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Does It Matter If The Driver Who Hit Your Car Is A Jerk?


Civil lawsuits are not about winning or losing.  A plaintiff’s goal in a personal injury lawsuit is simply to break even.  In most personal injury lawsuits, the amount the plaintiff requests does not exceed the amount of the financial losses the plaintiff suffered as a result of the defendant’s negligence, which is to say, the plaintiff’s accident-related medical bills and lost income become time spent out of the workforce because of the injuries.  Only in cases of extraordinary negligence do the courts order defendants to pay punitive damages.  You also do not need to prove that the defendant injured you on purpose, only that the defendant acted carelessly enough that he or she failed to prevent the accident.  Only the world’s biggest jerks would intentionally crash their cars into someone else’s vehicle, but if the defendant who caused your accident has a history of inconsiderate driving behavior, this may be relevant to your car accident case.  To find someone who can distill the most relevant facts from your outrage at the rudeness of the driver who caused your injuries, contact a Jacksonville car accident lawyer.

Can Judges Tell Which Drivers Are Jerks Just by the Cars They Drive?

In Florida, everyone drives everywhere, and almost no one does so politely.  When you fly over urban areas of Florida in an airplane, there are parking lots as far as the eye can see.  Once you are in one of those parking lots, cars drive past you at dangerously high speeds and dart into the parking space that you called dibs on with your turn signal and were patiently waiting until the coast was clear.  Sometimes you can tell that a driver is a jerk just by looking at the car; the vanity plates, the parking positions, and the ostentatious add-ons on the car.

Finland, by contrast, has the opposite reputation.  People walk or take public transportation whenever they can, even in the winter when there are only a few hours of daylight a day, and they are so content with their lives that, unlike Floridians, they feel no need to antagonize each other for kicks.  A study published at the University of Helsinki argues that your suspicions are correct that the BMW parked diagonally across two parking spaces belongs to a jerk.  The study, entitled “Not Only [Expletive] Drive Mercedes,” found a link between high status cars and inconsiderate driving behaviors.  High status cars are cars that are eye-catching and expensive.  Inconsiderate driving behaviors include speeding, failing to use turn signals, and cutting other drivers off.

From the perspective of personal injury law, it is the act that matters, not the intent.  Negligence is negligence whether the driver who hit your car is an 18-year-old who has only been driving for a few months and bought his parents’ age-old Nissan Maxima for a paltry sum and simply didn’t press the brake pedal soon enough or a show off in a BMW who hit your car while trying to take a selfie.

Contact Douglas & Douglas About Car Accident Cases

A North Florida personal injury lawyer can help you if you knew that the car and the driver that caused your injuries were trouble from the first time you laid eyes on them.  Contact Douglas & Douglas in Jacksonville, Florida for a free consultation.



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