Reckless drivers place themselves and everyone else on the road at risk of being seriously injured. Speeding, racing, erratic lane changes, and drunk driving are just a few examples of reckless driving. Reckless drivers have less time to react safely to prevent car accidents and are more likely to cause car accidents, resulting in serious injuries and fatalities.
Have you or your loved one been injured in a reckless driving accident? The experienced attorneys at Dell & Dean, PLLC are prepared to negotiate aggressively with the insurance company. When necessary, our litigators are prepared to go to court to pursue the most compensation possible for our clients.
Why is Reckless Driving So Dangerous?
Every type of reckless driving has the potential to cause a car accident, but some types of reckless driving are more dangerous than others. When determining whether a driver’s actions were reckless, the court will consider how the driver operated the vehicle and whether he or she exhibited a conscious disregard for the safety of others.
When a driver willfully disregards the safety of others on the road, the consequences for victims can be disastrous. Victims may sustain severe, life-altering injuries, including head injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and internal injuries. Common examples of reckless driving include the following:
- Ignoring traffic signals or stop signs
- Carrying an excessive number of passengers
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Racing other vehicles
- Driving while fatigued
- Distracted driving
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Road rage
Speeding is one of the most dangerous actions a driver can take. Speeding causes approximately one-third of traffic fatalities in the United States. When a vehicle travels at a high speed and hits another object, the resulting energy is much greater, placing more force on the victim’s body and increasing the likelihood of fatality.
Tailgating is another example of dangerously reckless driving. By driving too closely to other vehicles, the following driver doesn’t have enough time to react to a change in traffic flow. A rear-end accident is much more likely if the driver in front suddenly stops.
Erratic Lane Changes
Erratic lane changes increase the likelihood of a sideswipe accident occurring. When a driver changes lanes frequently, aggressively, or without checking his or her blind spot, they may collide with another driver traveling in another traffic lane. Cutting in front of drivers could cause another driver to brake suddenly, causing a multi-vehicle collision. The stakes are even higher when reckless driving accidents occur on high-speed roadways.
Proving Liability in Reckless Driving Accident Cases
Depending on the specific conduct the defendant engaged in, it may be easier to prove liability in car accidents caused by recklessness. Reckless driving is a traffic violation in New York. When the reckless driver has been convicted of reckless driving, the victim can generally prove negligence per se in a civil personal injury lawsuit.
The defendant’s violation of traffic regulations can allow the court to prove the driver was negligent. Once negligence per se has been proved, the plaintiff only needs to show that the driver’s misconduct substantially contributed to the victim’s injuries.
Suppose the reckless driver was making erratic lane changes and, in doing so, sideswiped the victim’s vehicle. The victim would likely only need to prove that the erratic lane changes caused the accident. However, even in cases when the at-fault driver was clearly driving recklessly, hiring an experienced attorney is still important even when the at-fault driver was driving recklessly. The driver’s insurance company may try to deny or limit the claim unfairly, and an attorney can protect your interests and negotiate the best settlement possible.
Compensation Available for Victims of Reckless Driving Accidents
Reckless drivers are more likely to lose control of their vehicles and cause dangerous accidents, such as head-on collisions, sideswipes, and high-speed accidents. Consequently, reckless driving is more likely to cause catastrophic injuries.
In addition to suffering severe physical injuries, victims can suffer psychological injuries and experience PTSD, anxiety, depression, and others. Pursuing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit allows victims to recover compensation for the past and future damages resulting from the accident.
Past and Future Medical Expenses
Serious injuries result in expensive, ongoing medical expenses. Injuries may require victims to receive medical treatment for years after the car accident and potentially for the rest of their lives. Victims can pursue compensation for hospital stays, surgery, physical therapy, occupational therapy, rehabilitation, transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, durable medical equipment, and other expenses. Dell & Dean, PLLC will work with financial and medical experts to carefully estimate the total amount of your estimated future medical expenses.
Lost Income and Disability
Serious injuries may prevent a victim from being able to return to work full-time. Victims can pursue compensation for their lost income due to missed work while recovering from their injuries. When a victim cannot return to their job in the same capacity due to their injuries, they may lose future income and no longer be able to provide for themselves and their loved ones, negatively affecting their quality of life. Victims can pursue compensation for lost income and loss of future income due to disability.
Many car accident victims experience emotional pain related to their injuries. They may suffer from ongoing PTSD symptoms and become depressed after the accident. They may become anxious when driving. Victims can pursue damages for the pain and suffering they have experienced and will continue to experience in the future.
Discuss Your Case with An Experienced Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a driver driving under the influence, speeding, or otherwise driving dangerously, you must contact an attorney. Insurance claims involving accidents caused by reckless drivers can be complex. The insurance company may deny or limit your claim or accuse you of causing the accident.
Even if the reckless driver’s insurance does offer you compensation, it may be much less than you deserve. The reckless driving attorneys at Dell & Dean, PLLC are prepared to help you pursue the full compensation you need and deserve.