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Reckless Driving

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Bernheim Kelley Battista, LLC, helps people injured in car accidents, including those caused by reckless driving, get the money they need to cover their accident-related financial losses. Reckless driving is a common cause of collisions, and it increases the risk of severe injury in the event of a collision. Contact a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer if you were injured in a reckless driving accident.

What is Reckless Driving?

The legal definition of reckless driving is when a person drives in a way that displays a wanton and reckless disregard for the safety of people or property. The person who is doing the reckless driving may not be intentionally trying to hurt people or damage property, but they have a high chance of doing so.


Common Reckless Driving Actions in Fort Lauderdale

The following are all classified as reckless driving in the state of Florida:

  • Speeding – Driving much faster than the speed limit is dangerous because the driver has less control over the vehicle when it is traveling at high speeds. That makes even simple maneuvers like changing lanes much riskier. Additionally, the stopping distance for a speeding vehicle is also long, so the driver may not be able to avoid an accident if they need to brake suddenly. And, of course, speeding accidents can cause a lot of damage because the impact of the crash will be much greater than it would be at lower speeds.
  • Ignoring Traffic Signals – When someone ignores stop signs or traffic lights, they have a very high chance of causing an accident. It is very easy for them to collide with a vehicle that has the right of way, and since that crash is likely to be a T-bone collision, it could end up causing a lot of damage to the vehicle and its occupants. The situation could be even worse if the reckless driver hits a pedestrian or a cyclist.
  • Driving While Intoxicated – Even though a DUI is its own separate charge, driving while intoxicated is also classified as reckless driving. That is because driving while intoxicated slows down the driver’s reaction times and lowers their judgment.

In addition to the more overt behaviors listed above, other, more mundane, reckless driving behaviors include things like passing school buses with their stop signs down, passing vehicles on blind curves, weaving in and out of traffic, ignoring railway barriers, and street racing. Also, in Florida, fleeing from the police in a vehicle is considered to be reckless driving.

Risks of Reckless Driving in Fort Lauderdale

Reckless driving increases the risk of causing an accident. Even if you do not cause an accident, getting pulled over for reckless driving can lead to criminal charges and a driver’s license suspension.

How to prove you are not at fault for an accident is a challenge if you have a reckless driving citation on your record.  Even if you do not get criminal charges or cause an accident, the reckless driving traffic stop will have financial consequences.

Florida Reckless Driving Laws

In Florida, the penalties for reckless driving depend on whether the perpetrator had prior offenses or if the charge includes personal injury or property damage.

  • First Offense – If there is no personal injury or property damage, then it is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor, and the penalty is up to ninety days in jail or six months of probation as well as a $500 fine.
  • Second or Subsequent Offense – This is also a second-degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a fine of up to $1000.
  • Reckless Driving With Property Damage or Injury – First-degree misdemeanor with up to a year in jail or twelve months probation and a $1000 fine.

Reckless Driving With Serious Bodily Injury – This is a third-degree felony punishable by five years in prison or five years of probation and a $5000.

To learn more, schedule a free consultation with us today.

What Should You Do if You Witness Reckless Driving?

If you witness reckless driving, you should make note of the vehicle driving recklessly. If you are a passenger in a nearby car or a pedestrian, take a cell phone video of the reckless driving.

Consequences for Reckless Driving in Fort Lauderdale

In Florida, you can get criminal charges for reckless driving, even if you do not cause an accident. Even a misdemeanor reckless driving charge can result in jail time.

If you get a felony conviction for reckless driving, prospective employers will see it on background checks. You will lose the right to vote, and getting it back is a long process.

Even if you do not get criminal charges, you could cause an accident and injure someone. The injured person might hire a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer and file a personal injury lawsuit.

How to Prevent Reckless Driving Accidents

Avoiding distractions and being aware of your surroundings can help you protect yourself from reckless drivers. If you see someone driving dangerously, you should keep a safe distance.

If a friend is drunk, you should prevent him or her from driving. Insist on driving your friend home or call a rideshare car for your friend.

How to Prove the At-Fault Driver Was Driving Recklessly

How to prove you are not at fault in a car accident is easy if the other driver got arrested for reckless driving for causing the collision.

Florida is a comparative fault state, so the insurance company might say it is partially your fault.  This is when to get an attorney for a car accident.

Are Severe Injuries Proof of Reckless Driving?

Should I get a lawyer for a car accident that wasn’t my fault? Yes, if you were seriously injured.

The insurance companies will try to argue that your injuries had some cause other than the accident. A lawyer can help prove your case.

Reckless Driving is About More Than Just Speed

Very high speeds are enough to result in reckless driving charges. Some dangerous actions also constitute reckless driving, even if the at-fault driver was driving at the speed limit.

Contact BK Law About Reckless Driving Accidents

Reckless driving is a serious problem in Florida, and for those injured by reckless drivers, the future can seem bleak. You are not alone. The experienced, compassionate personal injury lawyers at BK Law can help you after a reckless driving accident. We are standing by, ready to help you hold those at fault for injuries accountable. You deserve compensation for your hospital bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Contact BK Law in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to schedule your consultation today.

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