgate, or gesture can sometimes incite other people to retaliate.
Road rage can lead to some drivers trying to hit you or run your car off the road, or forcing you to pull over to engage in a physical confrontation. Some road rage incidents also include the use of weapons like guns, knives, and bats. This type of aggression can quickly lead to devastating accidents and grievous injuries for everyone involved.

Road Rage Laws In New Jersey

In 2012, the state of New Jersey passed legislation that was intended to raise criminal penalties for those who injured others through road rage.

The law was named after Jessica Rogers, who was paralyzed from the waist down after a road rage accident that led to a crash into a telephone pole. Despite the injuries and suffering the victim went through, the aggressive driver only received four months of jail time.

Under Jessica’s Law, drivers whose road rage leads to serious injuries now face 3-5 years in prison and a fine of $15,000. Aggressive driving can result in a jail sentence of up to 18 months and a $10,000 fine.

The bill says road rage includes actions like tailgating, unexpected speeding up, weaving, and any other erratic or aggressive maneuvers while out on the road.

Can I Sue For Injuries After A Road Rage Accident?

The passage of Jessica’s Law in New Jersey places significantly higher penalties on those who injure others through road rage. It is important to note that you have the right to file a case to recover compensation for any injuries after an accident, in addition to any case the government might bring against the offending driver.

If you are being targeted by an angry driver, make sure to call 911 to get help and try to get out of the other driver’s way without retaliating or reacting aggressively to their actions. If you are being followed, drive to a safe, public place like a police station or a well-lit parking lot.

If you have been injured due to a road rage accident, speak to an experienced car accident attorney to learn about your options before filing a case. Contact the New Jersey car accident attorneys at Nagel Rice, LLP today to find out how we can help you. Our attorneys can help you gather evidence about the incident and advise you on your rights.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.