- What Is Reckless Driving?
- What Are Some Examples of Reckless Driving?
- What Is the Punishment for Reckless Driving?
- Young Adult Drivers and Reckless Driving
- Compensation for Reckless Driving Car Accidents
- How Much Is a Clearwater Car Accident Settlement Worth?
- What Should I Do at the Scene of a Car Accident in Clearwater?
- Do I Have to Call My Insurance Companies?
- What You Can Do to Reduce the Risk of Suffering a Reckless Driving Accident
- Contact The Law Place Today!
Around Clearwater, examples of reckless driving are everywhere. From drivers using their cellphone while driving to swerving in and out of lanes at immense speed, it is unsurprising that the roads in Clearwater are some of the most dangerous to pedestrians and other road users in Florida.
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) have reported that over 400,000 vehicle crashes occur every year in Florida, resulting in nearly 3,500 fatalities. Any car crash has the potential to cause an immense amount of harm and change the lives of those involved forever. Car accidents can leave people suffering from serious injuries that need long term treatment. Victims will likely also have to face costly vehicle repair charges, lost wages, and in the worst-case scenario, the loss of a loved one.
The most frustrating truth of the matter is that most car accidents are usually entirely avoidable and only occur due to the recklessness of one driver.
If you or someone you know has been the unfortunate victim of a car accident caused by a reckless driver, you should seek the help and representation of a skilled car accident attorney in Clearwater, FL. At The Law Place, our accident lawyers have a wealth of experience of winning cases similar to yours from both sides of the courtroom. We have accumulated a vast amount of knowledge over the years to offer you the best legal advice. Contact us today in Clearwater, Fl. for a free consultation, you can call us on (727) 217-9795.
What Is Reckless Driving?
Florida Statute 316.192 defines the act of reckless driving as “any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”
This definition can be interpreted as rather vague, and it is often up to a police officer to determine whether a driver was acting recklessly or not. In comparison, a police officer may judge a driver’s actions to be careless instead. The difference between a reckless driver and a careless driver is that careless drivers may make mistakes while driving and endanger other people, but they are not purposely putting other people in danger.
You may have been involved in a car accident and suffered an injury as the result of a reckless driver, or perhaps you have been unfairly charged for driving recklessly. Either way, our car accident lawyers at The Law Place in Clearwater, Fl. can help you.
What Are Some Examples of Reckless Driving?
In Clearwater, Fl, drivers are expected to exercise due caution to ensure the safety of other road users and pedestrians. However, this duty of care is breached when a person drives recklessly. In Florida, some behaviors that can contribute to a person driving recklessly include:
- Weaving in and out of traffic.
- Distracted driving, including texting while driving.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Running red lights and stop signs.
- Driving without headlights after dusk.
- Dangerously passing other vehicles.
- Speeding excessively above the speed limit.
- Illegally passing a stopped school bus.
- Failing to yield the right of way.
These behaviors alone are not always sufficient enough to get a person charged with driving recklessly. A driver’s behavior has to be examined along with the circumstances and facts at the time when they were alleged to have been reckless. Some examples of reckless driving in Clearwater, Fl that has convicted a driver at their criminal trial include some of the following:
- Traveling at over 80 mph in a residential area and then suddenly making a U-turn.
- A driver drinking alcohol and speeding excessively with no attempt to avoid a car accident.
- A driver passing other vehicles on the shoulder of the road at excessive speed during heavy traffic.
- A driver who disregards red and yellow traffic lights.
According to Florida Statute 316,192, any driver who is fleeing law enforcement is also committing the act of reckless driving.
If you think your Clearwater car accident was caused by a driver acting in any of these ways, a car accident lawyer at our law firm can help you win the justice that you deserve.
What Is the Punishment for Reckless Driving?
The act of reckless driving in Clearwater, Fl, is regarded as a misdemeanor. A guilty driver could, therefore, face:
- Up to 90 days of jail time.
- A fine worth up to $500.
- A combination of both.
However, drivers who repeat the offense will face much harsher penalties. For example, repeat offenders will likely face fines up to $1000 and up to 12 months of jail time.
When a reckless driver causes a Clearwater car accident and a serious injury to a victim, the driver can be charged with a third-degree offense. This would mean that the driver at fault could be punished by a fine of up to $5,000 and have to serve up to 5 years of jail time.
This is a majorly serious offense, and if you think you may have a case after suffering a Clearwater car accident, The Law Place advises that you seek the legal advice of a car accident lawyer. The Law Place will offer you a free consultation so that you can speak to an attorney in Clearwater and get the help that you need.
Young Adult Drivers and Reckless Driving
It is perhaps no surprise that teen and young adult drivers commit the most amount of reckless driving offenses. These younger drivers typically tend to be male and often involve alcohol or drug impairment. The state of Florida is trying to clamp down on the number of young drivers committing these offenses.
One of the ways that Florida is trying to combat the poor decision making that younger people often undertake is to pass laws. Some new laws have been passed in an attempt to reduce the number of young people committing these offenses. For example:
- All teenagers in Florida must comply with their school attendance. If they fail to do so, they will be unable to obtain or maintain their license.
- There is zero tolerance in Florida for drinking and driving for those under 21 years of age. Any driver under the age of 21 with a blood-alcohol concentration of .02 percent or more will have their driving license suspended for at least six months.
- Any minor convicted of possession of tobacco in Florida will lose their license for a minimum of 30 days.
Compensation for Reckless Driving Car Accidents
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury in a Clearwater car accident caused by another driver acting recklessly, you may be entitled compensation for your injury and any other financial losses you have encountered as a direct result of your car accident.
