Car accidents happen for many reasons; some are due to inattention or carelessness. However, some actions are reckless or intentional. Oklahoma considers reckless driving a crime and has civil and criminal penalties for those who participate in these actions.
The devastation and loss victims suffer when reckless actions cause a car accident are unimaginable. It is vital that you take legal action by pursuing a civil claim against the at-fault motorists. BDIW Law employs a Oklahoma City car accident lawyer who understands your rights and how to help you.
Understanding Reckless Driving
Reckless and careless driving are often used interchangeably, but they differ significantly. The critical difference is the intent of the driver. In reckless driving, the motorist operated willfully and disregarded the safety of others.
This is important because the victim’s burden is to show the driver had a wanton disregard for safety. You must also show those actions were intentional. These are the biggest challenges, but an Oklahoma City reckless driving accident lawyer will investigate your claim and find supporting evidence.
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Types of Reckless Driving
Reckless driving can involve different actions from motorists. Three actions are so gross that they typically cause severe injuries and even death. The following are examples of the most common reckless driving actions in Oklahoma City.
Driving Under the Influence
Drinking or doing drugs heavily impairs a person’s judgment and mobility when driving. If a driver gets behind the wheel while impaired, they decide to endanger others. Impaired driving is illegal in every state. There are different limits and tests that vary by state. If the at-fault motorist was intoxicated, you must speak to BDIW Law immediately.
Drowsy driving is prevalent nationwide, involving someone too tired to drive getting behind the wheel. The drivers most frequently connected to drowsy driving are truck drivers operating commercial vehicles. Drowsy driving is often compared to impaired driving because it has many of the same impacts.
Some drivers are angry when they get behind the wheel and will act out against other drivers. When aggressively operating a vehicle, they endanger themselves and others. Road rage encompasses a range of dangerous behaviors, including:
- Excessive spending
- Yelling threats or obscenities at motorists
- Weaving dangerously through traffic
- Running motorists off the road
- Chasing another motorist
- Braking or accelerating abruptly to get another motorist to crash
- Brandishing a weapon
- Intentionally hitting another motorist, pedestrian, or bicyclist
- Causing a confrontation upon getting into an accident
Reckless driving can involve these and other actions. If you encounter a reckless driver, it can be a traumatizing experience. It is best to avoid them at all costs. You will also want to seek legal recourse.
Many accidents happen due to distractions. Most drivers think of texting and driving, but other distractions can impact a person’s driving ability. Accidents caused by distracted driving are severe and can lead to lifelong injuries.
Some common distractions include:
- Texting or talking on the phone
- Lost in thought
- Inside distractions like passengers, eating, smoking, changing the radio or temperature, checking the GPS, etc
- Outside distractions like rubbernecking, looking at signs, looking for an address
Any action that takes a driver’s hands, eyes, or minds off the road is a distraction.
Failure to Obey
Sometimes motorists know the law and choose to disobey the law. Not stopping at a stop sign or running a red light are examples of failure to obey. Many times, police officers can notice the failure to obey and document it in the accident report. If the police report includes details about the failure to obey, it can be used as evidence during your claim.
Common Injuries Caused by Reckless Driving in Oklahoma City
Injuries are unfortunately common in reckless driving accidents. Some common injuries include the following:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord trauma
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
If you suffer an injury from a reckless driving accident, speak to a reckless driving accident lawyer in Oklahoma City, OK, for legal options.
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Liability for Reckless Driving Accidents
All motorists in Oklahoma have a duty to drive reasonably and not cause a risk to themselves or others. If they are acting wantonly, they are violating these duties. Drag racing, road rage, tailgating, and more are all actions that constitute reckless driving.
Police will arrest the person, and the state will handle the criminal case. When you meet with a reckless driving accident attorney in Oklahoma City, OK, you can pursue compensation in a civil claim. BDIW Law will help with tasks like:
- Investigating the accident and collecting evidence
- Submit documentation to the insurance company
- Negotiate with the insurance company for compensation
- Prepare and begin litigation
- Represent you during pretrial, discovery, and trial
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Compensation for a Reckless Driving Accident
Unfortunately, in a reckless driving accident, the insurance company does not want to pay for any losses. Your life changed within seconds, and the insurer is questioning how you contributed to the accident. However, a reckless driving accident attorney can circumvent these actions by providing evidence and showing the losses you suffered and will suffer in the future.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you can pursue compensation for the following:
- Medical costs
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
- Wrongful death
Many reckless driving accidents are straightforward, with the liable party being the motorist, but some are not as clear-cut. Liability will determine who you can pursue compensation from and what the limits are.
Punitive damages can also be available in some cases, but the court will decide how much you can recover, if applicable. Discuss your options with an Oklahoma City reckless driving accident lawyer.
Talk to a Reckless Driving Lawyer in Oklahoma City Today
If you have suffered an injury, you need an Oklahoma City reckless driving accident attorney to review your legal remedies. BDIW Law is available to advise you on what to expect throughout the legal process. Schedule a free initial consultation by calling our office.
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