The Dangers of Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is a serious issue plaguing the roads of the United States. When drivers operate their vehicles with reckless abandon, they put themselves, their passengers, and everyone around them in danger.
Reckless drivers don’t do one specific thing when driving that makes their actions reckless. Reckless driving might include using a mobile phone while driving, drunk driving, eating, applying makeup, shaving, speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, and many other dangerous actions drivers take.
You should always seek the assistance of a car accident attorney after suffering an injury in a reckless driving accident. Doing so could mean the difference between paying for your own massive medical bills or receiving compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Road Fatalities at Surprising Highs in 2020 and 2021
Road fatalities hit surprising highs in both 2020 and 2021 despite fewer vehicles on the road due to the Coronavirus pandemic. For example, in Connecticut, traffic accidents killed 301 people in 2020 and 323 in 2021. The last time more than 300 people died in Connecticut traffic accidents was in 2016, when 304 people died.
What Is Reckless Driving?
As mentioned previously, a driver can recklessly operate a vehicle in many different ways. However, in the simplest terms, reckless driving is operating a vehicle unsafely in a way that puts people or property in harm’s way, whether unintentionally or intentionally.
- Speeding 15 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Fatigued driving
- Driving while using a handheld device
- Ignoring red lights, yield signs, and stop signs
- Swerving into oncoming traffic
- Driving on sidewalks, bike paths, or other areas not intended for vehicular traffic
- Passing in a no-passing zone or passing on the right side of a vehicle
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Intentionally failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians
- Evading police officers
- Racing other vehicles
- Passing a stopped school bus with its red lights activated
- Passing on a double yellow line
- Engaging in road rage
Injuries From Reckless Driving Accidents
A reckless driving accident can cause you to suffer serious injuries and even death.
Some of the most common injuries caused by a reckless driving accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Internal bleeding
- Road rash
- Spinal cord injuries
- Organ damage
When you have injuries suffered in a reckless driving accident, you need to protect your rights and hold the responsible party accountable. Seek the representation of a trusted car accident attorney who will fight for your right to compensation.
Compensation for Reckless Driving Accidents
Victims of reckless driving accidents can often recover compensation for:
- Property damage or loss
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages (current and future)
- Rehabilitation costs
- Costs for home services (cleaning, cooking, childcare, etc.)
- Compensation for temporary or permanent disability
- Punitive damages
Punitive damages are those that a judge awards against the defendant in the case. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the circumstances of the accident, the judge might issue punitive damages as a punishment for the driver’s reckless behavior.
What to do After a Reckless Driving Accident
Like any other accident, the steps you should take after being in a reckless driving accident are similar.
To protect your rights and position yourself for success should you decide to file a claim:
- Remain on the scene
- Call 911
- Move the vehicle to a safe location if it is drivable.
- Do not stand in the road.
- Do not move debris or anything else that might be evidence.
- Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, other vehicles, road conditions, and debris.
- Acquire the contact and insurance information of all drivers involved
- Tell the police what happened, but do not speculate about the cause of the crash.
- Let the responding EMTs evaluate you and accept transport to the hospital if they recommend it.
- Follow all recommendations given by the EMTs, ER doctors, or your family physician, and do not deviate from their treatment plans.
- Avoid talking to an insurance adjuster without a car accident attorney present.
- Never admit any level of fault.
If you were already in an accident, you likely are already home and dealing with your injuries. In this situation, keep up with your medical treatment, do not accept any insurance offers, and call a car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Filing a Claim Against a Reckless Driver
Reckless drivers are negligent and should be liable for all the harm they cause.
You may file a claim against the reckless driver, and your trusted car accident attorney will make sure that your claim includes:
- Medical bills
- Police accident report
- Car repair estimates
- Doctor’s notes
An experienced car accident attorney can also acquire important records to help your claim succeed. For example, if the driver was using their mobile device at the time of the crash, an attorney will know how to acquire the phone records to show that their actions were reckless.
Another example would involve the attorney acquiring the results of a breathalyzer test that law enforcement conducted if the driver who caused the accident was driving under the influence.
Not every reckless driving car accident claim will wind up going to trial. Why? An experienced car accident attorney will know how to negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Negotiations can help you recover compensation for your injuries and vehicle damage without having to step foot in a courtroom.
Should the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuse to settle, your car accident attorney will be ready to represent you in court. An experienced car accident attorney knows what it takes to represent car accident victims in court, including presenting evidence to discredit the defense. contact our attorney for a free case evaluation.