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Injuries resulting from reckless driving can detrimentally impact a victim’s life. Reckless driving victims may suffer from debilitating injuries and hefty medical bills as a result of an incident.
Reckless driving accident claims can be complicated and overwhelming for victims. Thus, it is imperative that victims seek help in evaluating their claims.
What is Reckless Driving?
Recent studies indicate that, on average, nearly 90 Americans die every day in an automobile accident. While there are many underlying reasons for these accidents, reckless driving is a leading cause of subsequent injuries on American roads. Specifically, research shows that reckless driving is a factor in approximately % of U.S. car accidents involving a fatality. Despite the serious consequences of reckless driving, a recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety poll indicated that 87% of licensed drivers regularly engage in risky behavior while driving.
The particulars of state laws differ, but many jurisdictions have similar statutes for reckless driving offenses. Reckless driving is a broad term that describes a number of negligent acts that put others at risk of harm. Reckless driving can most easily be defined as operating a motor vehicle in such a way that it puts either people or property in danger. Notably, most reckless driving statutes do not require that the recklessness be commenced intentionally and, thus, a driver may be held liable even if they did not mean to cause the resulting harm.
The results of an accident caused by reckless driving may be devastating to the victim or the victim’s family. Accidents may inflict massive financial and emotional hardship on the affected party. Fortunately, reckless driving incidents are usually preventable if all drivers choose to stay aware and focused while operating a motor vehicle. However, if it is too late to prevent an accident, victims may be entitled to legal recourse and damages depending on the specifics of the accident and claim.
What Are Some Examples of Reckless Driving?
While the basic definition of reckless driving tends to remain unchanged across jurisdictional lines, the elements required to prove such an offense may vary dramatically based on where the offense occurred. The consequences of reckless driving also vary from state-to-state. Common examples of reckless driving include:
- Racing with other vehicles
- Illegally passing slower vehicles
- Driving at a dangerously high speed
- Swerving between lanes in high traffic areas
- Ignoring municipal signage
- Running a red light
- Rolling through a stop sign
- Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while tired, upset, or distracted
- Failing to take reasonable safety measures
- Fleeing from law enforcement
- Driving aggressively
- Using electronic devices
Reckless driving can encompass a wide range of dangerous activities. State law primarily determines what is considered reckless through specific statutes. Something that may constitute safe driving in one state may be considered reckless driving in another. Therefore, if you have been affected by a reckless driving incident, it may be beneficial to seek a professional opinion to determine the validity of your claim as it relates to the applicable law in your specific jurisdiction.
Why is Reckless Driving Dangerous?
Reckless driving causes thousands of injuries, accidents, and deaths every year. Reckless driving statutes are aimed at lowering these unsavory numbers and protecting the public. Typically, these statutes are designed to prohibit drivers from operating a vehicle in a way that demonstrates a willful disregard for others on the road.
Reckless driving is inherently dangerous because it increases the risk of an accident. In addition to physical injuries, these accidents also cause a significant amount of property damage. Consequently, many reckless driving victims are saddled with hefty medical expenses and crippling injuries because of the actions of irresponsible drivers. The potentially serious consequences of reckless driving increase the overall danger of the act itself.
Although reckless driving continues to cause serious injuries and fatalities every year, unfortunately, drivers continue to engage in risky or reckless driving every year. If you have suffered damages at the hands of a reckless driver, you may be entitled to some compensation for your losses.
How Do I Avoid Becoming a Victim of Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving has the potential to affect not only the driver, but also everyone around them. While you may not be able to stop another driver’s behavior, certain precautions may help you keep yourself and your passengers safe. These steps include:
1. Avoid Engaging
If you face a reckless driver, you should avoid engaging with them at all costs. In particular, you should avoid giving any response that may anger the dangerous driver and cause them to lash out. Road rage accounts for a large portion of motor vehicle injuries in the United States. If you detect a reckless driver on the road, try to drive defensively and keep a safe distance to preserve the safety of you and your passengers.
2. Call Law Enforcement
If you fear that you or others may be in danger of a reckless driver, it is imperative that you call 9-1-1. In your report, you should try to provide as many details as possible. In particular, you should try to include a description of the driver, the license plate number, and the make and model of the vehicle involved.
3. Move to Safety
If possible, you should move yourself and your vehicle to a safe location to avoid coming into contact with the reckless driver. While this may not provide a complete solution to the public safety threat, it may help keep you safe throughout the ordeal.
Even though reckless driving accidents are prevalent, many of them are preventable. By practicing defensive driving, innocent drivers may be able to avoid being hurt in an accident, even if the other driver chooses to act recklessly.
Is Reckless Driving a Serious Misdemeanor?
The classification of a reckless driving offense may vary depending on the laws of the prosecuting jurisdiction. In most jurisdictions, reckless driving is usually considered a misdemeanor. However, many jurisdictions impose a range of penalties for the crime depending on the severity of the offense. Thus, the classification of a reckless driving charge may vary.
Reckless driving is considered a serious crime. Thus, a driver who is convicted of a reckless driving charge may be subjected to a wide range of penalties and punishments. These consequences may be different depending on the driver’s particular actions. Common consequences of reckless driving include:
- Heavy fines
- Impoundment of vehicle
- Suspension of driver’s license
- Jail time
- Civil liability for damages
- Accrual of derogatory points on permanent driving record
- Required safety courses
While these consequences are the most common, they are not the only penalties that a guilty driver may face if taken to court. A judge within the participating jurisdiction has incredibly vast discretion in imposing a penalty to punish the guilty and deter future dangerous acts. While a reckless driver may face criminal proceedings, they may also face civil ramifications if their actions injured another person or their property. If you have been the victim of an incident involving reckless driving, you may be able to assist the state in its pursuit of criminal charges and seek damages to compensate you for your losses.
We Help Victims of Reckless Driving and Endangerment
Accidents involving reckless driving can cause substantial disruption in an individual’s life. If you are injured in a reckless driving crash, you should contact a lawyer who handles reckless driving cases as soon as possible. A reckless driving injury attorney may be able to help you seek legal recourse for the damages resulting from the accident. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages to compensate for the financial and emotional suffering the accident caused you.
CALL OUR RECKLESS DRIVING VICTIM ATTORNEYS TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, our reckless driving victim lawyers have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you seek the highest compensation possible. Our experienced attorneys help victims seek compensation for damages relating to injury and accident claims. Zinda Law Group provides quality consultation and may advise you on the best way to handle your case. The sooner you contact our office, the higher the likelihood that we will be able to assist you in filing your claim on time.
If you have been injured in a reckless driving incident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our experienced reckless driving victim lawyers. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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