Reckless driving crashes happen all the time, causing victims to suffer severe or even fatal injuries. These collisions are especially tragic because they are completely preventable. In addition to suffering injuries and other losses, victims must prove liability to recover compensation for their damages.
Anderson & Cummings lends more insight about reckless driving crashes below, including how this behavior can escalate in dangerous ways and what evidence may help prove liability.
Injured in a reckless driving crash you did not cause? Seth Anderson is a leading Fort Worth auto accident lawyer in Texas and a partner at Anderson Cummings. He is a board-certified trial lawyer and has also been distinguished as a Texas Super Lawyer every year since 2013.
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What is Considered Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving is an extremely unsafe behavior that can quickly lead to a crash. Under Texas law, this behavior is defined as the operation of vehicles with a willful disregard for the safety of other persons or property.
There are many types of reckless driving behaviors, but a few of the most common examples include:
- Speeding or going excessively faster than the posted speed limit
- Urban street racing or drag racing for kicks on public roads
- Racing to evade police or engaging in a high-speed vehicle chase
- Weaving dangerously in and out of traffic lanes, typically without properly signaling
- Driving while under the influence of drugs, alcohol or other substances
- Getting behind the wheel and driving while drowsy or fatigued
- Texting and driving or engaging in any type of activity that is distracting
- Tailgating or aggressively driving too close behind a vehicle that is going “too slow”
- Driving too fast for the weather or road conditions, such as icy, wet roads in winter
- Running through red traffic lights or other traffic signs requiring a driver to stop or yield
Why is Reckless Driving So Dangerous?
The reason reckless driving behavior is so dangerous is that it can incite another driver to become angry, which could then lead to road rage. People often think of reckless driving as being the same as road rage, however, these behaviors are not the same.
Road rage takes reckless driving behaviors to another level, putting other people at an even greater risk of a crash.
Road rage that is considered to be aggressive driving behavior may include:
- Cutting in front of a driver and slamming on the brakes
- Using your vehicle as a weapon to cause property or physical harm
- Purposely doing unsafe lane changes
- Firing a weapon at another driver
- Physically assaulting another driver
- Throwing objects at other vehicles
- Speeding up to prevent a driver from merging into a traffic lane
Aggressive driving is defined as behavior that puts others in harm’s way. This is a much more serious offense than reckless driving. Criminal charges can be assessed, along with other penalties and fines.
Is Reckless Driving Illegal in Texas?
Texas does not have a specific law for road rage. However, any type of reckless or aggressive driving behavior can land you in serious legal trouble. If aggressive behavior is especially severe, the at-fault party could face criminal charges.
The penalties for reckless driving, while not as severe as for aggressive driving, could include:
- Fines of up to $200
- Suspended driver’s license
- Community service
- 30 days of jail time
How Do I Prove a Reckless Driving Crash in Texas?
Ideally, you would contact an experienced car accident attorney to manage your case. Proving a case of reckless driving in Texas is extremely difficult and should be handled by a licensed attorney who is familiar with these types of cases.
Considerations Needed to Prove Reckless Driving
In Texas, you must be able to prove that the at-fault driver caused a crash due to more than negligence. You must also be able to establish the at-fault driver:
- Was operating his or her vehicle in a reckless manner
- Knew or should have known that his or her actions were reckless
- Intended to drive recklessly and without consideration for the safety of others
What Evidence Could Help Prove My Case?
There are various types of evidence that could help to support and strengthen your claim of a reckless driving crash.
In a case involving reckless driving, there may be one or more credible witnesses who saw that driver’s behavior and how it led to the crash. For instance, it is hard to miss a driver who deliberately speeds up to enter another lane of traffic and then slams on the brakes.
Whether captured by someone’s smartphone, a traffic camera or a dash camera, having video evidence of events leading up to a crash is difficult to dispute. An example of footage might be a passenger in another lane who filmed someone deliberately driving into another vehicle.
Speedometer or GPS Data
This data can help to show when a driver was excessively speeding. If the driver was speeding in, say, a school zone, he or she would have to know that speeding was reckless and could endanger others.
Calling the police to the scene of a reckless driving crash is highly recommended. First responders are trained to handle all types of traffic incidents, including those involving reckless drivers.
It is worth noting, however, that you do not need to prove reckless driving to recover compensation for your damages. You need only establish that the at-fault driver was negligent in some way. That said, if your attorney proves the at-fault person was intentionally driving recklessly, you may be able to seek punitive damages as well.
Need a Reckless Driving Crash Lawyer? Call Our Firm Today
Our highly trained attorneys at Anderson Cummings are ready to help you recover maximum compensation for your injuries and other losses.
We have been helping accident victims, including those injured in reckless driving crashes, for decades. Our firm has recovered hundreds of millions in compensation to help our clients be able to move forward with their lives. In fact, crash victims who have legal representation are far more likely to recover significant compensation than those who do not.
Contact our law offices as soon as possible. If you have a case, we have the resources and staff to fully investigate your crash and recover evidence that could strengthen your claim.
Learn about your legal options, risk-free. If you choose our firm to represent you, there are also no upfront costs to pay. You cannot call an attorney too soon, as strict deadlines apply to every injury claim.
Anderson & Cummings. Experienced Lawyers. Proven Results. Call: (817) 920-9000 today.