When a person gets behind the wheel, they have a duty to all others on the road – that is the duty to operate their vehicle safely and with a reasonable degree of care. Not only does this mean following all traffic safety and driving laws, but also refraining from negligent behavior that could be dangerous.
Unfortunately, drivers don’t always take this obligation seriously. Even more dangerous than just negligent driving is reckless driving, a behavior that can result in both criminal and civil consequences in Colorado.
If you have been involved in a crash caused by a reckless driver, our experienced Colorado Springs reckless driving accident attorneys at the law office of McCormick & Murphy, P.C. are here to help you. Reach out to our lawyers today for a free consultation and information about your rights and options.
What Is Reckless Driving?
The definition of reckless driving is found in Section 42-4-1401(2) of Colorado Revised Statutes. The statute holds that a person who drives a motor vehicle, bicycle, or scooter in such a manner “as to indicate either a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property” is guilty of reckless driving. This conduct typically results in physical injuries to someone.
This differs from careless driving, which is defined as the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that is “careless and imprudent.”
There are a number of different driving behaviors that may constitute reckless driving, including speeding excessively, racing, performing certain behaviors while driving (like shaving or reading a book), driving while drunk, texting and more.
Why Is Reckless Driving So Dangerous?
Reckless driving is incredibly dangerous and can result in a ticket for the reckless driver, as well as a serious crash that leaves the driver or others with tragic injuries. Reckless driving is dangerous because it fails to account for others on the road; actions like driving while distracted, speeding, erratic lane changes, and more all significantly increase the risk of an accident.
What’s more, not only does vehicle speed have a direct effect on accident risk, but it also has an effect on accident severity. The faster that a vehicle is traveling at the time of impact, the greater the amount of force involved in the accident, and therefore the greater degree of damages, including both property damage and, most likely, injuries.
Injuries in a Reckless Driving Crash
When a reckless driver causes a crash, the injuries suffered by any occupants of the other vehicle involved may be very serious, especially if speeding was the cause of the crash. A reckless driving accident can result in tragic injuries, including:
Traumatic brain injuries;
Spinal cord injuries;
Loss of use of limb injuries;
Facial injuries; and
When a person suffers a serious injury, they don’t just suffer physically – such injuries also lead to emotional harm and mental anguish, lost wages and loss of earning capacity, high medical expenses, diminished quality of life, loss of consortium, and more. Our Colorado Springs reckless driving accident lawyers want to represent you in your claim for damages and help you to recover the full value of damages that you have suffered.
Holding a Reckless Driver Liable for Your Harm
In order to recover compensation in a reckless driving crash, you will need to bring a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance and possibly against the driver. Additionally, you will need to present evidence that the accident would not have occurred but for the actions of the reckless driver.
Note that even if the driver was not issued a citation, there may still be lots of evidence that you can use to build your case, including physical evidence (i.e. vehicles’ positions, skid marks, damage to vehicles and surrounding objects, traffic signs, cell phone records, etc.), eyewitnesses’ statements, a police report, any video footage of the accident, the other driver’s driving record, and more.
Our law firm will work hard to prove that the other driver was operating their vehicle recklessly, that this reckless driving was the proximate cause of your crash, and that your injuries would not have occurred but for the accident. We will also represent you in calculating your damages and proving the full extent of harm that you have suffered.
Criminal and Civil Actions Are Separate
Even if the at-fault driver is issued a citation for reckless driving–which is a Class 2 misdemeanor offense in Colorado–you will not be fully compensated for your harm unless you bring forth a civil action; civil and criminal cases are separate and distinct. Do not assume that just because the driver has been charged with a misdemeanor offense you will receive any sort of monetary award; instead, you must be proactive in the claims process. Our lawyers will help.
You deserve to be compensated for the full extent of harm you’ve suffered, including all of your economic and noneconomic losses. Remember that you only have three years from the date of your car accident to file a lawsuit for damages, which is one of the reasons why it is very important to initiate the claims process as soon as possible.
Call Our Colorado Springs Reckless Driving Accidents Lawyers Today
When a driver operates their vehicles recklessly, they put others’ lives at risk. At the law firm of McCormick & Murphy, P.C., our Colorado Springs reckless driving attorneys think that this is unacceptable. Our lawyers will aggressively advocate for you if you have been in a crash caused by the actions of a reckless driver.
Our process begins with a free case consultation, where we will review any evidence that you have and provide you with our legal opinion. If you decide to hire our Colorado Springs reckless driving accident attorneys, we will work on your case on a contingency fee basis.
To learn more and to schedule your consultation today, please call us directly or send us a message at your convenience.