Orange County Reckless Driving Accident Lawyer
Table Of Contents
Orange County roadways can be treacherous. Heavy traffic, tight spaces, and rush hour bustle lead to thousands of accidents. Reckless drivers add to the mayhem by intentionally disregarding the principles of safe vehicle operation, traffic regulations, and common sense.
What Is Considered Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving goes beyond the standard definition of negligence that guides most personal injury claims. In the legal sense, negligence means a person caused an accident through a lapse in attention or judgment. Because of this error, an injury occurred. Negligence has nothing to do with intent. Drivers who bear the liability for most accidents never intend to do something wrong or illegal.
For instance, a driver may misjudge the speed of oncoming traffic and turn too soon, resulting in a collision. Under this circumstance, the driver was negligent but not reckless. Reckless drivers consciously do something wrong. They know they are driving in a manner that endangers themselves and others. Their deliberate disregard for safety places them in criminal jeopardy and can lead to punitive damages in civil court.
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California Vehicle Code That Defines Reckless Driving
The California vehicle code defines reckless driving as a motorist who disregards the safety of other persons or property. According to this rationale, a variety of behaviors constitute reckless driving.
However, a single act of negligence, such as stopping too late for a red light because of blinding sunlight, does not rise to the level of reckless driving. Instead, similar incidents fit the standard definition of negligence. On the other hand, a person who intentionally blows through multiple red lights at high speed commits reckless driving.
Types of Reckless Driving
Reckless driving refers to a pattern of behavior rather than a single instance of oversight. For instance, a drunk driver is intoxicated throughout his trip; this is not a single instance of oversight, unlike swerving slightly into another lane. Instead, drunk drivers weave continuously. It opens the door to a DUI and reckless driving charge.
Some of the common types of reckless driving include the following:
- Distracted driving
- Not watching the road
- Sudden Braking
- Making illegal turns
- Failing to yield right of way
- Failing to indicate turn signals
- Street Racing
- Passing on the wrong side of the road
- Running stop signs or red lights
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI)
- Changing lanes dangerously
Reckless drivers tend to commit numerous infractions in short succession. For example, a driver consumed with road rage may tailgate, speed, fail to yield, pass on the wrong side of the road, and commit many other violations.
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Injuries Caused By Reckless Drivers
Reckless drivers cause grievous injuries. Accidents that occur due to ordinary negligence are often less severe because the at-fault motorist was not engaged in extremely dangerous driving, such as criminal levels of speeding while tailgating. On the other hand, Reckless drivers may fail to mitigate the collision’s severity. As a result, typical injuries include the following:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Organ damage
- Fatal injuries
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How Much Compensation Am I entitled To If The Driver Caused An Accident?
No same range exists for compensation in reckless driving cases. The main factors in determining damages are the expenses the incident put upon the victim and the level of pain and loss of quality of life endured. Punitive damages might come into play if the defendant acted outrageously and recklessly.
California law breaks down personal injury damages into three categories: compensatory, general, and punitive.
Compensatory damages include the following:
- Ambulance charges
- ER bills
- Hospital stays
- Diagnostic tests
- Outpatient rehabilitation
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Lost wages
- Lost business income
- Lost self-employment income
- Lost benefits
General Damages Include the Following:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages come into play when the defendant’s outrageous actions result in an injury. For example, a drunk driver who ran multiple stop lights while drag racing at twice the speed limit may face punitive damages.
How Can Nordean Law Prove The Accident Caused Due To Reckless Driving?
Nordean Law‘s reckless driving litigation attorneys conduct a thorough investigation that yields proof of reckless driving.
The law firm’s inquiry into an accident begins with interviewing the plaintiff. During this time, attorneys gain a sense of what occurred from the client’s perspective, understand the severity of the injuries, and determine if the defendant’s actions may have risen to the level of reckless driving.
With the overarching fact pattern established, Nordean Law’s team sets out to gather evidence, including reviewing police reports, medical records, witness statements, and reviewing vehicle damage. In some cases, hiring an accident reconstructionist helps prove reckless driving. For example, the reconstructionist may find evidence that the damage caused to the vehicles corresponds with a speed more than double the legal limit.
The initial stages of a lawsuit include discovery. During this phase, lawyers from each side must share their evidence with opposing counsel. Sometimes, the other side has compelling evidence of the defendant’s recklessness, such as dashcam footage or witness statements.
Also, discovery includes interrogatories and depositions. Interrogatories are written questions posed to the other side’s witnesses, and depositions are face-to-face interviews with these same witnesses. The statements made during these procedures often bolster a reckless driving claim.
At Nordean Law, we have experience handling all types of car accident cases. Our car accident lawyers at Orange County are experienced trial lawyers and aggressive negotiators. We never stop fighting for your best interests in a courtroom or during settlement negotiations. Our legal team answers your questions and concerns as we guide you through the personal injury claims process.
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No one should suffer a severe injury and be left to fend for themselves because of a reckless driver. When motorists take to the road with slight regard for the safety of others, they bear full responsibility for the damage they cause. Nordean Law’s reckless driving accident lawyers win justice for their clients. And when we win the cases, we pay our clients.