What Is Reckless Driving?Uncategorized
Reckless driving can take many forms, but it generally consists of driving in a manner that ignores others’ safety and the standard rules of the road.
Reckless driving can cause a wide variety of injuries.
Many people involved in accidents caused by a reckless driver experience:
- Broken bones;
- Internal injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Back injuries; and
- Neck injuries.
Examples of Reckless Driving
Ignoring traffic laws
Plenty of rules govern the road, but some drivers drive recklessly when they knowingly avoid or disobey them.
Some examples of actions that qualify as ignoring traffic laws include:
- Swerving; and
- Ignoring traffic signs and signals.
Racing on the road is inherently risky. Speeding and racing can cause serious accidents. Sometimes, drivers use both lanes of a two-way road to race—and this is especially unsafe.
Passing School Buses or Other Vehicles That Require a Stop
School buses require cars behind them to stop while the buses load and unload. When a driver ignores this rule, they drive recklessly.
Avoiding the Police
Some drivers will do almost anything to evade law enforcement. Drivers who avoid the police may swerve, speed, or otherwise act recklessly.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is reckless driving. Simply operating a vehicle under the influence may constitute reckless driving charges in some cases, but most drivers who use drugs or alcohol behave recklessly in other ways, too.
What if the Other Driver Was Charged With Reckless Driving?
Two separate legal systems can come into play after a car accident: the criminal legal system and the civil legal system. When police charge a driver with reckless driving, they bring the driver into the criminal legal system. They may need to appear before a criminal law judge, pay a fine, or even serve jail time. While this process determines what the police believe was a criminal act, it does not allow the victim of that act to seek compensation for their injuries.
On the other hand, the civil legal system allows victims to seek compensation from the person who harmed them. The civil legal system is separate from the criminal legal system, and cases in these two systems can happen simultaneously. Whether or not a driver wins or loses their criminal case does not directly affect a civil case the victim may bring against them.
What Compensation Can I Recover After a Reckless Driving Accident?
It’s common for people to have questions about what they can or cannot recover after a car accident. Car accident cases are all unique, and while you may find examples of what others have recovered through their car accident cases, the results of each case range widely. So how do you know what you may be eligible to recover? The simple answer: you’ll need to talk with an experienced attorney who can give you an estimate based on the specific facts of your case.
While you won’t know what damages will be available in your case until you work with an attorney, there are some common categories of damages car accident victims can recover.
Compensable damages after a car accident may include:
- Medical bills: Including past, present, and future projected medical bills associated with the accident.
- Pain and suffering: To account for when accidents cause these in survivors.
- Lost pay: For when an accident forces survivors to miss time at work.
- Diminished earning capacity: When accidents change a survivor’s ability to make money.
- Disability: When an accident causes a disability.
Avoiding Reckless Drivers on the Road
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to avoid a reckless driver on the road. That’s why so many people are hurt in reckless driving accidents every year. You can try to keep yourself safe from a reckless driver—but remember, an accident with a reckless driver is not your fault.
If you see a reckless driver:
- Call 911 as soon as possible; either pull into a safe location or have one of your passengers make the call. Try to note the make, model, and license plate number of the car along with its location.
- Move away from the driver if at all possible. Pulling off of the road to wait for someone reckless to pass is safer than trying to share the road with them.
- Do not engage with the reckless driver. Many reckless drivers may become aggressive or malicious when you engage with them. They may even try to engage with you—avoid doing so.
A Lawyer Can Help After a Reckless Driving Accident
Your lawyer can:
- Work to prove liability in your case;
- Use evidence to document and prove elements of your case;
- Help you understand how to manage medical bills; and
- Facilitate conversations with insurance companies and others involved in your case.
If you have questions after a reckless driving accident, reach out to a car accident attorney as soon as possible. Many lawyers offer free consultations so that potential clients can learn more about their services and the lawyer can provide a preliminary assessment of their case. That way, you can find the car accident attorneys who you think will best represent you in your case.
Nathan Hughey, an attorney and fourth-generation South Carolinian, founded Hughey Law Firm in 2007. Before that, he spent five years defending nursing homes and insurance companies. Leveraging his experience, he now advocates for those injured or wronged by such entities, securing over $220 million in verdicts and settlements.