According to Texas law, people are guilty of reckless driving if they drive a vehicle in a manner that demonstrates a“willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” One example of this is when a driver weaves in and out of traffic, cutting between cars in different lanes, in order to get ahead. Other examples are when drivers demonstrate road rage by slamming on their brakes in front of a car they believe cut them off, or when drivers engage in racing with other drivers.
When people are injured in a vehicular accident, they may be able to collect damages from the at fault driver. Sometimes, issues arise between the two drivers as to who was at fault for the accident. If the other driver was cited for reckless driving or found guilty of that offense, it is easier to prove that he or she was the one at fault for the accident.
All of these acts demonstrate a wanton disregard for the safety of others or their property. Evidence that the driver was convicted of reckless driving can be presented in a civil personal injury case. This is strong evidence that the at fault driver was the one who engaged in reckless driving. This makes it easier for those who were injured to collect for their damages.
If you were injured in a vehicle accident, damages to which you are generally entitled to include your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, physical impairment, property damage,and others. If the other driver was guilty of reckless driving, you may also be able to collect additional, punitive damages.
Reckless Driving and Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are generally not available in a personal injury case that is brought based on the ordinary negligence of another person. But, when a person has engaged in gross negligence, a court may award punitive damages in order to punish defendant’s conduct. Reckless driving, texting and DWI’s fall into this gross negligence category. If your vehicle accident was caused by a reckless or grossly negligent driver, a judge or jury may allow you to collect punitive damages.
The personal injury attorneys at Springer & Lyle can help you evaluate your case and determine the compensation you are entitled to for your injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other physical damage. Contact us at 940.387.0404 for a free consultation.