Omaha Reckless Driving Accident Lawyer
Reckless driving is more than merely making errors behind the wheel. Generally, it means driving in a way that demonstrates a disregard for the safety or property of others. It can be traveling at high speeds, tailgating, making illegal turns, or just flat out ignoring traffic signs and stoplights. Oftentimes, drivers are reckless due to impatience, but any act of recklessness can lead to a catastrophic car accident.
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If you or someone you love was injured in a collision caused by a reckless driver, then you should not hesitate to contact Bottlinger Law L.L.C. Our Omaha reckless driving accident attorney can explain to you your rights after a collision. If the other driver acted negligently, you may be eligible to file an auto accident claim for compensation, whether you were driving, out for a walk, or riding a bike. To schedule a free consultation and learn what your rights are after an accident, call us at (402) 505-8234.
Reckless driving is defined as follows in Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6, 213: “Any person who drives any motor vehicle in such a manner as to indicate an indifferent or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property shall be guilty of reckless driving.”
This broad description leaves the statute up to interpretation by courts as to what driving behavior precisely qualifies as reckless. However, in our experience, the most common forms of reckless driving that can lead to an accident include:
- Excessive speed: While driving five or 10 mph over the speed limit is not generally considered reckless driving, going 15 to 20 mph over the speed limit usually is. Speeding is a major contributing factor in fatal wrecks. The faster a vehicle is going, the more time and distance it needs to stop, and the greater the impact in a collision.
- Failure to obey traffic signals: Running red lights and stop signs, running yellow lights, and failing to yield the right of way at intersections all put other motorists at risk. Many T-bone crashes at intersections are caused by a failure to obey traffic signals, and by drivers failing to yield the right of way when making left-hand turns against oncoming traffic.
- Unsafe passing: No-passing zones exist in certain areas because of limited visibility or curves in the road that make passing dangerous. These areas are especially common on major highways and interstates around Omaha and can be a violation of Municipal Code 1980, § 36-67. Passing another vehicle in a no-passing zone, on a hill, at a curve, or when visibility is poor can put other people’s lives at risk. Unsafe, illegal passing is considered reckless driving.
- Aggressive driving: In addition to speeding, this combination of dangerous driving behaviors may involve tailgating (leading to rear-end collisions), weaving in and out of traffic, cutting off other drivers, and failing to signal. Aggressive driving is selfish, dangerous, and reckless.
Reckless driving is more than simple negligence. It is driving in a manner that demonstrates a lack of concern about the effects of the driver’s actions on others. If the driver who caused your collision was driving recklessly, the fault might be easier to prove in your claim. In many cases, eyewitnesses are available to testify as to the at-fault party’s reckless driving behavior, but other evidence of reckless driving can include driving records, previous traffic violations, and traffic camera footage.
Despite certain similarities between reckless driving accidents, every case is unique. You do not want to falsely compare one settlement or jury verdict to another. However, when reviewing a car accident claim, it is possible to get a general idea of how much compensation you can receive from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The damages you are entitled to claim for in a reckless driving accident will depend on the nature and extent of your injuries, as well as how the accident has affected your overall quality of life.
While most people are concerned with covering their medical bills, an auto accident claim can do a lot more than that. If you have to take time off work to recover or even change careers if your injuries left you unable to perform your normal duties, you can account for lost wages and lost career opportunities in a claim. In addition, if an accident aggravated an older injury, such as arthritis or back problems, this can also be included in your claim.
Beyond financial costs, your claim can also include personal ones. These are often referred to as non-economic damages and include how an accident has affected your personal life, from your ability to enjoy your favorite hobbies to the amount of pain you feel.
Overall, a reckless driving accident claim can include the full scope of a victim’s injuries and losses, oftentimes involving:
- Medical expenses, past and future
- Lost wages, past and future
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium or companionship
In reckless driving cases, the court may also consider imposing punitive damages in addition to civil damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for particularly egregious conduct and to deter similar actions in the future. But before you can receive this compensation, you will need the aid of a skilled attorney.
A reckless driving accident is more than a fender-bender or minor sideswipe. It often involves the complete disregard of your safety and can lead to costly injuries that follow you for the rest of your life. Despite how devastating these cases often are, insurance companies rarely show much sympathy to accident victims. They will not hesitate to devalue your claim or deny it altogether if it will save them money.
That is why you should immediately contact an attorney after an accident. At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we have extensive experience advocating for the rights of injured clients and pursuing the maximum available compensation in an auto accident claim. If another driver injured you through reckless behaviors, reach out to our Omaha car accident attorney at (402) 505-8234. We can tell you if you have a case and what damages you may be entitled to claim.
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