Lawyers for Car Accidents Caused by Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is more than simple carelessness. Reckless driving means driving a car with wilful disregard for the safety of others. It increases the chances of all types of car accidents and can also increase the severity of an accident if it occurs.
Reckless driving is a criminal offense in Kansas and can be punished with fines and even imprisonment. If you have been the victim of a reckless driver, it is important to contact law enforcement as well as a reckless driving car accident lawyer.
Types of Car Accidents Caused by Reckless Driving
Driving recklessly is often combined with driving aggressively, but not always. Examples of reckless driving include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Excessive speeding or racing
- Passing on blind curves or over a double yellow line
- Swerving or cutting in and out of traffic
- Disregarding school bus or rail crossing indicators
- Running red lights or stop signs
As you can imagine, these types of behaviors are responsible for a wide range of traffic incidents and accidents. Some of the most severe types of accidents caused by reckless driving are:
- T-bone accidents. Also known as a “broadside” crash, a T-bone collision occurs when one vehicle drives into the side of another so that the two vehicles form the shape of a T. It most often occurs when a driver disregards traffic signals or fails to yield and almost always includes excessive speeding. If a driver ignored a red light, for example, but was driving at moderate speeds, they would often be able to avoid a crash or would swerve in a way that created a sideswipe instead of a T-bone accident. These types of accidents can be especially dangerous because most car crash safety measures are concentrated in the front and rear of the vehicle, and side impacts involve a wider range of forces. In the US, 22% of car crash fatalities are caused by side impacts.
- Head-on collisions. A head-on collision occurs when two moving vehicles collide directly into each other’s front ends. These types of accidents most often occur on narrow, winding roads with reduced visibility, where it is more likely that a car will leave its own lane. They are also often caused by improper passing when a driver pulls into the oncoming traffic lane in order to pass a slower-moving vehicle. While head-on collisions are rare, accounting for only about 2% of car crashes, they are much more severe, accounting for 10% of traffic fatalities.
- Sideswipe accidents. Sideswipe accidents occur when the sides of two vehicles impact each other, often in a long, scraping-type impact rather than a direct collision. These types of accidents are often near-misses, where a vehicle swerves at the last moment to avoid a crash. By themselves, sideswipe accidents are responsible for a high level of property damage but have a fairly low fatality rate. However, sideswipe impacts are a very common cause of multi-car collisions: as one vehicle leaves its lane and impacts the side of another, the driver reacts by suddenly swerving or braking, leading them to collide with other vehicles, or with guardrails, signs, or other stationary objects.
Reckless driving is hazardous to everyone on the road, including other vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and anything else in the vicinity.
Kansas Laws for Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is a crime in Kansas. The law defines reckless driving as driving “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” The first offense is a misdemeanor and can be punished by fines of $25 – $500 or imprisonment of 5 to 90 days. Subsequent violations may be punished with fines of $50 to $500 or imprisonment of 10 days to six months. If you witness a reckless driver on the road in Kansas, call 911 to report the behavior.
If you have been involved in an auto accident in Kansas, you are required to report the accident if:
- Any person is injured in the crash
- Any person is killed in the crash
- The crash appears to have caused property damage in excess of $1000
- The crash caused property damage to an unattended vehicle
- The involved drivers were unable to exchange contact and insurance information with each other
If you have been involved in a serious car accident with a reckless driver, call 911. In most cases, Kansas police will investigate a serious car crash and create a police report. However, it is always best to gather your own evidence if possible, including taking pictures of the vehicles and the accident scene and collecting contact information from witnesses.
Contact a reckless driving car accident lawyer to help ensure that the investigation and the police report are thorough and complete, including collecting witness statements, surveillance or dashcam video, and other valuable evidence before it is lost.
Liability in Reckless Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a Kansas car accident, it is important to consult with a car accident attorney as soon as possible. Accepting a fast insurance settlement may limit your right to pursue compensation for your damages to the full extent of the law. If you aren’t being treated fairly by the insurance company, you may have no choice but to sue them and their insured, holding them liable for negligence regarding their reckless driving.
Because reckless driving is a crime in Kansas, police may investigate the accident and penalize the reckless driver with fines or imprisonment. These penalties do not help you recover your damages in a car accident and don’t help you pay for medical costs, lost wages, property damage, or other expenses. However, the police investigation can be important for proving the other driver’s negligence and liability as you pursue compensation.
How Can Bretz Injury Law Help?
At Bretz Injury Law, we feel reckless drivers should be held accountable for endangering others and face the consequences of their actions. Our experienced reckless driving car accident lawyers can help you understand your rights, prove your case, and fight for the justice you deserve.
We work with honesty and integrity to protect the rights of our clients and have the toughness and experience to take your claim all the way to court. To date, we have recovered over $300 million for our clients, and we will put that experience to work for you. Contact us today for a free case review.
Find out how we can help you. Schedule an appointment today with us. We’re here for you when you need us most.