According to the Legal Information Institute, reckless driving refers to the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner considered dangerous under the circumstances. 75 PA Cons Stat § 3736 forbids reckless driving, which the law defines as driving with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of people or property. The offense carries a fine under criminal law. Still, reckless driving commonly causes accidents in Pennsylvania. In 2018, speeding alone accounted for about one-third of the collisions in the state, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, an Erie reckless driving accident lawyer can help you hold the driver accountable for your damages. Contact Berger and Green today at (412) 661-1400 to speak with our legal team about your free case evaluation.
The Dangers of Reckless Driving
The Insurance Information Institute (III) notes that while statistics regarding reckless driving are difficult to measure, researchers estimate that more than half of all accidents in the United States involve reckless driving. Because of their anonymity on the road, reckless drivers can be difficult to identify, which increases the risk to those on the road around them. Research suggests that traffic congestion plays a role in many instances of reckless driving, particularly when drivers are running late to their destination.
For a free legal consultation with a lawyer serving Erie, call (412) 661-1400
Examples of Reckless Driving
The institute emphasizes that speeding has been a major contributing factor in motor vehicle accidents for decades, accounting for more than one-third of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. Other types of reckless driving include:
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Failure to yield
- Improper lane usage
- Driving on the road’s shoulder or in the medians
An Erie reckless driving accident lawyer can help you determine if the driver’s careless actions in your motor vehicle accident case make them liable for your damages.
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The Prevalence of Reckless Driving Accident Injuries
Reckless driving increases the risk of the driver’s involvement in a collision, and studies show that those involving other vehicles often result in more significant injuries. The Institute for Road Safety Research states there is a clear connection between a vehicle’s speed and the severity of accidents; when speeds increase, accident risk increases, as does the risk of more serious injuries.
The vehicle’s mass plays a major role, as well. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and passengers of lighter vehicles typically suffer more serious injuries than those in larger vehicles. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans spend more than 1 million days in the hospital annually as a result of motor vehicle accident injuries.
An Erie Reckless Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help You Establish Liability
Proving liability can be difficult for reckless driving accident victims in Erie, Pennsylvania, as the state’s auto insurance laws sometimes make it challenging to file claims against the at-fault driver. Pennsylvania has a hybrid system for auto insurance, which means drivers can choose between two types of policies: no-fault or liability.
No-fault insurance covers the policyholder’s damages in an accident regardless of who caused it. While this can protect the driver against uninsured or underinsured motorists, it may also limit their opportunity to pursue noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, from the liable driver. Liability insurance, on the other hand, means the victim must rely on the at-fault driver to cover their damages. Drivers who choose liability coverage do not have the same restrictions on lawsuits in their reckless driving cases.
Our lawyers can help you by investigating your case, determining who is responsible for covering your injuries, and seeking financial awards on your behalf. Insurance companies tend to try to lowball accident victims to save money, even if the accident victim is their customer. Still, an attorney can assess your damages and help you pursue fair compensation for your injuries. Even if you have no-fault insurance, you may qualify for financial recovery from the liable party if your damages exceed your coverage limits.
If you or a loved one suffered severe or fatal injuries in a reckless driving accident in Erie, Pennsylvania, contact Berger and Green today at (412) 661-1400 to discuss your options with our legal team.
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Types of Evidence That May Prove the Negligence of the Liable Party
Establishing liability in your case requires that you prove the at-fault driver’s negligence, and a lawyer may gather evidence in your reckless driving case to support your claim. Some of the documents, statements, and other information they may use to build your case include:
- Photos from the accident scene
- Police reports
- Medical bills, medical records
- Eyewitness statements
- Cellphone records
- Field sobriety tests
Once you have proven negligence in your case, you may have the opportunity to pursue financial recovery from the liable party.
You May Qualify for Compensation in Your Case
Depending on the circumstances in your reckless driving accident case, you may qualify for one or more types of financial awards. They may include recovery for:
- Medical bills and related health care expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Funeral and burial expenses
Our lawyers cannot guarantee that you will receive certain types or amounts of awards. However, they can help you evaluate your damages and seek just compensation for your losses.
Pennsylvania Statutes of Limitations on Reckless Driving Accident Claims
Victims of reckless driving accidents and surviving family members may be able to pursue claims in their cases, but 42 PA Cons Stat § 5524 determines how much time they have to file their claim. If they do not file within the time frame set forth by Pennsylvania law, they forfeit their opportunity to hold the at-fault party accountable. In Pennsylvania, victims typically have two years from the accident date to file personal injury claims. The personal representative of a victim’s estate can usually file a wrongful death suit within two years of the date of the victim’s death.
Contact Berger and Green for Help with Your Reckless Driving Case
If you suffered an injury or lost a loved one in an Erie, Pennsylvania, reckless driving collision, the lawyers at Berger and Green may be able to help you by investigating your case, establishing liability, and pursuing financial awards on your behalf. Contact our legal team today at (412) 661-1400 to get started on your case.