Were You Injured by Reckless Driving?
New York has stiff laws on the books against reckless driving. In particular, Vehicle & Traffic Laws Section 1212 makes it a misdemeanor offense to drive in a way that unreasonably interferes with the use of the highway or that endangers the public unreasonably. This is the type of driving that goes well beyond mere carelessness or being distracted. Nevertheless, countless people engage in risky and illegal maneuvers that threaten public safety nearly every day of the week.
If you were injured in a reckless driving accident, you could be unsure of what to do. You may be waiting for the prosecutor to decide whether to charge the defendants with a crime. However, injured victims have rights to compensation, but they need their own attorney to help them make a claim. Contact Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman today for more information.
Examples of Reckless Driving
A driver is reckless when he is aware of the risk he is posing to the public but does not care. Many reckless drivers are teens who lack adequate impulse control, but you would be surprised by the number of adults to engage in reckless driving as well, especially when they are under the influence of road rage.
Some of the more common examples of reckless driving include:
- Drag Racing
- Illegally passing, such as passing around a corner
- Speeding well over the speed limit
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Driving on the sidewalk
- Blowing through an intersection when pedestrians are crossing
- Running a red light
Reckless driving is far more egregious than mere carelessness. For example, a motorist might accidentally hit someone because they are looking at their cell phone and not know a person is standing behind their car. A reckless driver, by contrast, knows where the pedestrian is and drives too fast, too close anyway.
Why Victims Can Bring Lawsuits for Compensation
Reckless driving is against the law. But that doesn’t mean that a victim must wait for the prosecutor to bring charges. Reckless driving is also a civil wrong, called a tort, and victims can make claims for compensation either by contacting the driver’s insurer or by filing a lawsuit.
The main purpose of a civil lawsuit is to compensate victims for their losses. Our clients have gotten money to pay for their medical care, replace lost income, and repair their vehicles. Because reckless driving accidents often cause serious injuries, they can also qualify for pain and suffering and/or emotional distress damages as well.
A victim's right to compensation exists regardless of whether the state presses charges. For this reason, you should have an NYC reckless driving accident lawyer who understands how to obtain compensation.
Punitive Damages Are Possible
When a driver has been reckless, victims might receive punitive damages, which are usually some multiple of the actual damages discussed above. Punitive damages are awarded to punish a defendant for terrible conduct, and reckless driving will usually qualify.
The big impediment to punitive damages is whether the defendant can afford to pay them. An insurer will not indemnify the insured for punitive damages, so the defendant must have sufficient resources, such as investments, cash in the bank, or property.
Call Our NYC Reckless Driving Lawyers Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman is a leading NYC injury firm with thousands of satisfied clients. We can fight to get you the compensation you need after a bad accident. Call us today a 212-285-3300 or send in our contact form.