Reckless driving is a serious problem here in Texas. Defined by the law as acting with a “willful or wanton disregard” for the safety of other people or property while driving a vehicle, it is a criminal offense here in Texas. For the victims of a reckless driver, though, a criminal charge won’t help pay for the medical bills or the damage or destruction to the vehicle or personal property. A personal injury lawsuit is often the only way that victims can receive financial compensation.
Here’s what you should know about reckless driving accidents, including how they happen, what to do after an accident, and how to get legal help.
Texas Reckless Driving Facts
There were over 14,000 accidents that resulted in serious injuries in 2017, according to the latest statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation, and nearly 3,800 traffic fatalities, as well. Acts that could be construed as reckless driving were responsible for many of these accidents, including:
- Excess speeding or illegal racing with other cars
- Attempting to flee or evade law enforcement
- Running a red light or failure to stop at a stop sign
- Intentional failure to yield to other cars or pedestrians
- Failure to stop for a school bus during loading or unloading
- Texting while driving
- Failure to use appropriate turn signals or hand signals
Broadly, any time a driver willfully acts in such as way that does not include maintaining proper control of a motor vehicle, it may be construed as reckless driving and result in an arrest, especially if there is an injury or property damage occurs. Driving under the influence (DUI or DWI) can also result in reckless driving, and there are many situations when a drunk driver can be charged with both DWI and reckless driving at the same time.
What to Do After an Accident With a Reckless Driver
If anyone has been hurt or there is any property damage involved, be sure to call the police or 911 immediately. Do not leave the scene of the accident, even if the other driver flees, though you can get to a safe location if you are at risk of further injury due to other traffic or hazards nearby.
Make sure that you are able to get the contact and insurance information from the other party. The responding law enforcement agency may be able to help with this if you are afraid or unable to make contact with the other driver. If you are able to safely take pictures of the scene with a camera or your smartphone, be sure to take as much photographic evidence as you can, including the damage to the vehicles, injuries to your or your passengers, license plates, and any nearby street signs, landmarks, traffic devices, or other relevant information. Reach out to any witnesses nearby for contact information, as well, as their testimony could help you in court.
Once you are safe and secure and have been treated for your injuries, a personal injury attorney can help you start the process of financial recovery. If the other driver was insured, starting with an insurance claim against the responsible driver’s insurance is usually where to begin. If the other driver wasn’t insured, you may need to rely on your own uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance coverage. At this point, you should talk to your attorney about the possibility of a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver, as well. Your attorney will advise you of what your legal options are and help you proceed with the recovery process.
Get Legal Help Today
The attorneys at Wayne Wright LLP have been standing up for the rights of those who have been injured by the recklessness, carelessness, and negligence of bad drivers for decades, and we want to help you get the compensation that you deserve in a court of law. To talk with an experienced legal professional about your accident situation, call us by phone today, use our online contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page now and arrange a free, no-obligation consultation right away.