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What Is a Reckless Driving Offense?

Texas Transportation Code 545.401 defines reckless driving as “when a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Reckless driving is unique from the usual definition of negligence in personal injury cases.

The “willful or wanton” standard means that the driver was conscious that their driving was likely to cause harm.

Reckless drivers can face criminal penalties such as fines and jail time and be held responsible in civil court for any injuries, deaths, or harm they cause.

Reckless Driving: Common Examples

Reckless driving can take many forms, such as:

You may experience other examples of reckless driving around San Antonio, but any behavior that creates an unreasonable risk of harm to others amounts to reckless driving.

Reckless Driving Behavior Statistics

Although drivers know the dangers of reckless behavior behind the wheel, it continues to play a significant role in accidents around the U.S. According to a survey from AAA:

  • 57 million drivers (26%) admitted to engaging in aggressive driving, such as switching lanes quickly or closely behind another car
  • 71 million drivers (32%) admitted to making rude gestures or honking at others
  • 68 million drivers (31%) admitted to driving through a red light
  • 55 million drivers (25%) admitted to speeding up when another vehicle tried to overtake them
  • 75 million drivers (34%) admitted to tailgating to prevent another vehicle from merging in front of them

Some of our recent results...

Commercial Vehicle Crash
18-Wheeler Crash
18-Wheeler Crash

*The outcome of any individual case depends on factors unique to that case. Past case results listed on this website do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.

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Can You File a Lawsuit Against a Reckless Driver?

People may drive recklessly for many reasons, such as being late or impatient. But no excuse justifies their behavior or makes them any less responsible for the harm they cause. If a reckless driver in San Antonio caused your injuries, you could file a personal injury claim against them and recover compensation for all your damages.

Proving Reckless Driving Caused Your Accident

Law enforcement officers are given the power to decide when someone’s driving constitutes criminal recklessness. A police officer will refer to the willful or wanton standard and evaluate whether the driver knowingly disregarded the safety of others or the consequences associated with the way they were driving.

In a civil case, the burden of proof is based on a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that the evidence must prove your story is more likely than not.

Reckless driving behaviors such as speeding or tailgating are known to be dangerous and likely to cause harm — however, the facts of your case will be used by your attorney to support your claim that the driver’s recklessness hurt you.

Damages in a Reckless Driving Case & Compensation

Depending on the circumstances, you could be eligible for economic and non-economic damages after an auto accident caused by reckless driving. An attorney can help you seek compensation for the following:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Property damages
  • Lost income
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

These are just some of the damages you could be entitled to as a victim of a reckless driving accident. Your attorney will help you calculate the full value of your claim and aggressively advocate on your behalf in court.

What our clients have to say...

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How A Reckless Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help

A capable lawyer can help you build a strong case against the at-fault driver. This includes thoroughly investigating the accident and collecting evidence such as:

  • Police reports
  • Medical records
  • Traffic camera or dashcam video
  • Witness statements

Your attorney may also work with reconstructionists and other experts to prove the other driver’s reckless behavior was the cause of your injuries.

You Have Limited Time to File a Reckless Driving Claim

If a reckless driver caused your accident, don’t delay contacting an attorney to begin the claims process. The Texas statute of limitations only allows victims to file injury claims within two years from the date of the accident. If you wait too long and the statute expires, you won’t be able to collect compensation.