A car accident lawyer will be more able to win you these damages for your personal injury case if the other driver is charged and convicted in a criminal court. Although, we would like to emphasize that a car accident lawyer will still be able to win your compensation for your personal injury case from insurance companies without the driver at fault being convicted.
Our law firm regularly helps our clients in Clearwater achieve compensation for the following after suffering car accidents:
- Medical bills.
- Future medical expenses.
- Therapy and rehabilitation.
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress or mental anguish.
- Lost wages.
- Change in earning capacity.
- Short-term or permanent disability.
- Property damage.
- Punitive damages in some cases.
How Much Is a Clearwater Car Accident Settlement Worth?
The amount of compensation that a victim of a car accident in Clearwater can expect to achieve in a settlement for their case will vary massively and depend on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include:
- The age of the injured victim.
- Who was to blame.
- The witnesses present.
- The expense of the medical bills.
- The severity of the injuries caused.
- The effect the car accident has had on the victim’s quality of life.
- Future medical treatment and expenses.
All of these figures are quantifiable, which means that they can be easier worked out and offered to you.
An insurance company will usually use all of these factors to help them determine how much they should offer you in a settlement. The Law Place advises that you seek the guidance of a car accident lawyer for your case to help with the negotiations as insurance companies often initially offer a figure way below what a victim truly deserves.
A car accident lawyer at The Law Place in Florida will fight for your car accident case to ensure that justice is served. If you think you may have a case eligible for compensation, don’t hesitate to contact our law firm today for a free consultation.
What Should I Do at the Scene of a Car Accident in Clearwater?
Car accidents, unfortunately, occur far too often, Clearwater, Fl. It is, therefore, critically important that you are aware of what to do after suffering a car accident. We advise that the most important things to do at the scene of a car accident are as follows:
- Safety – The health of you and the other passengers involved in the car accident is paramount; therefore, the first thing to do is to check whether anyone has suffered an injury. If anyone has suffered an injury, it is important to phone 911 immediately to seek medical attention. We also advise that you move out of the way of any hazards such as oncoming traffic. If you can do so, check on the other people involved in your car accident to see if anyone has suffered a serious injury and needs immediate help.
- Police – If there has been serious property damage or injuries caused in the car accident, the law in Florida dictates that you have to call the police. When the police officers arrive on the scene, they will file a police report. It is important to try and document the name and badge of all of the police officers present, as this will help you later on with your personal injury case.
- Evidence – We advise that if you are well enough to do so that you begin collecting evidence about the car accident. First of all, prioritize gathering the other driver’s personal, insurance, and vehicle details. You will also help your case massively if you can gather the personal details of witnesses to the car crash. We would also advise that you take photographs of absolutely everything, including skid marks and road conditions.
- Hospital – We recommend that even if you think your injury suffered is not serious that you get it checked out by a medical professional. Your car accident will have caused you to have an adrenaline surge, which may be discarding the true extent of your injury. Not only this, but to file a personal injury claim, you only have 14 days to seek medical attention following a car crash.
- The Law Place – We strongly advise that you get in contact with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after suffering your car crash. This is because they will be able to immediately help handle your insurance company and gather fresh evidence to strengthen your personal injury case.
Do I Have to Call My Insurance Companies?
You must contact your insurance company after suffering a car accident in Clearwater, regardless of who caused the accident. Florida Statute 627.7407 outlines Florida as being a so-called “no-fault” state. This law means that you have to file a claim against your own insurance company, regardless of who is to blame for the car accident.
The Law Place advises that you seek the help of a car accident lawyer immediately to guide you through the complex no-fault claims process. Their help is crucial, considering that the process involves an immense amount of highly technical rules, procedures, and deadlines, which would be difficult for a victim to navigate on their own.
A skilled car accident lawyer at The Law Place will also lift a huge amount of stress and burdens off your shoulders by working with your insurance company on your behalf. A car accident lawyer will work incredibly hard on building you a strong case to help you achieve the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve.
What You Can Do to Reduce the Risk of Suffering a Reckless Driving Accident
There are always going to be people driving recklessly on the roads in Clearwater, and not all accidents can be avoided. However, we can offer you some advice which can help reduce the chances of you being involved in a car accident caused by a reckless driver.
It is important when to driving to always stay focused, and:
- Stay out of the fast lane. Only drive in this lane when passing another vehicle.
- Use caution when driving around large vehicles, especially trucks. You must always remember the mirror rule; if you cannot see their mirrors, they will not be able to see you.
- Often scan your rearview and side mirrors. Constantly stay alert on the road and train yourself to look for motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians and not just other cars and trucks.
Unfortunately, a car accident caused by a reckless driver cannot always be avoided. However, if you have suffered an accident, you must know what to do. We advise that you seek the help of a car accident lawyer immediately as you may be entitled to a vast amount of compensation for your case.
Contact The Law Place Today!
At The Law Place, we recognize just how stressful a car accident can be. Our legal team has worked on hundreds of cases similar to yours in Florida and has over 75 years of combined experience between us. Florida law can be incredibly complex to navigate through, but we pride ourselves at working as a team to ensure that our clients benefit from all of our knowledge and receive the maximum amount of compensation. It is this teamwork that sets The Law Place apart from other law firms in Florida.
Too many reckless drivers get away with their actions. Don’t let a negligent driver get away with causing your injury and trauma. Fight for the justice that you deserve.
Our legal team can also help you if you have been falsely charged with reckless driving. We have a team of experienced defense attorneys ready to work on your case and win you justice for your unfair conviction.
If you think you may have a case eligible for compensation, contact a Clearwater car accident lawyer at The Law Place today. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call us now at (727) 217-9795.