At Petro Law Firm, we take reckless driving seriously. When someone’s behavior behind the wheel is so erratic and dangerous that it clearly violates the law, we aggressively litigate the victims’ injury claims – demanding punitive damages when possible. To learn more about our approach to reckless driving claims, keep reading.
What Is Considered Reckless Driving in Alabama?
Alabama Code §32-5A-190 is the law that defines “reckless driving” in our state. It prohibits drivers from operating a motor vehicle with willful disregard for other people’s safety. Common reckless driving behaviors include:
- Refusing to use signals
- Ignoring traffic control devices, like stop lights and signs
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Road rage
- Street racing
Notably, reckless driving is a criminal offense. If convicted a reckless driver can face jail time, fines, and the loss of their license. However, that doesn’t compensate the victims of their irresponsible behavior.
What Should I Do if I’m Injured by a Reckless Driver?
If a reckless driver crashes into you or a loved one, you need to act quickly. Your prompt action may be critical to everyone’s safety, welfare, and the strength of their legal claims. After a crash, you should always take the following steps.
If you witness reckless driving, you should always call 911 – even before an accident occurs. However, if you’re hit by a dangerous driver, you should immediately report the crash and request help from the authorities. The police and other first responders will help you document the crash, provide necessary medical care, and may arrest the reckless driver.
Get Medical Care
If you or anyone you love suffered injuries in the crash, seek immediate medical care – even if you don’t think you are badly hurt. What may seem like bumps and bruises may turn out to be a serious injury, like a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Doctors at a hospital ER or clinic can help you identify your injuries and provide treatment that may save your life.
When you file an injury claim with the reckless driver’s insurance company, you’ll need to provide evidence that documents your injuries and proves that their irresponsible behavior caused your injuries. While that may sound simple in a reckless driving case, it’s much more difficult than you can imagine. Therefore, it’s a good idea to proactively start building your case.
If possible, collect the following information:
- The other driver’s name and insurance information
- Contact information of any witnesses
- Pictures of the crash scene, including the vehicles and your injuries
- The names of the police officers that arrive at the scene
Contact a Reckless Driving Lawyer
While government prosecutors will handle the criminal case against the reckless driver, they will not file a lawsuit demanding damages for the crash victims. To get the compensation you deserve, you will need to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer, like the team at Petro Law Firm.
You only have a limited time to file your injury claims, so don’t delay. Over time, it will become harder to find witnesses to your crash (and memories fade). In other words, you should never hold off on your personal injury claims while the criminal prosecution proceeds.
What Is My Reckless Driving Injury Claim Worth?
To be clear, every injury claim is different. Your claim’s value will depend on many factors, including:
- How serious your injuries are and the extent of your recovery
- How much medical care you need
- Whether you can return to work
- Whether you can live independently
- The extent of your pain and suffering
- The amount of insurance coverage that applies to your claims
For example, you may have multiple insurance claims, depending on how much insurance coverage both you and the negligent driver have. This may include liability insurance, med pay, and uninsured/underinsured motorist claims.
However, there is one special type of damages that is often available in reckless driving cases: punitive damages. Punitive damages do not compensate you for your injuries and losses. Instead, these damages (which must be awarded by a judge or jury) punish the reckless driver for their wildly irresponsible behavior. They are only available in the gravest injury cases, such as reckless driving, drunk driving, and drugged driving claims.
At Petro Law Firm, we always explore the possibility of punitive damages in our clients’ reckless driving claims.
Learn More About What Is Considered Reckless Driving in Alabama
If you have questions about the dangerous conduct of another driver, and want to hold them accountable for your serious injuries, it’s time to call Petro Law Firm. We handle serious personal injury claims throughout Alabama – and we would love to help you understand all of your legal options.
To request a free case evaluation, contact our office today. We will never charge you a fee unless we recover compensation on your behalf.