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Road Rage Leads to Shooting But was it Self-Defense?

Some people just take their anger out on the road. You all know someone that is mild-mannered in person, but once in a car they change. They don't become Superman or Supergirl, but instead a raging lunatic, yelling at anyone they believe to be wrong.

Usually if you are in this situation, and the driver's wife or husband is in the car, you will often hear "don't drive like that, someone is going to shoot you." Now there is a road rage story for those concerned spouses: a 16-year-old girl from Maine was shot on vacation in Merrimac most likely because the driver of her car was being slightly rude to another, according to the Boston Globe.

We all know that intentionally shooting someone is a crime and a way to become civilly liable for damages, but what if you felt threatened?

According to the State Police, the incident was likely road rage between strangers, reports the Boston Herald. In a white Nissan Xterra were the teenager and three relatives, and in a white Honda Accord were the man who was the shooting suspect and a woman wearing sunglasses.

If and when the police find the shooter, he will be criminally on the hook for the shooting. He will also potentially be on the hook to pay for the 16-year-old's injuries.

The girl could recover on a few personal injury theories. There's battery, negligence, and the less often used recklessness. We talk a lot about negligence, so if you are interested check this link.

Battery is also mentioned quite a bit, but here there's a question of whether the shooter would have a claim of self-defense. Self-defense is a proper defense when the person believes they are threatened and then reacts in a proportionate manner, after realizing there is no way to avoid the use of force to avoid great physical injury.

Here, even if the shooter felt that the Accord, and his life, was threatened, it is hard to argue that the shooter could not have avoided the use of force, especially because he shot into the rear of the Xterra.

However, if there was nowhere else for the Accord to go because of traffic, and the Xterra was on a collision course, shooting may have been the only option. This is highly unlikely.

All in all, the Maine girl who was shot in Merrimac will have a crazy story to tell her friends, and a good claim for tort recovery. Overall, quite the vacation.

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