In some cases, the driver who acted negligently and caused an accident may receive a citation for reckless driving. When this happens, victims may wonder, “What is reckless driving?” Each state defines it differently, but it is generally when a driver intentionally commits traffic violations that put others needlessly in danger.
If you were in an accident caused by a reckless driver, a car accident lawyer might be able to build a case to hold them legally liable and recover compensation for your damages.
How does My State Define Reckless Driving?
While there are different laws in each state to define reckless driving and the possible penalties of this violation of traffic law, they generally center on a driver’s disregard of the safety of their passengers, the occupants of other vehicles, and others.
Some examples of state laws related to reckless driving include:
- Alabama: Under Ala. Code § 32-5A-190, drivers are guilty of this offense when they drive “carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard for the rights or safety of persons or property.”
- Arkansas: Per Ark. Code Ann. § 27-50-308, reckless driving is “a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”
- Louisiana: Per La. Rev. Stat. 14:99, a reckless driver operates their vehicle “in a criminally negligent or reckless manner.”
- Mississippi: Under Miss. Code Ann. § 63-3-1201, reckless driving occurs when the driver demonstrates “either a willful or a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Mississippi also has a “careless driving” charge that is less serious.
What Are Some Reckless Driving Offenses?
Driving recklessly can include many types of bad behavior. Driving significantly over the speed limit is one of the most common reasons people receive reckless driving citations. Other offenses that could support a reckless driving charge include:
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Running red lights
- Passing when it is not safe to do so
- Passing on the shoulder or in the turn lane
Almost any wanton violation of a traffic law could support a reckless driving ticket if the driver put others at risk of injury or could cause a crash.
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How Can I Hold the At-Fault Driver Responsible for Driving Recklessly?
If a reckless driver caused your traffic accident, personal injuries, and property damage, it may help you prove your case if they received a citation for their bad driving behavior. However, you can likely still recover compensation even if the police did not give them a ticket.
You will need to show they were at fault for the crash. When this happens, most states will allow victims to hold them financially responsible. You should not have to pay for the expenses and losses you incurred from a car wreck if you did not cause it.
You may be able to recover compensation for your damages through a claim based on the other driver’s auto insurance coverage. Alternatively, you may need to sue the driver if their insurer will not agree to pay a fair financial recovery.
Do I Need an Attorney to Prove a Reckless Driver Caused My Accident to Recover Damages?
No rule says you must have a lawyer to file an insurance claim and recover a settlement. You can navigate this process independently if you choose. However, letting a car accident attorney manage your claim could make it much easier on you and even allow you to recover more in compensation.
A car accident attorney will be able to prove:
- The other driver’s reckless actions occurred
- Their behavior behind the wheel caused the crash
- You suffered injuries in the collision
- The value of your damages
They protect their clients’ rights and file their claims, pursuing the payout they deserve based on their documented losses and expenses. This includes both economic and non-economic costs.
Most car accident lawsuits never go to trial but suing the driver who hit you is sometimes necessary. Occasionally, litigating these accident cases is the best option for securing a fair and just recovery. If this happens in your case, it is important to know the possible deadlines for filing a lawsuit. There are many exceptions, but these generally include:
- Louisiana: One year under La. Civ. Code Art. 3492
- Mississippi: Three years under Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49
- Alabama: Two years under Code § 6-2-38
- Arkansas: Three years under Ark. Code Ann. § 16-56-105
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We Provide Free Case Reviews to Victims of Reckless Driving Accidents
We have team members ready to discuss your accident and legal options for pursuing damages at the Morris Bart law firm. Our personal injury law firm may be able to help you with this process with no upfront fees. Our service area includes Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas.
Call (800) 537-8185 to speak with a member of our legal team about your accident claim today. We are ready to go to work for you.
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