Everyone occasionally deals with irritation from other drivers on the road. However, when drivers let road rage affect their driving, they increase the risk of a serious accident. When a driver’s road rage leads to personal injury or property damages, they may be held responsible through criminal charges and a civil damages lawsuit.
As a recent news article reported, a New Hampshire road rage accident left one driver seriously injured. The accident occurred on the highway when a woman was driving northbound behind a 17 year-old boy in a pickup truck. As woman attempted to pass the truck, the two vehicles collided, and the woman lost control of her car. As she veered into the southbound lane, she crashed into an embankment, causing her car to roll over. The woman was transported to the hospital for serious injuries. Throughout their investigation, local police have treated the crash as a road rage incident.
What are the Penalties for a New Hampshire Road Rage Accident?
A driver who causes an accident through road rage may face both criminal and civil penalties. Under certain circumstances, people who commit reckless driving that endangers the lives or safety of the public may be guilty of a serious traffic offense. As a result, they could face a minimum of $500 in fines and a temporary loss of their driver’s license. In addition, a driver who causes an accident through road rage may have to pay civil damages to an injured victim. A person who suffers injuries after a road rage accident can bring a civil lawsuit against the responsible driver for negligence. If the jury or judge finds the driver liable, the driver must pay a damages award to compensate the injured person.
When bringing a negligence lawsuit after a New Hampshire road rage accident, plaintiffs should keep in mind that criminal and civil cases are entirely separate, even if they stem from the same accident. Even if the jury in a criminal case finds the responsible driver not guilty of a crime, a jury or judge in a civil case may still find the driver liable for civil damages. In fact, the burden of proof is much lower for civil lawsuits compared to criminal cases. Under criminal law, a jury must find a defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, meaning there is no doubt of the defendant’s guilt. However, in a civil negligence lawsuit, the jury or judge need only find the defendant liable for damages by the preponderance of the evidence. In other words, if the jury or judge finds it at least 51% likely that the driver was negligent, the driver owes damages to the injured plaintiff. An experienced New Hampshire personal injury can help you understand the required level of proof to recover damages after a road rage accident.
Have You Been Injured in a New Hampshire Road Rage Accident?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a New Hampshire road rage accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates to discuss your case. Our attorneys handle a range of personal injury claims throughout the New England area, including traffic accidents, pedestrian accidents, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation, and wrongful death. To schedule a free consultation with a member of our team, call 800-804-2004 or use our website.