Were you recently injured in a car accident caused by a reckless driver? Are you tired of spending hours on the phone with insurance companies? Are you frustrated by the fact that you still have outstanding bills related to an accident that you had no role in causing? If these questions are lingering in your mind, you need an attorney who can help you navigate the system to hold the reckless driver accountable. You need a dedicated Sand Diego reckless driving attorney who will effectively advocate on your behalf. You need an attorney who is not afraid of taking on even the largest and most well-funded insurance companies.
We are The Levinson Law Group, a respected San Diego car accident law firm with extensive experience working with injured clients in reckless driving accidents. Unlike many other law firms in the area, we only handle car accident claims, which gives us unparalleled knowledge and experience of what goes into these cases. To learn more about your options, give The Levinson Law Group a call. We accept cases on a contingent fee. That means that if there is no recovery in your case, you pay no fee. And in most cases, we even advance the costs.
Car Accident Statistics
According to the most recently available data from the California Highway Patrol, in 2017:
- 227,160 people were injured in 193,564 nonfatal California car accidents
- 3,904 people were killed in 3,582 fatal California car accidents
This is an increase from the previous year, in which there were 3,854 people were killed in 3,552 fatal California car accidents, and 280,020 people were injured in 195,347 nonfatal California car accidents.
Speed is listed as the cause of 32 percent of all fatal and nonfatal injury crashes in California.
According to the California Highway Patrol, reckless driving was a leading cause of accidents resulting in serious injury or death. For example, in 2017,
- Nearly 62,000 people were injured and 559 killed in California car accidents involving a driver who was speeding.
- Over 1,200 people were injured and 29 killed in California car accidents involving improper passing.
- More than 5,000 people were injured and 177 killed in California car accidents involving a car traveling on the wrong side of the road.
- Over 16,000 people were injured and 165 killed in California car accidents involving a driver’s failure to obey a traffic sign or signal.
- More than 40,000 people were injured and 344 killed in California car accidents involving a driver’s failure to yield the right of way to other drivers or pedestrians.
Taking all the causes of reckless driving into account, it makes reckless driving the single largest cause of California car accidents.
In 2018, more than 9,300 people died in car accidents across the country due to speeding. This amounts to over a quarter of all traffic-related fatalities.
Men are almost twice as likely to speed as women.
Drivers who were speeding at the time of the accident were more than twice as likely to have been intoxicated.
Eighty-five percent of all speed-related accidents occur off the highway.
What Constitutes Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving includes a wide range of dangerous driving behavior and is often referred to as risky driving or aggressive driving. Reckless driving does not have a legal definition, at least not in terms of civil law. However, reckless driving is one of those things where you know it when you see it.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aggressive driving is “The operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.” Of course, this definition is not the most descriptive. However, it is generally accepted that the following driving behaviors all fall under the umbrella of reckless driving:
- Driving on road’s shoulder;
- Erratic lane changing;
- Failure to obey traffic signs, traffic control devices;
- Failure to observe safety zone traffic laws;
- Failure to use turn signals;
- Failure to yield the right of way;
- Following too closely;
- Illegal passing; and
- Making illegal or improper turns;
- Speeding, including driving too fast for conditions or over the posted speed limit; and
- Suddenly changing speeds.
If you were involved in a San Diego reckless driving car accident, the stress and anxiety you are experiencing are normal. So is the frustration. While car insurance is meant to help you recover for your accident-related costs, too often, insurance companies view accident victims’ claims with skepticism. This only adds insult to injury. Our dedicated attorneys at The Levinson Law Group work closely with our clients, their families, and their medical providers to help them overcome the challenges they face after a serious accident. With our help, you can hold the reckless driver who caused your injuries accountable and pursue much-needed financial compensation to cover your accident-related expenses.
Criminal Charges Do Little for San Diego Car Accident Victims
Reckless driving is against the law in California, and in some situations, a driver may be arrested and charged with the crime of reckless driving after causing an accident. However, it is imperative to understand that criminal charges are not intended to remedy accident victims and do little to help those impacted by a driver’s reckless actions. In this way, there are two definitions of reckless driving; the criminal-law definition and the civil-law definition.
