Reckless Driving Accidents
If you have been injured by a reckless driver, you have undoubtedly had to deal with a lot of pain, multiple doctor’s appointments and time missed from work. If you have contacted your insurance company, they may have made you an offer that you are wondering if you should take. Before accepting the insurance company’s offer, you should talk to a personal injury attorney. It is also beneficial to understand insurance law in Missouri and the definition of reckless driving.
Insurance Law in Missouri
There are two basic kinds of auto insurance rules in the United States; no-fault and fault.
In a no-fault state, a person’s own insurance company pays for their medical bills and damages to their vehicle. Very few states are no-fault states. Missouri is a fault state. More specifically, it is a pure comparative fault state, This means that the person who is responsible for the accident must pay for the percentage of the accident for which they are responsible. For example, if a driver was 80 percent responsible for an accident their insurance company would have to pay 80 percent of the medical bills and damages to the other driver’s car.
As you can imagine, there is often much controversy over who or what caused an accident. Drivers will squabble with insurance companies; insurance companies will squabble with each other; lawyers will attempt to work out a deal. If a deal cannot be reached, a traffic accident with injuries may result in a lawsuit, and the police accident report is not always admissible in court. However, if the driver who hit you was driving recklessly, it may be considerably easier to prove fault.
What is Reckless Driving
Cops in the Show Me State will automatically give you a ticket for reckless driving if you are going 20 miles over the speed limit. The other laws pertaining to reckless driving in the state can be rather unclear. A driver in Missouri is obligated to operate a vehicle they are driving with the highest degree of care, with no intent to harm anyone. If a driver fails to obey these laws, they are guilty of a class B misdemeanor unless there is an accident, in which case it is considered a class A misdemeanor offense. If an accident results from a driver’s recklessness they may spend up to four years in jail.
What to do if You Have Been Injured
If you have been injured in an accident, remember to wait for the police to arrive at the scene and request a copy of the accident report. Get the names of the witnesses and exchange insurance information with the other driver. You can call the other driver’s insurance company directly or you can call your insurance company and they will call the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Save every bill that you have that is related to the crash and make sure to have your employer document any time that you have missed off of work. It is a good idea to consult with an attorney before you call the insurance company so they can negotiate on your behalf. Even if you call the insurance company yourself, remember to get an attorney to review their offer before you accept any amount of money.
Reckless driving is dangerous and the people who do it need to be reprimanded. Having to pay for auto damages and medical injuries is a good lesson in how to behave when a driver gets back on the road.