Victims of reckless driving accidents may suffer injuries and multiple damages, particularly to their finances, if they have to undergo extensive medical treatment. If you were injured in an accident caused by a reckless driver, a New York reckless driving accident lawyer may help you file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Morelli Law Firm wants to help you recover the damages you suffered in the accident. Call a New York car accident attorney at (212) 751-9800 to learn more about how you might be eligible to pursue compensation for your losses.
Reckless Driving Is a Public Safety Concern
Reckless driving can cause severe injury to pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists. In tragic cases, it can also result in death.
Causes of Reckless Driving
Many motor vehicle accidents are simply caused by negligence or carelessness. Drivers might have many thoughts going through their minds while driving or might be influenced by other factors, such as alcohol or road distractions.
In some instances, a driver intentionally partakes in behavior that increases the likelihood of injuring someone. They might speed to get to their destination faster, or they might succumb to road rage and start driving aggressively on the road.
The Huffington Post reports listed reckless driving as one of the top 15 causes of car accidents in the United States. According to their definition, reckless driving may be considered as speeding, tailgating, or swerving in between lanes too quickly. However, reckless driving can be defined more specifically.
Defining Reckless Driving
The New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VAT) §1212 defines reckless driving as “driving or using any motor vehicle [or] motorcycle … in a manner which unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway, or unreasonably endangers users of the public highway.” It also prohibits reckless driving in the state.
The word “reckless” describes the conscious disregard for an unjustifiable and substantial risk of injury, harm, or other negative consequences. It involves more than straightforward forms of negligence. Reckless driving entails a severe deviation from how a reasonable person would behave in a particular situation.
Recklessness is intentionally defined broadly due to various important factors. It is meant to cover a broad range of conduct. By having a broad definition, reckless driving can be applied to many different types of conduct. This definition also gives law enforcement and the legal system a reasonable amount of discretion in determining what behaviors can be deemed reckless.
A number of factors are considered when determining whether a given action is considered reckless. These factors include:
- What time of day the action occurred
- How familiar the driver is with the immediate area
- The road and weather conditions
- Whether pedestrians, motorists, or animals were present
Common Behaviors that Constitute Reckless Driving
Reckless driving has a degree of subjectivity, in that its definition is not well defined. However, some driving behaviors are generally considered to be reckless. These actions include driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, racing, and speeding. Yet, even these cases depend on their particular circumstances before being deemed reckless.
Reckless driving may include dangerous behaviors, such as:
- Driving with an exorbitant number of passengers
- Changing lanes abruptly
- Ignoring stop signs or traffic signals
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Racing with other vehicles
- Speeding excessively
- Tailgating other vehicles
- Driving while distracted
- Passing a school bus that is unloading or loading passengers
- Driving while experiencing fatigue
- Driving into a crowd of people
- Texting while driving
- Failing to pull over for emergency vehicles
- Failing to merge safely and at the appropriate time
The legal system will determine whether a driver’s behavior was reckless by examining the driver’s conduct and factoring in whether the driver showed sufficient disregard for others’ safety. A New York reckless driving accident lawyer can help you navigate these complexities. Call Morelli Law Firm at (212) 751-9800 to have a lawyer start working on your case.
Reckless Driving by Teenagers
Young drivers tend to engage in riskier driving behaviors compared to older drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teenagers aged between 15 and 19 represent a mere 6.5% of people in the United States. However, injuries involving teen drivers account for eight percent of the total cost of injuries sustained by drivers and pedestrians in the United States. This disproportionate aspect makes teenagers a particular danger on the road for reckless driving.
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Reckless Driving Can Cause Severe Injuries to Victims
Reckless driving is not a new behavior exhibited by drivers on the road. It has been one of the leading causes of accidents in New York for years. This fact led the New York City Council to introduce the Reckless Driver Accountability Act, which serves to strengthen punishments for reckless driving.
There is no denying the dangers of reckless driving. Likewise, reckless driving is a serious offense. When drivers exhibit a conscious disregard for other drivers on the road, the results can be devastating for victims and their families who are involved in a serious collision. A victim of a reckless driving accident may suffer injuries, such as:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or concussions
- Spinal injuries, such as a herniated disc
- Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries
- Internal organ injuries or bleeding
In addition to these serious physical injuries, reckless driving can also cause other forms of damage to victims. A victim may be unable to live according to the way they did prior to their accident. They may suffer a long-term disability that affects their daily activities and life. A reckless driving accident may also affect a victim’s ability to work and provide for their family.
Compensation Available for Reckless Driving Injuries
Victims of a reckless driving accident may be able to seek compensation to recover their damages. While compensation for victims will depend on the individual details of their case, forms of compensation that might be available include:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages and future loss of income
- Medical expenses
- Mental anguish
- Repair or replacement costs of their vehicle
Start Working with a New York Reckless Driving Accident Lawyer Today
If you were injured in a reckless driving accident, you might be entitled to collect financial compensation. Contact a NYC personal injury lawyer at Morelli Law Firm at (212) 751-9800 for a free case evaluation.