According to Vehicle Code Section 23103, “a person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.” Thus, if police and prosecutors determine that a driver engaged in reckless driving, they can face criminal charges. However, when prosecutors bring a reckless driving case against a motorist, they are seeking to enforce the state’s criminal laws; they are not bringing the case on behalf of the accident victim. Thus, even if the reckless driver is found guilty, the court will impose a sentence primarily designed to punish the driver, not to help the accident victim.
In a civil reckless driving claim, an accident victim only needs to prove that the reckless driver was negligent, not that they acted with a “willful or wanton disregard.” This is a much easier burden to meet. Additionally, unlike criminal cases, an accident victim only needs to prove their case by a “preponderance of the evidence” and not “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
While a discussion of the legal differences between criminal and civil reckless driving cases may seem like an unnecessary intellectual exercise, it is important. Because there are different standards used by courts to assess civil and criminal cases, the outcome of a criminal case will not dictate the outcome of the civil case. Thus, if a reckless driver is not criminally charged or is found not guilty, that will not prevent you from bringing a civil case against the driver. However, if the driver is found guilty, this fact can help your case because, although the guilty verdict may not be admissible in a civil lawsuit, it will certainly impact the insurance company’s decision on how to handle the case.
What to Do After a Reckless Driving Accident
For the most part, anytime you are involved in a San Diego car accident, you will want to take certain steps to ensure you receive the proper medical treatment and preserve your ability to later bring a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, reckless driving accidents present additional concerns because the at-fault driver flees the scene in many reckless driving accidents. This is especially the case If they were unlicensed, uninsured, or intoxicated.
However, tempting it may be, do not follow a driver if they leave the accident scene. Instead, follow these steps:
Report the accident
After a collision with a reckless driver, the first thing to do is to call 911 or the local police to report the accident. Reporting the accident will ensure that emergency responders are sent to the scene to help you and anyone else injured. It will also create a record of the accident, which may help prove your case down the road.
Gather any available evidence
If you can, gather whatever evidence you can before leaving the scene. Most importantly, ask around to see if anyone witnessed the accident and get their contact information. You can also use your phone to take pictures of the scene, focusing on the vehicles’ positions, any damage to the vehicles, and nearby signs or structures.
Get medical attention
Emergency responders will check you out to ensure you do not need any emergency, potentially life-saving treatment. However, they are not trained to assess the possibility of long-term damage caused by the accident. Thus, you must see your primary care doctor or visit an urgent care facility shortly after the accident. This will address your medical needs and provide documentation of the treatment you received, which can help ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
Contact a San Diego reckless driving accident lawyer
When you are ready, the final step is to reach out to an attorney who can answer your questions about the recovery process. Calling a lawyer does not mean you have to file a case. A reputable attorney will be happy to answer questions and explain your options.
Contact The Levinson Law Group to Schedule a Free Consultation With a Sand Diego Reckless Driving Accident Lawyer Today
If you were recently injured in a car accident involving a reckless driver, contact The Levinson Law Group for immediate assistance. Our San Diego reckless driving car accident lawyers have extensive experience helping accident victims recover for their accident-related costs. When you bring us on your team, we will handle everything so you can focus on your recovery. This means we will investigate the accident, gather all the necessary documents, file an insurance claim, and negotiate with the insurance company, so you do not have to. If the insurance company does not fairly compensate you for what you have been through, our aggressive trial attorney will not hesitate to take the matter to court.
When you decide to work with The Levinson Law Group, you can rest assured that you will have someone in your corner throughout the entire process. We begin by explaining the recovery process in understandable terms and make ourselves available to answer your questions whenever they come up. We have outstanding reviews all across the Internet, from AVVO to Google My Business, to Yelp, and we encourage you to check them out. To learn more about your options, give The Levinson Law Group a call at 760-827-1700. We accept cases on a contingent fee. That means that if there is no recovery in your case, you pay no fee. And in most cases, we even advance the costs.