reckless driving

Important Things to Know About Reckless Driving Accidents

Nearly all auto accidents are preventable, but the most tragic ones are those caused by the blatant disregard for the safety of others on the road. Irresponsible and negligent drivers too often fail to observe safety laws and traffic rules, and innocent people suffer.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a reckless driving accident in Alabama, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Burge & Burge have decades of experience advocating for the rights and well-being of car accident victims and their families. If you are dealing with the aftermath of one of these crashes, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.

Reckless Driving Accidents on the Rise

According to the Insurance Information Institute, aggressive and reckless driving plays a major role in traffic incidents across the U.S. While tough to quantify, estimates from one study concluded that aggressive driving played a role in over half (56%) of all fatal crashes, with excessive speed being the number one factor.

The NHTSA reports that speed has been involved in about one-third of all major vehicle fatalities over the past two decades. And increasing speed limits in many states are also pushing the envelope to produce even more devastating crashes.

Additionally, higher traffic congestion rates in some areas lead to more frustration and more aggressive driving. People running late for work or school feel justified in weaving in and out of traffic, speeding, and tailgating for example.

What is Reckless Driving?

According to Alabama law, reckless driving is considered operating a vehicle “carelessly in willful disregard for the safety of other people or property, or at a speed or manner that endangers others” (Ala. Code § 32-5A-190). More than just “bad manners,” a person that drives without regard for the health and safety of others on the road is committing a serious offense and is more likely to cause an accident.

Reckless driving could consist of a lot of different types of vehicle maneuvers, but some common examples include:

  • Driving 20 mph or more over the posted speed limit
  • Refusing to stop at stop signs or traffic signals
  • Failure to use turn signals
  • Tailgating
  • Sudden braking
  • Driving while distracted by electronic devices or anything else
  • Making illegal lane changes
  • Participating in street races
  • Driving without regard to road or weather conditions
  • Attempting to evade the police or refusing to pull over when signaled

Reckless Driving Can Lead to Serious Injuries

Unsurprisingly, a person driving carelessly and aggressively has a significantly stronger chance of causing a wreck. These include rear-end accidents, T-bone crashes, and head-on collisions. An accident could be minor and still cause injuries, but it’s more likely that a crash would be catastrophic.

Reckless driving accidents often occur at high speeds, which means that the accident victims often endure multiple and severe injuries. If you were the victim of a reckless driving accident, you could suffer from:

  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Lacerations
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Amputation
  • Burns
  • Scarring
  • Disfigurement

Recovering Compensation After a Serious Vehicle Accident

If you’ve been injured in a car crash that was caused by a reckless driver, you have the right to pursue a claim for compensation. When an accident was due to another party’s reckless, careless, or intentional actions, that party should be held responsible for your losses. You may be able to claim compensation for damages that include:

  • Property damage
  • Medical expenses
  • Wage loss and lost earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium

How to Prove Reckless Driving

One barrier to recovering compensation in a reckless driving case is proving that the other party was fully at fault in the crash. This is where it becomes valuable to work with an experienced auto accident attorney.

A person who causes injury or death while engaged in reckless driving will likely face criminal charges. While a criminal conviction can help your case, it won’t guarantee that you will receive full and fair compensation in a separate civil lawsuit.

During a civil case, you will need to show that the reckless driver was negligent, and the standard is lower than what is used in the criminal courts. Beyond collecting compensation for your damages, a civil case is another way to hold the other driver responsible for their reckless behavior and gain some peace of mind and closure for yourself after such a devastating experience.

Aggressively Pursuing Justice in Reckless Driving Cases

When you work with Burge & Burge, we understand how to build a strong legal case against aggressive and reckless drivers. We go beyond collecting the standard police report to get to the bottom of who should be held responsible for your injuries. Our in-depth investigation may include:

  • Visiting the accident scene to preserve evidence before it disappears
  • Taking a recording of any skid marks on the road
  • Taking photos of vehicle damage
  • Taking photos of your injuries
  • Interviewing accident witnesses
  • Hiring accident reconstruction experts

After a reckless driving accident, insurance companies are sure to get involved. Unfortunately, these companies never have your best interests at heart and are only interested in finding a way to minimize their losses. Some might try to get you to admit fault or sign unnecessary releases. We recommend that you speak with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the process and avoid any costly mistakes.

Were You the Victim of a Reckless Driver?

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to the actions of a reckless driver, you may have the right to damages. The experienced car accident attorneys at Burge & Burge are ready to fight for the just compensation you deserve.

If the accident wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t have to suffer the personal and financial consequences that can last for months or even years to come. Contact our office today at 205-251-9000 or online to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.

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