Reckless driving causes thousands of injuries in the United States every year. A driver violating traffic laws threatens every road user, including themselves. The term “reckless driving” can be used for different things, which is why it is essential to know its definition and penalties, what happens when a driver is convicted of reckless driving in Georgia, and how T. Madden & Associates lawyers can help you.
What is Considered Reckless Driving?
Any driver who disregards the safety of other people or property and violates the rules of traffic is guilty of reckless driving, which is often accompanied by overspeeding. Recklessly operating a vehicle is illegal in all states and is considered a serious offense that can have serious legal repercussions. The following acts qualify as reckless driving in Georgia:
- Exceeding the speed limit
- Racing in the streets
- Using the road shoulder or an emergency lane to overtake another vehicle
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Failure to yield to oncoming traffic or pedestrians
- Disregarding traffic signals, pavement markings, and stop signs
- Driving too fast in poor weather conditions
- Drinking, eating, or using a cell phone behind the wheel
- Driving while intoxicated
Penalties for Reckless Driving in Georgia
Reckless driving is considered a misdemeanor offense, but if the accident results in severe injuries to the victim or the death of another person, the driver can face felony charges. The penalties for a reckless driving accident depend on the circumstances.
For example, if a person is convicted of a misdemeanor, they can be legally required to pay a fine of $1,000 and can get a 1-year prison sentence. If they cause serious injuries, they can be convicted of a felony and serve 1-12 years in prison.
A reckless driver can also get four demerit points on their driving record for a misdemeanor conviction. They might even lose driving privileges for causing a serious accident because Georgia law interprets reckless driving as criminal negligence. In addition, a reckless driving conviction can remain on the individual’s driving record for life with no possibility of expungement.
Compensation for Damages Caused by a Reckless Driver
Fractures, broken bones, dislocation, internal injuries, lacerations, traumatic brain injuries, damage to the neck and spine, and concussions are the most common injuries resulting from reckless driving accidents. If you have suffered from any of these injuries due to another person’s negligence, you are entitled to full compensation for your damages.
Typically when a person gets injured because of a reckless driver, they can recover damages resulting from the accident, such as medical costs (present and future), loss of income, property damage, and pain and suffering. The victim of a reckless driving accident can also be awarded punitive damages by the judge and jury if the driver is found guilty of maliciously behaving in a reckless manner.
However, the legal process of getting compensation can get complicated. In Georgia, a person has two years to file a personal injury lawsuit and four years to file a property damage lawsuit. If you want to recover damages, you have to follow these statutes of limitations.
Reckless driving accidents cover various types of accidents, and in some cases, it can be challenging to establish liability. You may find it difficult to gather evidence for a reckless driving case. This makes it essential to have expert legal guidance in reckless driving accidents.
Whether you want to start a claim with an insurance company or sue the offending party, legal representation can aid you in proving the other driver’s negligence and getting maximum compensation for your damages.
How to Prove Someone Was Driving Recklessly
The burden of proof in a reckless driving case is with the prosecutor. You will need to submit evidence that can show beyond any reasonable doubt that the driver was speeding or performing an act of reckless driving. Some common types of evidence in such cases include the testimony of the arresting officer, speeding tickets, surveillance footage, and witness testimony. In some cases, you can prove reckless driving through the severity of the property damage or injuries you have suffered in the accident. If the driver made any statements to the arresting officer, those statements could also be used as evidence in court.
How Can an Attorney Help With a Reckless Driving Case?
The primary reason for hiring a T. Madden & Associates for a reckless driving case is to get you compensated for your suffering, including economic and non-economic damages. Our attorney can give you a reasonable estimate of how much compensation you deserve if you are injured in a reckless driving accident. Our experienced lawyers can evaluate the facts of the accident and establish liability. We can also negotiate your settlement with the insurance company or take the case to court if the negotiations are unsuccessful.