Sacramento Reckless Driving Accident Attorneys
While it is true that driving can be fun, it is also a responsibility, one that must be taken seriously at all times. A reckless driver is a driver that flouts the law and turns the road into a danger zone. Sound like an exaggeration? Consider that according to numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2018, at least 33 percent of all serious car accidents happen as a result of reckless driving. Reckless drivers are putting your safety, even your life, on the line for a cheap thrill or to get to their destination five minutes faster.
At Tiemann Law Firm, we are deeply committed to holding reckless drivers accountable and making sure the victims they hurt can get the full and fair compensation that they are entitled to after an accident. Our skilled Sacramento legal team can review the circumstances of your accident and advise you on the best option for a positive outcome. If you or someone you care about has been hurt by a reckless driver in Sacramento or the surrounding area, contact us today at (916) 999-9000 for a free case evaluation.
What is Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving isn’t just a term that describes irresponsible behavior behind the wheel. It is actually a criminally defined offense in the state of California. California Vehicle Code 23103 VC defines a reckless driver as any individual who drives a vehicle with willful disregard for the safety of other drivers and property. The term is fairly broad in scope and may be applied to a wide variety of unsafe driving behaviors. Some of the most common examples of reckless driving behaviors include:
- Failing to obey posted traffic signs or lights
- Operating a vehicle on sidewalks or other areas not designated for motor vehicle use
- Making unsafe lane changes
- Tailgating or “brake checking” other vehicles
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Blocking cars from changing lanes
- Driving the wrong way in a traffic lane
- Street racing
Reckless driving is a misdemeanor offense and can be criminally punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of at least $145.00. Fines for reckless driving offenses can reach up to $1,000, depending on the nature of the offense. When reckless driving results in an accident with injuries, an individual may face 30 days to six months in jail and/or fines of $200 up to $1,000. If a reckless driver causes a serious injury, such as bone fractures, concussion, brain injury, or paralysis, a judge may opt to increase the offense to the level of a felony and impose more severe penalties. These penalties can range from 16 months in jail to three years in prison.
Reckless driving isn’t all “fun and games.” It isn’t about showing off or getting to a destination sooner. It is a dangerous behavior that can end up costing people their lives. California takes reckless driving seriously, and victims whose lives have been changed by a reckless driver deserve full and fair compensation to cover their injuries and time missed from work. The legal team at Tiemann Law Firm is committed to helping victims of reckless driving understand their legal rights and hold reckless individuals accountable for their reckless actions.
Injuries Associated with Reckless Driving
Reckless driving encompasses a wide variety of dangerous driving behaviors; therefore, the types of injuries that these accidents cause vary. The one consistent factor is that reckless driving puts lives at risk and has sometimes irreversible and life-altering consequences. Some of the more common injuries that have been associated with reckless driving incidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Facial injuries
- Dental injuries
- Head, neck, and spine injuries
- Crushed ribs
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Fractured bones
- Road rash
- Wrongful death
Injuries from a reckless driving accident can take a significant amount of time to heal, meaning you may miss work and the paychecks that work provides. This can put an even greater strain on a victim, giving them stress, anxiety, and hindering their full recovery. Financial instability after a serious accident is a real and valid concern. With the help and advice of an experienced Sacramento attorney, victims can learn about all the ways they may be able to seek the maximum amount of compensation to cover the cost of their injuries and suffering.
Insurance companies are looking out for their bottom line, which can mean it isn’t in their best interest to offer an accident victim everything they are entitled to. Working with a reckless driving attorney from Tiemann Law Firm means that victims have someone in their corner that can hold irresponsible individuals accountable and negotiate with insurance companies for a full and fair amount of compensation.
Compensation You May be Entitled to Following an Accident
When a victim is involved in an accident with a reckless driver, they may have a variety of options open to them for pursuing compensation for their injuries. The state of California is a “fault” state, which means that drivers responsible for causing accidents are also responsible for the financial repercussions of the accident. Typically, in a fault state, a victim may be able to pursue recovering compensation through the following means:
- By filing a claim with the reckless driver’s insurance company
- By filing a claim through their own insurance company
- By filing a personal injury lawsuit against the reckless driver
These avenues may be used to pursue compensation, but they do not give victims an idea of how much compensation they may be entitled to. That is calculated under California’s “pure comparative negligence” system. This system is used to help both the courts and insurance companies determine how much compensation a victim may be able to recover following an accident. It works by assigning responsibility for the accident to each driver involved. It is this percentage of liability for the accident that will then be used to determine how much of the total amount of damages each party is eligible to receive.
For example, a reckless driver could be assigned 90 percent of the blame for causing a serious accident. However, if the other driver was distracted or slightly speeding, they are liable for 10 percent of the accident. That non-reckless driver would then be allowed to recover the total amount of damages, minus 10 percent. If damages totaled $100,000, then they could collect $90,000.
In a pure comparative negligence state, the driver that was most responsible for causing the accident is also allowed to collect damages, but since in this scenario they were 90 percent to blame, they would only be allowed to collect $10,000. That is the total amount of damages minus 90 percent. It is important to remember that even though the reckless driver in this example is allowed to collect compensation, they or their insurance company are still responsible for paying $90,000 to the victim of the accident.
As for determining what the total amount of damages comes to, most victims are allowed to recover both economic and non-economic damages after a crash. Economic damages are calculated by totaling measurable losses such as medical bills, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, and property damage. These items have a value that can be tabulated fairly easily with pay stubs, receipts, and bills as guidance.
Non-economic damages are more subjective because they involve estimating the value of things like emotional distress and permanent changes to an individual’s quality of life. Non-economic damages may cover things like disfigurement, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering, to name a few.
It is valuable for victims to seek the advice and guidance of an experienced Sacramento car accident attorney because an attorney is able to review the specific circumstances of an individual case and ascertain which option for pursuing compensation is the best fit. Once that is determined, an attorney can either help prepare a solid and compelling case for the courtroom or can present evidence to an insurance company and aggressively negotiate for a full compensation package to cover a victim’s losses.
Having a skilled attorney is the key to having the best chance at recovering the maximum amount of compensation you may be due after an accident with a reckless driver.
Contact an Attorney Experienced in Handing Reckless Driving Cases
Being involved in an accident with a reckless driver is traumatizing. Reckless drivers may even try to deflect the blame onto you, the victim because they are afraid of accepting the consequences for their dangerous and illegal actions. You need to have someone on your side to advocate for you, investigate the accident, and hold the reckless driver responsible.
That means contacting an experienced Sacramento car accident attorney as soon as possible. Having an attorney on your side means a reckless driver is less likely to talk their way out of the repercussions of their actions and gives you the best chance at recovering full and fair compensation.
If you have been hurt in an accident and a reckless driver was to blame, contact the legal team at Tiemann Law Firm for legal advice on your situation. At Tiemann Law Firm we want to respond immediately to your call for help and begin work on collecting evidence and safeguarding your rights. Call us today at (916) 999-9000 to schedule your free case evaluation.