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Advocating for Reckless Driving Accident Victims
Reckless driving is a serious problem in many places in the US, not just in South Carolina. In SC, this is a criminal offense, and those who injure others when they are driving in this manner are liable for the accidents that they cause. Penalties can be increased when other factors are present, like alcohol.
Generally, reckless driving goes beyond mere negligence in operating a motor vehicle. This type of driving behavior poses a serious threat to other people on the roadways.
If you have been hurt by someone who was driving recklessly, you need to secure a skilled personal injury lawyer right away to help with your case. You are entitled to compensation for your injuries, and you will likely be able to add pain and suffering compensation to your demands as well. Having a skilled lawyer working on your behalf can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
Attorney Allen is a former insurance defense lawyer who has six years of experience in how the “other side” operates. This inside knowledge gives us an advantage for our clients in personal injury matters. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay us no fees until we recover compensation for you. If you have been injured through the actions of another, call Allen Law at (843) 882-5005 to schedule a free consultation with no time limit.
As a smaller client-focused firm, we treat clients as real people — not file numbers”
- Julian Allen
What Driving Behaviors Constitute Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving can be defined as driving with willful or wanton disregard for safety or showing a willful disregard of consequences. It is a misdemeanor offense in South Carolina, punishable by a jail sentence of up to 30 days and a fine of up to $200, under S.C. Code Ann. Section 56-5-2920. In this context, willful means acting deliberately, and wanton means unruly, without checks or limitations.
In short, a reckless driver knows that what they are doing is wrong and dangerous, and they do not care. Examples would be a reckless driver with a history of DUIs driving drunk again or someone who is racing cars or driving aggressively intentionally. Examples of reckless driving include:
This kind of reckless driving causes about 1,000 deaths a year in South Carolina. Speed is almost always a significant factor in deadly crashes and speeding can be the main way that reckless drivers hurt others that are on the road with them. Road or weather conditions can also impact the recklessness of speeding in some situations.
This aggressive driving behavior causes many accidents each year and this can lead to multi-car pile ups. This is a driving tactic that is meant to scare and intimidate other drivers on the road and it can lead to incorrect driving behavior on the part of the bullied drivers as well.
- Cutting In and Out of Traffic
This is one of the most dangerous forms of reckless driving that can happen on the freeway, and it can lead to significant accidents. Like tailgating, driving without a thought to the visibility of your vehicle and intimidating other drivers can lead to serious accidents.
Racing is one of the worst reckless driving offenses, and it comes with serious fines, even for a first offense. High-speed accidents can be deadly, and they can impact lots of other vehicles on the road as well.
- Running Red Lights and Stop Signs
Traffic controls are in place for driver safety, so when a car does not follow the rules of the road, everyone around them can be impacted. Running through red lights or stop signs is not as serious an offense as racing or tailgating, but it can still cause significant harm to other drivers.
- Driving impaired from alcohol or drugs
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause reflexes and cognitive abilities to be too reduced to respond to the road or other drivers around you. This kind of charge has tiers related to the number of offenses in this category, and subsequent infractions can lead to jail time.
- Road Rage
One of the most dangerous kinds of reckless driving, this kind of infraction happens when someone uses their vehicle like a weapon. Road rage is treated very seriously in South Carolina because it can lead to significant crashes that involve major injuries.
Some other examples include:
- Passing on the shoulder
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Turning without signaling
- Wrong way driving
- Making illegal U-turns
- Driving over the median
- Making abrupt stops
- Texting while driving
- Exceeding the posted speed limit in school zones or work zones
What Types of Injuries Can Reckless Driving Cause?
Reckless driving can lead to deadly head-on, T-bone, side-swipe, or rear-end collisions, causing serious or fatal injuries. Reckless driving accidents often happen at high speeds, with a greater force of impact and more severe injuries.
The compensation for these kinds of injuries needs to be taken into consideration your ability to continue to work after you have recovered from your injuries, the size of your medical debt related to the accident, and the pain and suffering related to the accident. These considerations are commonly all tied together into large compensation demands. There is usually a lot of personal and property damage associated with these accidents, and you should not settle for less than the full compensation demand you are due.
Types of injuries frequently sustained in reckless driving crashes include:
- Fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injury leading to paralysis
- Severe back and neck injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
What Can You Do to Avoid Reckless Drivers on the Roadways?
Aggressive driving is more common in congested traffic areas. To stay safe, you need to remain constantly aware of driving behavior around you. To avoid reckless drivers:
- Stay focused on driving and concentrate on the road ahead: Do not text or talk on the phone until you reach your destination and stop your car.
- Stick to the speed limit: Speeding is a leading contributing factor to motor vehicle accidents. The faster your vehicle is traveling, the less time you must stop or slow down to avoid a collision and the greater the impact in a crash.
- Do not tailgate: At a minimum, you should leave enough room between your vehicle and the one ahead to see its tires. If you fail to allow enough distance and the driver ahead stops abruptly, you could be involved in a rear-end collision.
- Remember to signal: The more notice you give other drivers of where you intend to go, the safer you are likely to be.
- Be considerate of other drivers: Get out of the way of drivers who seem desperate to go somewhere. If a driver is trying to get over, fall back or speed up to make room. Not only is it polite, but it can also help keep you safe.
- Put as much distance as you can between your vehicle and aggressive drivers: This is the best way to keep yourself and your passengers safe when a driver is acting aggressively.
Who May Be Liable for a Reckless Driving Accident?
If a reckless driver caused your accident and injuries, that driver may be held liable. In some cases, there may be other potentially liable parties, such as an employer, if the driver who hit you was driving on the job, or a mechanic who contributed to the crash through faulty repairs.
No matter how severe your injuries are related to a Charleston reckless driving accident, you will want to work with a skilled lawyer. People who engage in reckless driving should not be allowed to continue to drive without this offense on their record, and you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. Make sure that you are working with a lawyer who has a lot of experience in these cases so that you can get the full award that you are due.
Our Charleston auto accident lawyers at Allen Law can investigate your accident to determine who was at fault and aggressively pursue the compensation you are entitled to receive. Call us to schedule a free consultation at (843) 882-5005.