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Aggressive driving and personal injury lawsuits

Accidents can happen seemingly out of nowhere. An ordinary car ride on the way to the store can turn deadly in an instant, for example, when another vehicle fails to see a stop sign and blows through an intersection. Baltimore residents can be injured on their daily drive to work when another driver fails to see their car and does not yield while making a left turn.

In many of these instances, such as the examples above, the other driver's conduct in causing the car accident is seen as just that - an accident. However, in other cases, a driver's actions can be far more intentional, such as with cases involving aggressive driving.

Aggressive driving does not mean the person necessarily intended to cause a crash with another vehicle, but the driving is far more likely to cause an accident because it is more dangerous. For instance, weaving between cars, driving at excessive rates of speed and tailgating are all examples of aggressive driving.

This type of driving can play a significant role in causing car accidents. From 2006 to 2010 alone, about 6,000 crashes occurred each year in Maryland. In these accidents, about 65 people per year were killed, with another 4,100 people injured annually.

When aggressive driving leads to an accident, it could be legally termed negligent driving. Negligence is a form of carelessness in which a person violates the duty of care he or she has to others to avoid injuriing them. When a driver injures someone else through negligence, the injured person or persons have options available to hold that driver accountable.

Through a personal injury lawsuit, injured persons can obtain compensation from the other driver. For example, if the injured party can prove the other driver's weaving in between cars caused the crash at issue, the other driver can be ordered to pay money damages to the injured person.

Source: Department of Transportation: Motor Vehicle Administration, "Aggressive drivers," accessed on Nov. 8, 2014

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