Car accidents are a common occurrence on Indiana roads, but not all accidents are the same. Reckless driving accidents are those that occur due to the negligent and dangerous behavior of a driver and can include actions such as speeding, tailgating, failing to yield, ignoring traffic signals, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
These types of accidents can result in catastrophic injuries, property damage, and even fatalities.
If you have been involved in a reckless driving accident in Indiana, it’s important to understand your legal rights and options for seeking compensation even for punitive damages. Here are the relevant Indiana laws, and key information you need to know to navigate the aftermath of a reckless driving accident. But if you need legal representation to pursue fair compensation for your damages, contact our team of personal injury lawyers at Christie Farrell Lee & Bell.
Understanding Indiana Law on Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is a serious offense in Indiana and is defined by Indiana Code as operating a vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger a person or property. If a driver is found guilty of reckless driving, they can face criminal charges and may be required to pay fines and other penalties.
However, the consequences of reckless driving do not end with criminal charges. Reckless drivers can also be held civilly liable for any damages they cause in an accident.
This means that if you have been injured or suffered property damage due to a reckless driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Additionally, if the driver’s behavior was particularly egregious, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may also be entitled to punitive damages.
Types of Damages You Can Recover
Under the law, a reckless driver can be held civilly liable for any damages they cause in an accident, including economic and non-economic damages such as:
- Medical expenses: Hospital bills, surgeries, medication, rehabilitation, and future medical expenses related to the injuries. Indiana law also allows for the recovery of future medical expenses related to your injuries. This means that if you require ongoing medical treatment or therapy, you may be entitled to compensation for those expenses as well.
- Lost wages: If your injuries from the accident caused you to miss work and lose wages, you may be entitled to seek compensation for the income you would have earned during the time you were unable to work.
- Property damages: If your vehicle was damaged in the accident, you may be entitled to seek compensation for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
- Pain and suffering: You may be entitled to seek compensation for the physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish you experienced because of the accident.
It’s important to note that the damages you can recover will depend on the extent of your injuries and the circumstances of the accident and it’s crucial to work with a personal injury attorney to assess your case and determine what you may be entitled to recover.
What to Do After a Reckless Driving Accident
After a reckless driving accident, there are several steps you can take to protect your legal rights and improve your chances of recovering compensation. Here are some important things to do:
- Seek medical attention: Your health and safety should be your top priority. Seek medical attention for any injuries sustained in the accident, even if they seem minor at first. Some injuries may not manifest immediately, so it’s important to get checked out as soon as possible.
- Call the police: The information about your accident will be documented in a police report, which can be useful in your insurance claim or lawsuit.
- Gather evidence to prove reckless driving: Take photos of the scene, including any skid marks or other indications of the other driver’s recklessness. Gather contact information for any witnesses and make sure to get the police report, which will contain valuable information about the accident, such as the other driver’s speed and any citations they may have received.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer: After a reckless driving accident, it’s essential to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help protect your rights and guide you through the legal process. A lawyer can help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and pursue legal action if necessary to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
According to Indiana Code 9-21-8-59, the penalties for reckless driving can be severe, including fines, license suspension or revocation, and even imprisonment in certain circumstances. It is crucial to follow the steps dictated by the law to protect your legal rights and maximize your chances of receiving compensation for the damages you have suffered.
Consult with a Reckless Driving Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a reckless driving accident, it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected. We can help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and build a strong case.
At our law firm, our experienced lawyers have helped many clients recover compensation for their injuries and other damages in reckless driving accidents. We understand the complexities of Indiana’s traffic laws and know how to build a strong case to claim what you’re entitled to.
Contact us today for a free consultation
If you have been injured in a reckless driving accident, don’t wait to get the help you need. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. We will review your case, answer your questions, and provide you with an honest assessment of your legal options. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve.