Personal Injury Attorneys » Car Accident Attorneys » Types of Auto Accident Claims » Types Of Auto Accident Claims: Reckless Driver
A person on their cellphone behind the wheel as an example of reckless driving.

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    Reckless driving covers multiple actions taken by drivers while operating a motor vehicle. It also includes a driver’s failure to take appropriate actions, such as using their turn signal to indicate their intentions.

    U.S. traffic accidents caused more than 36,000 deaths and injured more than 2.74 million people in 2019. Speeding, which is considered reckless driving, was the leading cause of traffic fatalities. While speeding was a factor in 17.2% of fatal accidents in 2019, from 2003 to 2007, reckless driving contributed to 56% of traffic accidents with fatalities.

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    What is reckless driving? 

    Reckless driving is any action or inaction that jeopardizes property or the safety of others. The following are examples of reckless driving:

    • Disregarding warnings on vehicles
    • Driving in the ditch
    • Driving on the median strip
    • Driving on the shoulder
    • Driving on the sidewalk
    • Erratically changing lanes
    • Erratically changing speeds
    • Ignoring directions from emergency personnel
    • Ignoring traffic signs or lights
    • Illegal passing
    • Not yielding to the driver with right of way
    • Speeding
    • Street racing
    • Tailgating
    • Turning from the wrong lane
    • Turning without signaling
    • Weaving in and out of lanes

    Any action or inaction involving negligence or reckless behavior can qualify as reckless driving. 

    Is road rage reckless driving? 

    When one driver causes another to become angry, they may exhibit symptoms of road rage. Angry drivers often engage in reckless driving, such as tailgating vehicles or passing on the shoulder. In these cases, road rage is considered reckless driving, and the driver can be charged.

    Common reckless driving injuries 

    Victims of reckless driving accidents may suffer bodily injuries. Reckless driving accidents are dangerous and more likely to cause severe injuries because speed is often a factor. Reckless driving accident victims can suffer the following injuries:

    • Amputation: Impact with an object could sever a limb, resulting in amputation
    • Back injuries: Back injuries could include muscle tears, soft tissue damage, or damaged discs
    • Bone fractures: Impact with another vehicle or the seats, steering wheel, or dashboard in your vehicle can cause partial or complete bone fractures
    • Burns: Some vehicles catch fire after an accident, creating the risk of burns from exposure to flames or hot metal
    • Eye injuries: Your eyes could be damaged if a foreign object strikes them or chemicals enter your eyes during an accident
    • Facial injuries: Facial injuries include scars and burns. These injuries are distinct because people are more likely to consider surgery to reduce scarring. 
    • Internal bleeding: A blow can cause organ damage, resulting in internal bleeding 
    • Lacerations: Twisted metal or broken glass can cut your skin in a car accident
    • Scars: Accident victims may have scars on any part of their body impacted during the crash
    • Soft tissue injuries: Soft tissue injuries include whiplash
    • Spinal cord injuries (SCIs): SCIs involve damage to the spinal column. Severe SCIs can cause paralysis. SCIs can also cause temporary paralysis and nerve damage. 
    • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): TBIs include severe, permanent brain injuries and mild brain injuries that heal. A concussion is a typical example of a TBI.

    Penalties for the reckless driver

    The state where the accident occurred determines the consequences of reckless driving. Nevada Statute NRS 484B.653 outlines the penalties for reckless driving in the Silver State. First-time offenders could be sentenced to six months in jail and fined up to $1,000. The court also revokes the driver’s driving privileges for up to two years. 

    However, the penalties differ if the reckless driver was speeding or involved in street racing. In addition to the fine and jail time, these drivers may be ordered to perform community service. Community service sentences range from 100 to 199 hours. 

    Fines increase with subsequent offenses to a maximum of $2,000.

    Determining if reckless driving contributed to your accident

    It’s natural to feel disoriented after a car accident, and you may need a clearer picture of all the factors that contributed to the accident. A police investigation can help confirm who was at fault and whether careless or negligent behavior was a factor. 

