For people who drive all the time, a certain creeping annoyance at other drivers is familiar and even a little satisfying. When that petty anger, reaches a certain point and begins to affect how a person is driving it turns into road rage, and that is a uniquely dangerous situation.

Road rage can be terrifying. Numerous people have been injured or killed in road rage incidents in North Carolina and elsewhere, and disturbing encounters with angry drivers are frequently posted online.

Aggressive driver or road rager?

First, it is important to distinguish the behaviors setting road rage apart from aggressive driving. According to the American Safety Council, aggressive driving encompasses a series of behaviors that can endanger others but are not necessarily intentional. For example, an aggressive driver may:

  • Speed
  • Tailgate
  • Cut others off
  • Honk the horn
  • Use angry gestures
  • Weave in and out of lanes

There is no question that these are unsafe driving behaviors. Road rage, however, is targeted at an individual driver. Someone engaging in road rage deliberately intends to harm his or her target. If you are a road rage target, the other driver may try to run you off the road or try to harm you in other ways.

A personal injury claim against someone who intentionally hurt you is possible under the concept of “intentional torts.” Torts are one of the basic components of civil law, as the word tort is another word for “injury,” and injury here can be physical, monetary, reputational and so on. Essentially, if someone intentionally harms you, they are not only criminally liable but possibly civilly liable as well.

The law is there to help you

Pain and suffering caused by intentional actions should be addressed. The criminal system might handle justice, but for your day to day life justice may not be enough. Filing a lawsuit against the person who hurt you, in this case, may be one way to help you get back on your feet.