There are approximately 6 million car accidents per year in the United States. Unfortunately, many of these result in injury to one or both parties involved.
In some cases, accidents occur due to reckless driving. It’s possible to pursue compensation during this scenario, but not everyone knows how to go about it.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.
How Is Reckless Driving Defined?
As the name implies, reckless driving is a type of driving behavior that disregards the safety of others on the road or surrounding area.
For example, this could be a driver who decides to drive over a median to make an illegal U-turn.
Since this type of behavior is so dangerous, it comes with significant legal penalties. But, it could also easily result in someone else’s death or injury.
What Are the Main Causes?
Many people have the notion that reckless driving always stems from anger. But, the driver doesn’t have to be feeling anything negative at all in order for them to drive recklessly.
More specifically, behavior in this type of scenario is known as ‘aggressive driving‘ but it is still considered reckless driving for the purpose of deciding on legal punishment.
Causes of this behavior that are unrelated to emotional instability include driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, texting or using a phone, or simply failing to obey the traffic rules in that area.
In this last scenario, speeding is often the most common form of reckless driving. It’s not unlikely at all for someone to simply be unaware of the speed limit on the road driving on and end up going 20 or 30 mph faster than they should.
How to Minimize Your Risk
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to fully protect yourself from somebody else’s behavior. But, you can understand the telltale signs of reckless driving and remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible.
In the event that you notice another driver behaving erratically, do your best to avoid being directly adjacent to them, in front of them, or behind them—even if that means waiting at a red light to do so.
Similarly, you shouldn’t engage with another driver who is exhibiting this behavior. This means avoiding eye contact, shouting, or driving aggressively back toward them.
Sometimes, reckless drivers will tailgate others as a form of intimidation if they feel as though they’ve been wronged. Since it’s impossible to accurately predict their intentions or the outcome of the situation, it’s recommended to call the police and report the incident if you feel unsafe while on the road.
Other steps you can take include ensuring that you and your passengers are wearing seatbelts, always driving the speed limit, etc. The more vigilant you are regarding other people’s behavior, the safer that you will be overall while you’re driving.
When to Seek Compensation
As previously mentioned, millions of people are injured in car accidents each year.
If you received injuries from an auto collision that was a direct result of somebody else’s reckless behavior on the road, you’re often entitled to legal compensation. The statement is even true if their vehicle never came into contact with yours.
For example, let’s assume that the driver during rush hour traffic has been exhibiting reckless behavior for the past 10 minutes while on the highway. They’ve been weaving in and out of lanes, going well over the speed limit, and aggressively honking at any car that happens to be in front of them.
You’ve noticed this driver in your rearview mirror, but you haven’t been able to adjust your position on the highway due to the amount of traffic. Before you know it, they swerve in front of you and barely miss making contact with your vehicle.
You slam on your brakes as a precautionary measure and end up being struck by the driver behind you, leaving you with severe neck and back pain.
The driver was later arrested further along the highway after being pulled over by law enforcement. Even though this driver never actually hit your vehicle, the incident that occurred was a direct result of their behavior.
How Can I Pursue it?
In order to have the best chance of having things turn out your way, you’ll need to find a reputable attorney who specializes in this area of law.
Your legal professional should have a notable amount of experience, be able to provide you with a list of past cases where they’ve succeeded, and be someone who you are comfortable communicating with.
This isn’t to say that less experienced attorneys may not be able to provide great results, though. But, you’re essentially rolling the dice when hiring them as opposed to somebody who’s already been established in the industry.
To further aid your decision, you can read about people’s past experiences with that attorney or law firm to get an idea of what you can expect.
Dealing With Reckless Driving Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be.
Although many scenarios involving this behavior can be intimidating, learning to recognize the signs will help keep you out of harm’s way.
With the above information about reckless driving in mind, though, you’ll be well on your way toward getting the compensation that you deserve if you need it.
Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.