    Hiring a personal injury attorney can also confirm whether you were the victim of a reckless driver. Your attorney will review dash cams, security cameras, and personal videos of the crash. They’ll interview witnesses, and they’ll also review accident scene photos. Their investigation can help confirm who was at fault and factors that contributed to the accident, such as whether you were the victim of a reckless driver.

    What should I do if I was hit by a reckless driver? 

    Contacting an injury attorney after any traffic accident is a good idea. Our car accident attorneys offer free consultations so you can confirm your legal rights from the accident scene. We will advise you about what you should and should not do at the scene and how to proceed afterward.

    Using your smartphone to gather information at the scene is a good idea. Take videos and pictures of the scene. Gather contact information for witnesses and note any traffic or security cameras in the area. 

    You should also seek medical attention. Some accident injuries, such as whiplash, may not show symptoms for days. You may also not realize you have a partial fracture or internal bleeding. A comprehensive medical evaluation to confirm accident injuries is essential.

    How much is my case worth? 

    The amount of damages you could receive from a reckless driving case depends on the accident’s severity and your prognosis. Suppose the accident totaled your vehicle. You will receive more compensation than a person whose vehicle received minor damage. 

    Some people have higher costs associated with their accidents. A single person doesn’t have to worry about paying for childcare, but a person with children and an older parent to care for may have childcare and home care costs. 

    Individuals with severe, life-altering injuries may also receive more compensation. Permanent injuries, such as amputation, paralysis, or TBIs, could justify higher settlements. 

    Types of compensation for reckless driving injuries

    Accident victims can seek compensation for their accident-related expenses. This type of compensation is known as economic damages and includes reimbursement for costs such as the following:

    • Auto repair or replacement costs
    • Childcare bills
    • Job retraining
    • Medical expenses
    • Transit fees

    Accident victims can also ask for compensation for how their accident has affected their lives. Non-economic damages include compensation for the following:

    • Grief
    • Loss of companionship
    • Pain and suffering

    Accident victims may also have grounds to seek punitive damages. The at-fault party may be ordered to pay punitive damages if their behavior demonstrated “wanton disregard” for people’s safety. This means they knew their actions or inactions were dangerous and chose to engage in dangerous conduct anyway.

    Time limit for filing a reckless driving lawsuit in Nevada

    Nevada statutes limit personal injury victims to two years to file a lawsuit. The allotted time begins on the date the incident occurred.

    How long does it take to reach a settlement and get payment?

    A settlement is an agreement reached between you and the at-fault party. Since it takes time to investigate accidents and gather evidence, most people reach a settlement between one to two years after their accident. 

    Cases that go to trial result in a judgment. Although it’s common for parties to settle without going to trial, you can expect it to take over two years to receive a judgment. 

    How a personal injury attorney can help

    Our personal injury attorneys provide crucial legal counsel after an accident. We will clarify your rights, answer questions, and ensure you take the appropriate steps after your accident. Our attorneys will prepare and file legal documents so your case proceeds, and we’ll gather evidence to support your claim. Our injury lawyers can also help you determine how much compensation to seek, and we’ll handle settlement negotiations with the at-fault party.

    Contact a reckless driving car accident lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada

    A car accident lawyer sitting at her desk. On her desk is the scales of justice and a gavel.

    Our reckless car accident lawyers understand the pain and trauma of being in a car accident. We’ll guide you through the essential steps from the accident scene to the moment you receive your settlement. Call 702-382-0000 to speak to one of our attorneys. We’ll help you through the legal process and use our expertise to fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve.

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    Adam S. Kutner is a top 100 trial lawyer with 33 years’ experience and expertise that will benefit you

    Call us at (702) 382-0000 anytime to schedule a free consultation. We will work to get you the maximum settlement as quickly as possible so you can move forward on your healing journey.

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      Adam S. Kutner - Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer
      Adam S. Kutner
      PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER

      With more than 33 years of experience fighting for victims of personal injury in the Las Vegas Valley, attorney Adam S. Kutner knows his way around the Nevada court system and how to get clients their settlement promptly and trouble-free.