What Are the Consequences of Aggressive Driving?

Posted on 04/19/24

in Personal Injury

Aggressive driving affects everybody on the roadway, not just the person operating recklessly. Irresponsible driving behavior can lead to serious accidents, often causing injuries and property damage. Here, we want to review not only the legal consequences associated with aggressive driving behaviors in California but also the personal consequences aggressive drivers could face as a result of their actions.

Legal Consequences of Reckless (Aggressive) Driving

In California, reckless driving, including aggressive driving behaviors, is taken seriously under the law. Per California Vehicle Code 23103, reckless driving is defined as operating a vehicle “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” This definition can encompass a range of aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding excessively, aggressive tailgating, weaving through traffic, and other dangerous maneuvers that indicate a disregard for the safety standards required by law.

The legal consequences of being convicted of reckless driving are significant. Penalties can include:

  • Fines. Financial penalties for a first offense can vary, but severe cases might lead to higher fines, especially if property damage or bodily harm occurred.
  • Incarceration. Offenders may face jail time. For a first offense, this can be five to 90 days, depending on the severity and the circumstances of the incident.
  • Driver’s License Points. Reckless driving also results in points being added to the driver’s license, which can increase insurance premiums and risk license suspension with the accumulation of more points.
  • Criminal Record. Unlike some traffic violations, a reckless driving charge is a misdemeanor, meaning that a conviction will result in a criminal record.

Personal Consequences Associated With This Behavior

The consequences of aggressive driving go beyond potential legal ramifications. Unfortunately, aggressive driving behaviors significantly increase the chance that an accident will occur. Aggressive driving could cause serious injuries or property damage that lead to victims filing an injury claim against the perpetrator.

Putting aside the potential legal issues aggressive drivers may face, the monetary losses they could endure as a result of a personal injury claim filed against them can be detrimental. Unfortunately, insurance often does not provide enough protection to protect a person’s personal assets. If you operate your vehicle aggressively and cause harm to someone else or damage to property, you could face a personal injury lawsuit that targets your personal assets.

Victims of Aggressive Driving

Victims of aggressive driving behavior in California may be able to recover compensation for their losses. As we touched on above, those affected by this type of driving behavior may be able to file a claim against the perpetrator. While this type of claim may get resolved through a settlement with the at fault driver’s insurance carrier, you and your lawyer may need to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court.

Victims in these circumstances could receive compensation for their medical bills, property damage expenses, lost wages, out-of-pocket losses, and physical and emotional pain and suffering damages.

There is no set amount of compensation paid to aggressive driving accident victims in California. We strongly encourage any individual harmed due to aggressive driving behaviors to reach out to a skilled Oakland car accident lawyer who can help them through this process.