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Written by: Benjamin Scott
| Read Time: 2 minutes

When someone drives recklessly, they knowingly put themselves and everyone on or near the road in danger.

Unlike most unintentional vehicle accidents, a reckless driver understands the risks and chooses to drive without caution. 

Reckless driving has serious consequences, and drivers should be held accountable for their deliberate actions that put others in danger.

If you have been injured in an accident involving a reckless driver, it is essential to know your legal rights.

In this article, the California car accident lawyers at Wells call Injury Lawyers go over reckless driving in California and your ability to pursue justice and compensation.

If you have questions, please contact us today. 

What Is Considered Reckless Driving?

Though “reckless driving” is a relatively broad term that can apply to a number of different driving behaviors, California law defines a reckless driver as a “person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”

This law also applies to driving in an off-street parking facility. 

The phrase “willful and wanton” generally means that the driver behaved intentionally and with the knowledge that the behavior would likely result in harm. Some examples of reckless driving include:

  • Excessive speed based on posted speed limits or road conditions;
  • Changing lanes excessively during traffic and without proper signaling;
  • Improper passing, including use of the shoulder; 
  • Tailgating; 
  • Failing to obey traffic signals such as stop signs;
  • Intentional antagonizing another driver; and
  • Driving in places where vehicles are not permitted, such as sidewalks or construction zones. 

What speed is considered reckless driving? In California, speeds reaching 100 miles per hour or more are generally considered reckless. 

Can I File a Lawsuit Against a Reckless Driver?

There is a difference between accidental behavior, such as failing to see the car in front of you that stopped abruptly while traveling at low speeds, and intentionally street racing or swerving in traffic.

That is why there are different punishments for each. Reckless driving in California is a misdemeanor, and reckless drivers may face both a civil lawsuit to help the victim recover costs and a criminal case for intentionally breaking the law. 

If you were injured by a reckless driver, you might be entitled to compensation for your losses—such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, and pain and suffering—you sustained.

If the driver’s conduct was especially egregious (often the case with reckless driving), you might also receive punitive damages, though they are rarely awarded.

An experienced personal injury attorney can help you choose the best legal course of action for your specific situation.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney at Wells Call Injury Lawyers Today

Voted the best law firm in Solano County, the injury attorneys at Wells Call Injury Lawyers understand how difficult it can be to navigate the California legal system.

If you are coping with a serious injury caused by a reckless driver, the last thing you need to be worried about is how to pay your bills.

Let us help you get the compensation you deserve to heal and move forward. Contact us to schedule an appointment for your free case review.

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