Were you injured in a car accident caused by a reckless driver in Mississippi? If so, you may be wondering how to recover physically and financially after the crash. Fortunately, the law allows you to hold the reckless driver accountable for their actions. You may be able to recoup money for the losses you’ve suffered and pain you’ve endured.
A knowledgeable car accident attorney could help you seek justice if a reckless driver injured you. At Derek L. Hall, PC, our personal injury lawyers have more than 25 years of experience fighting for car accident victims’ rights throughout Mississippi. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you move forward with your life in a free initial consultation.
What Is Reckless Driving?
If you’ve driven anywhere in Mississippi, you’ve likely encountered plenty of examples of reckless driving. However, you may not know that “reckless driving” has a specific definition under Mississippi law.
Section 63-3-1201 of the Mississippi Code states that reckless driving is when someone operates a vehicle with “willful or wanton disregard” for the safety of other people or property. In this context, a “willful” act is something someone does on purpose. A “wanton” act occurs when someone understands the negative consequences of an action and then does it anyway.
The law also specifies that reckless driving is a “greater offense” than the similar but distinct offense of careless driving. Section 63-3-1213 of the Mississippi Code defines careless driving as operating a vehicle in a “careless or imprudent manner” for the road’s size, shape, and traffic flow.
Common examples of reckless driving in Mississippi include the following:
- Driving substantially over the posted speed limit or too fast for current road conditions
- Weaving in and out of traffic lanes
- Racing with other vehicles on the highway
- Intentionally running red lights or stop signs
- Passing other cars on the right or by using the shoulder
- Tailgating another vehicle
- Knowingly operating a vehicle in dangerously bad condition
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving aggressively to intimidate, harass, or harm others
How Does Reckless Driving Impact a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
When drivers behave recklessly, they often drive too fast and don’t leave enough space between their vehicles and other drivers. As a result, many reckless driving accidents leave victims with especially severe injuries.
When accident victims sustain serious injuries, they usually require more extensive and costly medical care. This means reckless driving accident claims tend to be particularly expensive. And when insurance companies are on the hook for more money, they have much more incentive to minimize or deny claims. Reckless driving accident victims often need professional legal representation to recover the full compensation they are owed.
Reckless driving can also affect a personal injury lawsuit by involving criminal liability. When a driver is convicted of a reckless driving violation, they are essentially considered guilty of a criminal offense. However, a personal injury lawsuit is a type of civil case, and the outcome of a criminal case does not directly affect the outcome of a related civil case.
Even if you were involved in an accident caused by a convicted reckless driver, the other driver is not automatically considered liable for your injuries just because they are guilty of reckless driving. You are still required to provide evidence of the other driver’s liability in your personal injury lawsuit. And although a reckless driving citation can be useful evidence, a citation alone is not always enough to prove your case. Similarly, even if a reckless driver was not ticketed, you can still hold them responsible for your losses in a personal injury lawsuit.
Compensation in a Reckless Driving Case
Depending on the nature and severity of your injuries, you could be entitled to significant compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the reckless driver. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you demand the compensation you are owed after a reckless driving accident. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to money for the following crash-related losses:
- Medical expenses for the treatment of accident-related injuries
- Out-of-pocket costs for incidental expenses, such as the costs of traveling to and from crash-related medical appointments
- Lost wages from any time you miss at work while recovering from your injuries
- Future losses, such as the costs of medical care you will likely need in the future and projected losses in your lifetime earning capacity
- The costs of the pain and suffering you endure due to the accident
- The costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle
Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
If you were involved in an uncomplicated accident that resulted in relatively minor injuries, you may be tempted to handle the accident claim on your own. However, if any of the following factors apply to your circumstances, you would likely benefit from the help of a knowledgeable reckless driving accident attorney:
- You sustained severe physical or psychological injuries in the accident.
- Your injuries are serious enough to prevent you from returning to work.
- It isn’t clear who was responsible for the accident.
- There was more than one other vehicle or party involved in the accident.
- The accident occurred in a school, construction, or work zone.
- The other driver was uninsured or underinsured.
- You have trouble finding evidence for your case.
- The insurance company attempts to minimize or deny your claim.
- An insurance adjuster asks you to provide a recorded statement.
- You doubt your ability to negotiate for the compensation you deserve.
- You feel uncertain about your legal rights.
Contact the Derek L. Hall, PC Reckless Driving Accident Attorneys Today
When you need qualified legal counsel after being injured in a Mississippi reckless driving accident, the car accident lawyers at Derek L. Hall, PC will be here to help. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options in a free initial case review.