Reckless driving is a citation that police can issue to drivers when they show a willful disregard for the rules of the road. It is one thing to make a mistake while driving, and another thing entirely to willfully or repeatedly disobey the law. Under Texas law, Sec. 545.401, reckless driving is defined as “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” However, what constitutes “willful or wanton disregard for the safety” of others might differ widely from police officer to police officer. How fast should a person be driving above the speed limit before their driving should be considered reckless? What kind of traffic law violations should result in reckless driving citations? In some cases, it depends on the county where the violation took place and the officer citing the violation.
Reckless driving is considered a criminal offense in Texas. Individuals found guilty can face up to 30 days in jail. However, if you or a loved one were hurt in a reckless driving accident, you and your family may be entitled to seek damages from negligent parties for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. However, you may only have a limited amount of time to seek damages under the law. If you’ve been hurt, or if a loved one has been hurt, act now. Contact the Cooper Law Firm, reckless driving lawyers in Texas today to learn more about your rights and to take the next steps in your claim.
When it comes to reckless driving violations, you and your family may believe that a driver’s actions were reckless, while the police officers responding to the police call may only issue a careless driving citation or note that the other driver violated the law. The police officer may not always believe that the other driver’s actions showed a willful disregard for the law. When this happens, you and your family may still have the right to seek damages for your losses. The Cooper Law Firm are personal injury attorneys in Texas who may be able to help you.
Complications with Reckless Driving Claims in Texas
Compared to other states, Texas has fairly lenient reckless driving laws in so far as Texas doesn’t have statewide primary enforcement laws that limit certain types of speeding and that classify certain types of speeding violations as criminal violations. While many states give officers the discretion to issue reckless driving citations if a person is driving 25 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit, Texas has no such law. Victims and families who have been injured as a result of another driver’s speeding may have to take their injury case to court to show that a driver’s speeding or violation of Texas’s speed limit was reckless. While many states also prohibit road racing at the state level, Texas has no such state law. However, individual counties or cities may have local ordinances. If you or a loved one believe you were injured due to another driver’s decision to drag race, you may have the right to seek damages from the driver engaging in the act. However, unless local ordinances prohibit drag racing, local police may not always issue a reckless driving citation to the offender. Families may need to take their cases to civil court to hold drivers accountable.
Not all dangerous driving is considered reckless driving in Texas. Not all negligent acts behind the wheel will be considered criminal acts. However, if you have been hurt due to the actions of another driver on the road, you may have the right to seek damages if you believe the driver was violating the law. Officers may have wide discretion in determining whether a traffic offense was an offense that warrants a ticket or a criminal offense worthy of being labelled reckless driving.
Sometimes police reports may be lenient on drivers at the criminal level while the driver might be held accountable for higher civil penalties in civil court. This may mean that your family may still have the right to seek damages for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering losses after an accident where a driver’s actions resulted in your injuries or losses. The Cooper Law Firm are Texas personal injury lawyers who can review the details of your case, review police reports, estimate the value of your claim, and fight to help you get the settlement you may deserve under the law.
Seek Justice Today
Whether another driver was cited for careless driving (a traffic ticket) or reckless driving (a criminal offense), you and your family may be entitled to seek damages for injuries and losses you sustained if another driver’s actions resulted in your injuries. The Cooper Law Firm are car accident attorneys in Texas who work closely with victims and families, helping them seek compensation for their injuries and losses. Contact our firm today to learn more and to fight back.