Reckless Driving Attorneys in Birmingham
Driving can be a very dangerous activity, and this is why we need to be able to trust those we share the roads with to exercise reasonable care to ensure the safety of themselves and others. Without this mutual trust, it would be far more difficult to get where we are going. Most other drivers feel the same way, but unfortunately, some do not. Some drivers choose, for whatever reason, to drive recklessly.
Reckless driving means driving carelessly and with willful and wanton disregard for the rules of the road and the safety of others. Those who drive this way put everyone on the road in greater danger, increasing the likelihood of serious accidents. This is why the state of Alabama considers reckless driving a serious offense, one in which you can receive jail time even if you are a first-time offender.
Stiff criminal penalties may help reduce the number of reckless drivers on the road, but they do not provide any restitution for those who are severely injured when someone driving this way causes an accident. In the span of just a few seconds, someone who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time can have their life turned totally upside down.
A serious injury can keep you out of work for several weeks or several months or longer, and the physical pain and future uncertainties can make it very difficult to cope. In some cases, these injuries can even end up being permanent. When someone suffers injury because of another person’s reckless actions, they deserve to be fully compensated.
The attorneys at Burge & Burge have over five decades of combined experience representing individuals who have been injured in reckless driving accidents in Alabama. Our firm is focused almost exclusively on personal injury law, and we have a proven track record with even the most complex cases. We work closely with our clients, and we fight hard to recover every dollar of compensation they need and deserve.
If you have been injured at the hands of a reckless driver, you may be contacted by an insurance adjuster expressing “concern” for your situation. It is important to keep in mind that the insurance company is not looking out for your best interests. Their goal is to pay out as little as possible for your injuries, and as such, their interests are not aligned with yours.
Do not provide any statements or information releases to an insurance company, and do not accept their lowball settlement offer without first speaking with one of our attorneys. Call Burge & Burge today for a free consultation and to discuss your legal rights and options
Alabama Reckless Driving Laws
Alabama Code § 32-5A-190 defines reckless driving as driving:
- “Carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard for the rights or safety of persons or property,” or
- “Without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property.”
This is a misdemeanor offense which can result in five to 90 days of jail time for a first offense, and 10 days to six months of jail time for a second or subsequent offense. A conviction also carries heavy fines, demerit points on your driving record, higher insurance rates, and loss of driving privileges.
Reckless driving can take many forms, some examples include:
- Excessive speeding (e.g., driving too fast for current conditions or driving 26 MPH or more over the speed limit);
- Running stop signs, running red lights, and disobeying other traffic laws;
- Illegal or dangerous passing maneuvers;
- Failing to yield the right of way;
- Weaving swiftly back and forth between lanes;
- Making swift or sharp turns without signaling;
- Following vehicles too closely (i.e., tailgating);
- Drag racing or playing “chicken”;
- Driving after dark without headlights on;
- Driving while intoxicated.
Reckless Driving Accident Claims in Alabama
The actions of a reckless driver can cause serious accidents, and because other drivers often do not see it coming, they are more susceptible to severe injuries. Individuals who are injured through no fault of their own have a right to seek compensation in the form of damages. There are two main types of compensatory damages:
- Economic Damages: These are actual monetary losses sustained by the injured party, such as hospitalization costs, costs for surgeries and other types of medical treatment, rehabilitation, costs for ongoing care, lost wages, and loss of future earnings.
- Non-Economic Damages: These are losses that are real but intangible and more difficult to assign a dollar figure to. Examples include pain and suffering, psychological distress, diminished quality of life, and loss of consortium.
In rarer cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. Also known as exemplary damages, punitive damages are not meant to compensate the injured party, but rather to punish the party responsible for the accident and help serve as a deterrent against similarly egregious behaviors in the future.
In a standard car accident case, it is very difficult to recover punitive damages, because they are not awarded if the driver responsible for the accident was just negligent. However, they are more attainable in reckless driving accident cases, because it is easier to prove that the defendant acted willfully and with wantonness or malicious intent in causing the accident.
Speak with an Experienced Car Crash Lawyer in Alabama
At Burge & Burge, we understand that reckless driving accidents can take an enormous physical, emotional, and financial toll on victims and their families, and our goal is to make the legal process smooth and stress free. We handle the entire process from start to finish, and we take care of all the complex legal tasks, so you can focus on your recovery. Along the way, we provide frequent updates on the progress of your case, and we are always available to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have.
Call us today at 205-251-9000 or toll free at 800-633-3733 to schedule your free consultation. You may also message us through our online contact form or stop by our office in person at your convenience.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay attorney fees if we recover compensation for you