Reckless driving is described under Section 1212 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law as a driver operating any vehicle in a manner that interferes with the public usage and safety of roadways and highways. Reckless driving is banned in New York and can be charged with multiple moving traffic violations, such as vehicular manslaughter, endangerment, and speeding. It can also be charged with a misdemeanor.
Reckless drivers are often said to have a personality that does not shy away from risk taking. They display a blatant disregard for the life and safety of fellow passengers and others on the road. Reckless driving often results in personal injury and even wrongful death. Such drivers can make you overcompensate by forcing you off the road and into a crash. They may act aggressively which may cause a traffic accident.
Reckless drivers are serious offenders and a huge threat to the life and safety of pedestrians and other drivers. You deserve compensation if you have met with an accident due to someone else’s reckless driving.
Severity of Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is an extreme traffic violation and a major driving offense in New York State and the rest of the nation. It goes by various names – driving without due care, careless driving and improper driving. Reckless driving is worse than negligent driving since it involves a severe disregard for rules, including ignoring other automobiles on the road and disobeying traffic devices.
Conviction for these offences is not justified by an error of judgment alone as with negligence. For instance, a motorist making an improper turn without realizing is very different from a driver jumping a red traffic signal into oncoming traffic intentionally.
Reckless driving involves an intentional disregard or indifference to the consequences of careless actions. Courts have ruled that actions of a reckless motorist may constitute gross or culpable negligence.
Traffic Accidents Due to Speeding in NY
1 out of every 3 fatal crashes, as per the National Safety Council, is due to speeding above the posted speed limit. Speeding is also the third leading cause of all accidents. Anyone can be injured by a motorist if they are racing, excessively speeding, or driving faster than what prevailing weather conditions permit. Safety regulations and speed limits are there to protect construction workers, drivers, school zones, and neighborhood residents.
Therefore, it is important to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible if you were in an accident because the driver was speeding. Traffic crash or collision can easily result in lost wages, long-lasting injuries, costly vehicular repairs, and emotional trauma. You have a right to compensation for your losses and injuries if you were in an accident because someone else was speeding.
Injuries Caused by Reckless or Careless Driving
New York drivers are constantly under a lot of stress and at the end of their patience from congested roadways and other issues. This easily leads to cutting corners and reckless driving. However, careless drivers often place themselves and others at risk of serious life-threatening injuries with their driving.
Victims can suffer multiple injuries depending on the severity of accident. Few of these are:
- Loss of vision
- Head and traumatic brain injuries
- Limb loss or amputation
- Neck and back injuries
- Burn injuries
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries at the hands of a reckless driver, you may have the right to file a lawsuit that will allow you to recover monetary damages.
Reckless Driving Compensation
Reckless motorists can cause life-altering injuries which can lead to unanticipated and unfair financial burdens. People that are injured by careless drivers on the road have the right to file a lawsuit to claim financial damages. This can be for the injuries they suffered and damage to their automobile among other losses.
It is recommended that you consult with a highly experienced and top rated personal injury attorney in Buffalo, NY if you have recently been the victim of a reckless driving accident. A knowledgeable attorney shall know the unique laws surrounding reckless driving vehicular accidents and help you understand your compensation rights.
They may be able to help you acquire adequate compensation for:
- Lost wages and future loss of income
- Medical expenses
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Burial and funeral expenses (if the accident caused a wrongful death)
The amount and kind of compensation awarded depends on individual situations. It is important to note that insurance companies try to pay the least compensation possible. You may end up getting far less than what you rightfully deserve if you face insurance companies alone or settle without the help of an experienced attorney. You need to have a capable reckless driving accident attorney in New York if you were recently in an accident caused by a reckless driver.
Insurance Company Settlements
Insurance companies during settlement talks designate the driver (insured) as a reckless operator. This can help towards fast-tracking your lawsuit or claim. Insurance companies typically try avoiding courtroom scenes that may expose the horrid and reckless behavior of the insured in court because it may lead to excess liability exposure and a high amount judgment.
To prevent this from happening, most insurance companies try settling out of court. This allows for easier negotiations, minimal liability discussions and eventually higher settlements.
Types of Recoverable Damages in Reckless Driving
There are two major types of recoverable damages.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages
Most injury settlements tend to include a monetary amount to reimburse the victim’s therapy costs, medical bills, lost wages, and all other calculable losses because of the accident. These are called economic damages and are easily provable through bills, employer documentation and receipts.
However, non-economic damages are a whole different story and may present a tough challenge to establish. You need to prove loss of consortium, pain and suffering, and other vague challenges and damages based on psychological and emotional issues as a direct result of the accident.
Punitive or Exemplary Damages
Punitive damages are awarded by courts when it is proved that the defendant acted in a manner which is worthy of punishment. For reckless driving convictions, proving that the motorist indulged in dangerous driving behavior is usually enough.
You may be able to receive punitive damages if you prove that the motorist acted wantonly or willfully in a criminally negligent manner.
What to Do When You Spot Reckless Driving in New York?
You cannot alter the behavior of another driver even if they are driving recklessly. However, you can take steps to protect yourself and keep your passengers safe.
- Don’t engage with the other driver. You should not succumb to the temptation of blocking their way so that they cannot pass you or make hand gestures that might incite anger. Road rage can cause the other driver to act even more recklessly and dangerously. They may choose to follow you until you stop somewhere and then attack you physically. Instead, allow the reckless driver to pass and continue driving as you normally would.
- Try getting out of the way if it is possible. You can always pull off the road and wait for the other driver to pass. This will decrease the odds of you getting into an accident or injuring yourself. Try moving your vehicle to a safe location if you believe that the reckless driver is getting enraged. Never get out of the car until help has arrived or the driver has moved on.
- Call 911 immediately after pulling into a safe location if you believe that the other driver’s reckless behavior is not going to stop anytime soon and may cause an accident. You can also have one of the other passengers make the 911 call. Report the license plate number, make and model of the car along with your current location. The police will take care of the reckless driver.
Were You In a Reckless Driving Accident?
It is possible that you are feeling a bit confused after a reckless driving accident. You may not know whom to trust or where to turn to. At this juncture of your life, it’s critical that you consult with a lawyer who is experienced enough to aggressively represent your case.
When you work with Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP you get skilled attorneys on your team and a law firm that is almost a century old. Above all, you get the best representation you deserve and may acquire the highest compensation. Accidents can be scary, but with the right legal representation you do not have to face the aftermath on your own.
Consult a NYC Reckless Driving Injury Attorney
When it comes to filing lawsuits for reckless driving, it is imperative that you act quickly and get in touch with the experienced personal injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP. The sooner you contact our office, the sooner we can begin accumulating evidence and filing the lawsuit.
Do you doubt your eligibility to file a reckless driving claim? We offer free case consultations to all our clients. Do not hesitate in aligning yourself with our firm today. Give us a call at (347) 504-1246 to speak to a capable and skilled New York City injury attorney.