While many car accidents occur because of simple negligence – such as through a driver error like following too closely or forgetting to yield to other drivers – some collisions are completely predictable and caused by a driver’s complete lack of care for the safety of others.
These reckless driving accidents often result in serious injuries. Because reckless driving may involve high speeds, impaired drivers, or other major safety issues, many of these collisions result in the death of innocent motorists or bystanders.
If you were injured or lost a loved one due to the careless actions of another driver, a reckless driving accident lawyer from Demas Law Group can help. With over 25 years of legal experience, our car accident attorneys know what evidence you need to establish your claim and will quickly get to work to preserve it. Call us today for a free consultation!
We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients, including several record-breaking verdicts. Our law firm has a long history of trial success and a 99 percent success rate, evidencing the zealous representation clients have come to expect from us.
What Is Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving is the intentional act of driving in a manner that is known to be dangerous and increases the likelihood that an accident will occur. In California, reckless driving is a misdemeanor offense, which can result in fines between $145 and $1,000 and incarceration between 5 and 90 days.
Reckless driving is characterized by a blatant disregard for the rules of the road. Reckless drivers often disobey traffic laws and ignore other motorists. They are not concerned about safety or that they are behind the wheel of heavy machines that can cause serious harm or even death to others on the roadway.
Unfortunately, the problem of reckless driving is just getting worse over time. A recent report showed a median increase in speeds of 22 percent in certain metropolitan cities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In an open letter to the public, the NHTSA reported that there were fewer people on the roads, but those who are on the road take more risks and had more fatal crashes. NHTSA urged the public to exercise safe driving behaviors and not to drive in a risky manner.
If you were injured because of the reckless driving of another motorist, you may be able to pursue compensation for the injuries you suffered. Making a claim of this nature may help hold the reckless driver accountable for their careless actions and deter others from acting in a similar way in the future.
California Reckless Driving Laws
The California reckless driving law defines reckless driving as driving a vehicle on a highway “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of” others or their property.
While the law does not specify which driving actions rise to the level of reckless driving, some common examples of reckless driving in California include:
- Excessive speeding
- Running other vehicles off the road
- Driving while impaired with drugs or alcohol
- Participating in illegal street racing
- Making frequent illegal lane changes that endanger other motorists
- Passing on the wrong side of the road
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Distracted driving
Injuries Caused by Reckless Driving Car Accidents
Accidents caused by reckless driving can result in serious injuries and fatalities. This is because reckless driving accidents often involve higher speeds and dangerous driving behaviors that can cause unexpected collisions. Unsuspecting motorists may not be able to anticipate the actions of reckless drivers, leaving them with no way to prepare or brace for the impact.
Common injuries that are a result of reckless driving accidents include:
- Brain or head injuries – Due to the sudden impact of a reckless driving accident, victims may hit their head on a hard surface in the vehicle, such as the dashboard, steering wheel, or door. This impact can result in life-altering brain injuries that require extensive care.
- Facial injuries – Accident victims may suffer painful facial injuries when items are thrown about the vehicle or broken glass cuts their skin. Common facial injuries include eye injuries, facial fractures, facial lacerations, and facial nerve damage.
- Torso injuries – The torso represents the largest section of the body that is a prime target for injury in a motor vehicle accident. Because of your position sitting in the vehicle, much of the force of the collision is directed towards your chest and torso area. This can result in injuries and trauma to this area of your body.
- Spinal cord injuries – Accident victims may suffer spinal cord injuries that result in partial or total paralysis. These injuries can drastically alter the victim’s life and lead to the need for years of medical treatment.
- Amputations – Victims can even lose their limbs or other body parts in a reckless driving collision, resulting in a change to mobility, disfigurement, and chronic pain.
- Burn injuries – Reckless driving accidents sometimes cause fires or explosions, which can result in serious burn injuries to victims. Treatment may involve several painful surgeries or skin grafts.
These injuries can have a devastating effect on victims and their families. They can also cause substantial financial hardship due to mounting medical bills and time off work. Through a personal injury claim, you may be able to recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Costs to repair or replace your vehicle
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
- Physical and vocational rehabilitation
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
Because reckless driving often involves obviously dangerous driving behaviors, punitive damages may be available in some cases. These damages are reserved for the most egregious of cases and serve as a way to punish the defendant. Our knowledgeable California reckless driving attorneys will explore the possibility of obtaining punitive damages in your case.
Liability in Reckless Driving Accidents
What makes reckless driving accidents so frustrating is knowing that they could have easily been avoided had someone not chosen to operate their vehicle in such a dangerous manner. Our compassionate attorneys are dedicated to pursuing the maximum compensation available for your claim. We will work tirelessly to establish liability and your right to compensation by:
- Conducting a thorough investigation – Our team will conduct a thorough investigation into your accident and all of the factors that contributed to it. We will review all accident and police reports.
- Interviewing witnesses – We will also identify and interview witnesses who saw the moments leading up to the accident.
- Gathering compelling evidence – We will gather and review any photographs or video recordings of the crash. Through the discovery process, we may be able to obtain additional evidence that can establish reckless driving was the cause of the collision, including cell phone records, blood alcohol test results, and traffic history reports.
- Working with experts – We may also work with accident reconstruction experts who can evaluate the evidence to determine the underlying causes of the accident when liability is not as clear. We can also work with health and economic experts to establish your damages and the connection between the accident and your injuries.
- Proving negligence – Because reckless driving usually involves some violation of the law, such as excessive speeding or not yielding to other motorists, we will look for compelling evidence that the driver committed a driving offense. This can provide us with legal support to establish liability in your case.
Through a careful analysis of the evidence involved in your case and the application of California’s strong plaintiff laws, we will fight to secure fair compensation for your claim.
Contact a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer Today
Demas Law Group believes that reckless drivers should be held accountable for the injuries they cause others. For more than 25 years, our personal injury attorneys have assisted clients who were injured due to the negligent or reckless actions of others. Whether this means aggressively pursuing a settlement for fair compensation or taking your case to trial, we will fight for the best possible outcome for your case. We have the skills and resources necessary to pursue successful claims against reckless drivers.
Through zealous client advocacy and a dedication to customer service, Demas Law Group has developed a strong reputation in the legal community. Our founding attorney, John N. Demas, has been rated one of the “Best of the Best” and Top 100 lawyers in Northern California. He has also been selected as a “Super Lawyer,” an honor that is only bestowed on approximately 1 percent of plaintiff personal injury attorneys. We look forward to working with you and discussing your claim further during a private consultation.
Give us a call or complete our online contact form to arrange your confidential consultation. During your initial consultation, you’ll meet with an experienced Sacramento car accident attorney from our firm who will give you honest feedback and legal advice about your case. You will not be charged for this consultation, and you’ll only pay attorney fees if we help you recover compensation for your claim. Contact us today to get your claim started.