Reckless driving is illegal and puts the safety and lives of others at unnecessary risk. When it causes an accident, the victim may be able to bring a personal injury action. However, you can expect the responsible driver’s insurance company to do its best to deny your claim or pay as little as possible, regardless of how egregious the reckless driving was. Who can you count on to have your best interests?
Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman is on your side. We defend the rights of accident victims who have been hurt because of someone else’s reckless driving. Let us review your case, estimate the potential damages for which you may be eligible, and go to work for you.
What Is Considered Reckless Driving In Mississippi?
Section 63-3-1201 of the Mississippi Code provides that, “Any person who drives any vehicle in such a manner as to indicate either a wilful or a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.”
This may include injury to other motorists and their passengers as well as bicyclists and pedestrians. But it’s easier to think of reckless driving in terms of a few examples, such as:
- Disregarding traffic laws. For example, speeding – especially at particularly high speeds above the limit – is pretty strong evidence of reckless driving. Reckless drivers often violate multiple traffic laws at once, so the more infractions that are committed, the more likely reckless driving is involved.
- Road rage. This may be indicated by any number of dangerous driving behaviors such as intentionally cutting off another driver, brake-checking (hitting the brakes to try to cause another driver to hit the vehicle from behind), or chasing another driver at excessive speed.
- Driving under the influence. Although this includes drunk driving, any substance that impairs the driver’s ability to properly operate the vehicle falls under this category. Driving while on drugs, even legal ones, is a form of driving under the influence
- Distracted driving. Similarly, anything that takes the driver’s focus away from the road is distracted driving. This is especially problematic with texting and other cell phone use while driving. It may also be caused by such activities as using the radio, attempting to eat or drink while driving, or talking to passengers.
- Fatigued driving. Studies have shown that attempting to operate a motor vehicle with insufficient sleep is like driving under the influence of alcohol. Anyone who hits the road while exhausted could be a danger to others.
- Driving too fast for the conditions. This category typically includes driving too fast for the weather or road conditions. Even though the posted speed limit may be a certain number, a driver should slow down in bad weather, in high traffic, and around construction zones.
The Consequences Of Reckless Driving
An automobile accident is bad enough, but the impact on victims tends to be substantially worse when reckless driving is a factor. The faster the driver goes, the more serious the injuries will be for anyone caught in his or her path. Reckless driving accidents sometimes involve numerous victims who are injured because of multi-vehicle accidents or pile-ups.
Victims tend to suffer the following losses, which may be recoverable in a personal injury lawsuit:
- Medical expenses for hospitalization, surgery, ambulance services, physical therapy, rehabilitation, prescription medications, adaptive medical equipment, and more
- Lost wages due to time in the hospital, recovering at home, visiting the doctor for follow-up treatments, and other time away from work due to the accident
- Lost earning capacity if the injury victim is not able to return to the same line of work as before the accident, potentially destroying what was a promising career
- Certain damages that are not financial in nature (like the above) but may still be compensated, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages, which although rarely awarded may be available where the at-fault party exhibited actual malice, gross negligence, or reckless disregard for the safety of others such as in some cases of reckless driving
- Property damage to repair or replace wrecked vehicles, personal property that was lost in the accident, and destruction of real property
- Wrongful death damages for eligible surviving family members, in the event the victim dies from his or her injuries
Why You Should Retain Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman
Because of the serious nature of reckless driving accidents, you may be faced with a long and painful recovery. You don’t need the stress of dealing with insurance companies who will do everything they can to deny you the compensation you deserve. Our firm handles communications and negotiations with the insurer and the driver’s attorney. We understand how to value automobile accident cases in a manner that anticipates future damages you are likely to experience.
For instance, if the accident makes it impossible for you to return to work, you will need to calculate the monetary loss you will suffer because of your inability to earn. This is not a straightforward calculation and will necessarily involve a number of factors. Our firm relies on expert witnesses who can determine what a reasonable dollar figure is to account for your lost earning capacity.
Where possible, we work to settle cases outside of court, thereby avoiding an extensive trial. But we’re not afraid to take your case in front of a jury if needed. That means developing a compelling case based on such evidence as:
- Medical records
- Lost wages
- Photographs and videos of the accident scene
- Toxicology reports where the driver was under the influence
- Witness statements
- Victim testimony
- Police reports
Contact Our Southaven & Hernando Reckless Driving Accident Attorney
We treat every client as we would want to be treated, advocating zealously for their rights while serving them each step of the way through the legal process. Were you or a loved one injured in a reckless driving accident? Contact Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman today.