Texas law is designed to hold people accountable for their actions – including their negligent, careless, and even reckless conduct. If you’ve been hurt by a reckless driver, you deserve to be treated fairly and be compensated for the losses you have suffered. Unfortunately, insurance companies will try to make this as difficult as possible for you.
There’s no substitute for putting an experienced Houston reckless driving accident lawyer in your corner. Call The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian today to learn more or to schedule a free initial case consultation.
What Is Considered Reckless Driving?
A lot of people have different ideas about what a reckless driver is or is not. Texas law sets forth the clear requirements for a charge of reckless driving. However, it’s important to distinguish between the criminal/traffic citation standard for a reckless driver and what may qualify as reckless in a civil court of law.
According to the traffic laws of Texas, a person is guilty of reckless driving if he or she operates a motor vehicle with “willful or wanton disregard” for the safety of others and their property. What constitutes ‘willful and wanton’ is not specifically outlined in the law, but examples of such behavior may include:
- Drag racing
- Excessive speeding in school and construction zones
- Extreme intoxication or impairment
- Aggressive driving or road rage
- Stunt driving
- Wrong-way driving on a highway
These actions and others can lead to a citation for reckless driving. However, even if the police do not charge a driver with reckless driving, it is still possible that a jury could find a driver reckless in a civil court.
How We Prove Reckless Driving Was to Blame for Your Accident
When you are seriously injured by a reckless driver, it can be a frustrating time for you and your whole family. What makes it worse is finding out the insurance company is attempting to deny liability or reduce your compensation.
At The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian, our reckless driver attorney aggressively works to push back against these types of nasty insurance tactics by vigorously and zealously advocating for our injured clients. Here are some ways we work to prove your case and demonstrate that the other driver was reckless:
- Official Reports. As soon as possible, our team will get to work gathering evidence, including the official police file on the crash. This will typically include evidence like the crash report, 911 recording, dash cam footage, body cam footage, and any other potential official evidence that may be publicly available.
- Scene Investigation. Next, in serious cases, we often make a trip to the scene to record information about distances, signage, and other relevant evidence that could help to prove who caused the crash. For example, in high-impact cases, the absence of skid marks is often a strong indicator that the other driver was distracted in some way. After all, a reasonable driver confronted with a potential impact will almost always instinctively slam on the brakes to avoid a crash. Likewise, when there are skid marks, our forensic engineers can carefully measure and assess the distance of the tracks to estimate the speed at which the vehicle was traveling before impact.
- Witnesses and Photos. Our investigation doesn’t stop at the scene. In many cases, we will actually work to locate key witnesses in order to prove your case. Often people are kind enough to stop and give a statement, but then it gets tough to find them. Fortunately, our firm works with some of the best private investigators in the state. These investigators will use their skills to find witnesses and learn what they saw.
- Knowledge of the Law. Finally, because we know Texas law and we know how the courts decide cases, we give our clients a strategic advantage in negotiations against insurance adjusters who rely on computers and statistics only. Nothing is quite like having an experienced and knowledgeable reckless driver lawyer who can carefully review details of your case in order to explain to a jury why a crash happened and how the other driver’s conduct was willful and wanton.
Common Reckless Driving Behaviors
So, what is considered reckless driving? The following are some of the most frequent reckless driving behaviors and how they can prove deadly.
- Drunk or Drugged Driving. When someone makes the choice to get behind the wheel under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she is making a conscious decision to put the public in danger. Some might argue that the driver’s judgment is impaired, but this just makes the point even stronger. If you’ve been hurt by a drunk driver, then you need to hire a reckless driving accident attorney who can show the insurance company the reality of what a jury will hear at trial. After all, the impaired driver made a choice to drink, made a choice to endanger others (including vulnerable and innocent people like small children), and made a choice not to get a cab or call a friend. Each choice was done without any regard for others.
- Racing and Aggressive Driving. If you’ve ever seen a driver pull up and challenge someone to a race, you can bet that driver has little regard for the safety of others. Drag racing and “challenging” races are among the most deadly and reckless behaviors a driver can partake in. Aggressive driving is the same, however. When people allow rage and impatience to get the better of them, it can turn deadly quick. Speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, and tailgating for the purpose of intimidating others are all extremely dangerous and show a clear lack of regard for others.
- Wrong-Way Driving. Often something that only happens when people are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, wrong-way driving can happen when someone is not paying attention and gets on the road going the wrong direction. This type of recklessness can lead to head-on crashes, which are almost always extremely serious or fatal. The reason this can be considered reckless is that as soon as someone figures out they are going the wrong way, they can almost always make the choice to pull to a shoulder, get off the road, or drive into a median area to avoid others. By trying to stay on the road, they are choosing the most dangerous course of action.
Pedestrians and Reckless Driving Accidents
For pedestrians, reckless drivers present an ever more complicated problem. An aggressive, distracted, or otherwise careless driver can claim a pedestrian’s life in an instant. Many reckless driving accidents are fatal when pedestrians are involved.
After a pedestrian death or severe injury, family members should speak with a knowledgeable Houston car accident attorney right away. You can bet the insurance company will be looking to cover itself and avoid the potentially large claim that will follow. Insurance companies often have investigators on the scene within minutes of a collision. Their job is not to protect you; they are there to protect their bottom line only.
What to Do After a Reckless Driver Accident
If you’ve been the victim of reckless driving in Houston, then you should follow these steps carefully:
- Go to the hospital right away. Do not delay. You need to make sure you are treated for your injuries. Don’t give the insurance company a reason to say your injuries are unrelated. Also, some injuries may be latent, meaning they will not show up for a couple of days or weeks. By then, it may be harder to treat and result in a lot more pain than if treated earlier.
- Do not speak to insurance adjusters. Their job is to tell you no. They are looking for a reason. Don’t give it to them. Let your attorney handle all communication with insurance adjusters.
- Call The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian. Call our law firm or have someone you trust contact us on your behalf so that we can begin aggressively pursuing justice for you.
Contact Our Houston Reckless Driving Accident Lawyers
Since 2004, our firm has represented thousands of injured people throughout the Houston area and beyond. Our attorneys are bilingual and serve people from every community and area of our city.
If you’ve suffered a serious injury because of a reckless driver, then you have rights. But you must be careful not to sit on those rights too long. After all, Texas law only gives you two years from the date of your accident to bring a lawsuit. Otherwise, you will be forever barred from recovering compensation.
Don’t let this happen to you. Contact The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian today to speak with an attorney free of charge. One of our attorneys can help you better assess your options and figure out whether reckless driving contributed to the accident. If so, you could potentially be entitled to significant monetary compensation for your injuries.
But you won’t know unless you call. We only receive a fee for our services if we succeed in getting you money for your injuries, so you truly have nothing to lose by making the call.