Irvine, CA asked in Criminal Law for Arizona

Q: If a citizen isn't obeying traffic laws and pulls a gun and i feel threatened can i sue?

Civillian did not obey the driving laws and pulled over multiple times. He impeded traffic for about 5 minutes and did not use turn signals. The final time he pulled over and pulled a gun on me when i did not exit my vehicle and I felt threatened. I have footage of the incident.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mike Branum
Mike Branum
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: You can absolutely sue. Your most likely claim would be intentional infliction of emotional distress. You have a really, really low potential for recovery, however. This is not a case I would personally take on a contingency fee basis (meaning you do not pay your attorney to take the case, the attorney takes any fees out of money awarded by the court).

Be aware, you would have to have felt a lot more than "threatened" to pursue an IIED claim. You would have to have suffered distress. You would need to prove the distress was substantial enough that you deserve to be compensated for it.

One of the biggest problems in a case like this is recovery. If the less than courteous driver does not have substantial assets to seize, you are faced with a situation where you could win a judgment but find that judgment unrecoverable.

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