Reckless Driving Accidents St Louis
If you’re injured in an accident because of a reckless driver, it can be devastating. Accident injuries often lead to multiple doctor’s appointments, medical bills, pain and suffering, and time missed from work.
Insurance companies often work their hardest to protect their bottom line. They do this by undercutting policyholders with lowball offers. Before accepting the insurance company’s offer, tort law specialists suggest consulting with a car accident attorney in your St. Louis community.
It can also be extremely beneficial to understand insurance law in Missouri, the state definition of reckless driving, and how that could affect your claim. Reckless driving accidents will have a profound impact on your life.
Sit down with Hipskind & McAninch, LLC adept reckless driving specialists for a free consultation. We care about you, and we’ll do everything in our power to build your case.
Missouri Insurance Law
There are two kinds of auto insurance rules. Each state is categorized as a no-fault or a fault state. In a no-fault state, a person’s own insurance company pays for their medical bills and damages to their vehicle.
Missouri is a fault state, and as a pure comparative fault state, each person deemed legally responsible for an accident must pay for the percentage of the accident for which they are responsible. If a negligent driver was found 80% responsible for an accident, then their insurance company would have to pay 80% of the total medical bills and damages of the victims.
No-fault states are the opposite, meaning that each driver’s insurance covers their vehicle no matter who’s at fault. If you’ve been involved in a reckless driving accident, contact us today for a free consultation.
What is Reckless Driving?
Missouri drivers are obligated to operate their vehicles with care. Driving recklessly is a catchall term that can have many meanings. Missouri does not have a specific law called “reckless driving.” In this state, reckless driving is called “careless and imprudent” driving.
For the purpose of this text, “reckless driving” and “careless and imprudent” driving are interchangeable. Missouri State Police will give you a ticket for reckless driving if you are going at least 20 miles over the speed limit.
Reckless driving could result in a Class B misdemeanor conviction. If an accident occurs while you’re driving recklessly, then it can be charged as a class A misdemeanor offense. Class A misdemeanors may carry a penalty of up to one year in jail. If you’re facing reckless driving charges, then reckless driving lawyers may be able to get your charges dropped or reduced.
What is the meaning of reckless driver?
The legal definition of reckless driving varies by state and local regulation. The FMCSA defines reckless drivers as those “driving a motor vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Reckless car accidents are considered a conscious or intentional indifference to the rules of the road and operation of a vehicle.
A driver normally must demonstrate something more than mere negligence in the operation of a vehicle to be cited. If a driver displays complete disregard for traffic signals, red lights, stop signs, and other safety laws, they can be considered reckless.
The following behaviors are considered reckless under MO law and will lead to a traffic violation:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Excessive speeding (25 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit)
- Evading law enforcement
- Intentionally failing to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles and pedestrian
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Passing on a two-lane highway over a double yellow line
- Racing other vehicles
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Texting while driving
If you drive distracted, you’re at risk of harming others. Driving with distraction can also be considered reckless driving behavior. Civil liability stipulates that those who drive with reckless disregard for the safety of others are then responsible for providing financial compensation to victims when injuries occur to other drivers.
Common Cause for Reckless Driving Accidents
A reckless driving car accident can lead to serious injuries, lost wages, expensive medical costs, traffic offenses, and more. Frequent causes of reckless driving include:
- Talking and texting on a cell phone
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Unsafe lane changes
- Disobeying traffic laws
- Speeding 20+ mph above the speed limit
- Driving into oncoming traffic
- Failing to slow down at other accident sites
- Changing Clothes
- Illegal turns
Driver inattention, distractions, and drunk and drugged driving are all leading factors contributing to traffic accidents. Drivers have to drive carefully and avoid causing injuries to other motorists. Aside from a civil claim, Missouri drivers can also face punitive damages when involved in an accident caused by reckless driving.
Reckless, Careless, or Distracted Driving
Although careless driving, distracted driving, and reckless driving seem similar, these violations are not synonymous. They all refer to a driver not following the rules of the road, but the elements for each are different, and they may be cited differently.
Understanding what each violation means can help you determine your next steps if cited. Careless driving is less serious and simply means that the driver was disregarding the rules of the road. Distracted drivers drive in a way that endangers others due to distraction.
Reckless driving is the more severe of the three and boils down to intentionally driving in a way that puts other drivers in danger. This can include speeding and other risky behaviors. Not only does speeding increase the likelihood of an accident, but it also increases the potential for severe injury.
Staying focused while driving and avoiding distractions can help reduce your chances of being involved in such an accident. However, if you are involved in an aggressive driving accident, it is in your best interest to consult an attorney to hold the at-fault driver responsible.
What to do if You Have Been Injured in a Reckless Driving Accident
If you have been injured in an accident, wait for the police to arrive at the scene. Once the police, arrive make sure you request a copy of the accident report. Don’t worry if you forget; you can get a copy at the local precinct where your motor vehicle accident occurred.
It’s also imperative to get all of the contact details for the other drivers and witnesses. We also recommend gathering the insurance information of other drivers involved. The attorneys at Hipskind & McAninch, LLC will be happy to contact insurers on your behalf.
Saving every bill or expense related to the crash and documenting any time that you have missed work can help your attorney calculate your damages. It’s also a good idea to consult one of the experienced St. Louis reckless driving accident attorneys at Hipskind & McAninch, LLC.