Reckless driving in Florida is a crime and is the cause of many traffic accidents. Florida statute 316.192 states that if a driver is found guilty of operating a motor vehicle in a manner that “demonstrates a willful or wanton disregard for safety,” they can face misdemeanor or felony charges depending on whether or not the accident resulted in serious bodily injury. The law requires drivers to use caution when they’re behind the wheel and to use reasonable care to keep others safe on the road. When drivers are reckless, accidents can occur and result in serious or fatal injuries. If you or a loved one suffered injuries from a reckless driver, you may be able to file a personal injury claim and recover damages.
Reckless Driving Dangers
Reckless drivers increase the risk of accidents and put other drivers at risk for serious injuries. A reckless driver shows no regard for the safety of others and purposely acts in a way that is dangerous. Reckless driving is considered to be any of the following:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Speeding or not obeying traffic signals or signs
- Racing other vehicles
- Tailgating another vehicle
- Erratically changing lanes or passing other vehicles
- Not stopping when a school bus is loading or unloading passengers
- Texting and driving
- Driving while eating, drinking, or being distracted in any way that takes your attention away from the road
In addition, if a driver flees law enforcement in a motor vehicle, this is also considered reckless driving since it puts everyone on the road in danger.
When You’re Injured by a Reckless Driver
If a driver is being reckless and causes an accident, serious and sometimes fatal injuries can result. After an accident involving a reckless driver, it is important to seek immediate medical attention for any injuries, even if they seem minor. If you suffered injuries from the accident and received treatment, it is important to keep copies of all medical reports and bills. If the police were called to the accident scene, you should get a copy of the police report that will detail the specifics of the accident. If possible, gather evidence from the scene, collect contact information for any witnesses and other drivers involved, and take photos of your vehicle.
How an Attorney Can Help
If you’re injured in a reckless driving accident, it’s important to contact a Florida car accident attorney. They can help determine if you have a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. Following the accident, you may be contacted by insurance adjusters who will want to settle your case as fast as possible and often for the least amount of money. You are not obligated to speak to them, and if you have an attorney, they will speak for you. Having legal representation will ensure that you have an advocate on your side to negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf.
The at-fault driver may face criminal charges for their reckless driving and be charged for their crime. These charges will only address the criminal part of the case and not your personal injuries. Even if criminal charges are filed, you may still want to pursue a civil personal injury case to recover for personal damages that resulted from the accident. An attorney will help navigate the legal process and ensure that you get the fair and full amount of compensation you deserve.
If the reckless driver is found liable for your injuries, you may be entitled to recover compensation for the following:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Out-of-pocket costs
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a reckless driver, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. As a former Florida Highway Patrol State Trooper, Attorney Coy Browning has the experience needed to investigate your case and get you fair compensation. Contact Browning Law Firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation by filling out our contact form or calling us at 850-344-1736.