Los Angeles Reckless Driving Attorneys
Car accidents in Los Angeles are so ubiquitous that some may have even come to accept car accidents as a natural and to-be-expected part of life. However, the truth is those car accidents don’t just happen; they happen as a result of negligence, carelessness, and reckless driving.
At the law offices of El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, our Los Angeles reckless driving attorneys have seen the tragic outcomes of reckless driving accidents time and time again, and know how to best represent the victims of these accident types. If you’ve been harmed in a reckless driving accident in or around L.A., call our team today for a free consultation.
What is Considered “Reckless Driving”?
California defines reckless driving as the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that shows a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. This may include a broad array of offenses and dangerous behavior, including:
- Excessively speeding;
- Driving while intoxicated;
- Eluding a police officer;
- Driving in the wrong direction; or
- Passing another vehicle on a two-lane highway when passing is not permitted.
Of course, this list is not inclusive. What’s more, basic acts of negligence, such as driving while distracted, can also cause serious car accidents and warrant a car accident claim or lawsuit against the responsible party.
Commonly Seen Injuries Caused by Reckless Driving
Because reckless driving typically involves high speeds or other excessively dangerous behaviors, such as heading in the wrong direction of traffic and causing a head-on collision, accidents that are caused by reckless driving are often especially severe. Injuries that a person involved in a reckless driving accident may suffer include:
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Limb amputation injuries;
- Loss of function of a body part;
- Internal injuries; and
- Head, neck, face, and chest injuries.
Learn What Your Rights Are Following an Accident
If you’ve been harmed in a reckless driving accident in L.A., you maintain the right to file a claim for damages against the liability insurance provider of the reckless driver, or against the reckless driver themself. You further maintain the right to seek compensation for the full extent of your injuries, including economic damages and non-economic damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
It’s important to remember that while reckless driving is against the law and the reckless driver may face criminal consequences as such, the outcome of a criminal/traffic case will have no bearing on whether or not you are compensated for harm; the only way you can recover compensation is to pursue a civil claim.
Damages Available After a Reckless Driving Accident
After any car accident, victims who were hit by someone else’s carelessness can file a personal injury claim to recover monetary compensation for their injuries. There are many different types of damages injured individuals can obtain through a personal injury claim. These are economic, non-economic, and in some cases, punitive damages.
Economic damages are those that have a concrete dollar value. Medical expenses, lost income, and any other quantifiable expense, such as necessary accommodations made to a home, are all economic damages. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, do not have an actual dollar value and so, they are not as easy to calculate. These damages include compensation for pain and suffering, loss of companionship and support, and other losses. Due to the fact that these damages do not have concrete values, it is important to work with a Los Angeles reckless driving accident attorney. A lawyer will know the formulas to use to accurately value your non-economic damages.
Punitive damages are another type of compensation available after some car accidents. These damages are not usually awarded, as they are not meant to compensate victims for their injuries but rather, punish the at-fault driver. Punitive damages are only awarded in cases of gross negligence or recklessness. As such, punitive damages are more common when the at-fault party is a reckless driver.
Proving Fault After an Accident with a Reckless Driver
In California, the majority of car accidents rely on the legal concept of negligence. This means that when one person is at fault for a crash, accident victims must show that the other driver was negligent, or careless. This is not always necessary in cases that involve reckless driving.
When someone is hurt by a reckless driver, a Los Angeles reckless driving accident attorney will likely pursue a claim using the basis of negligence per se. When someone is negligent per se, they have violated a law and therefore, are presumed to be negligent. When someone is negligent per se and causes an accident that results in injury, accident victims must only show the violation of law that caused the crash. That in itself proves that the reckless driver was negligent, or careless.
The Statute of Limitations on Reckless Driving Accidents
While you do have the right to file a personal injury claim after an accident to recover compensation for your injuries, you only have a limited amount of time to take legal action. Like all car accident claims, those involving reckless drivers have a statute of limitations, or two years, from the date of the crash. If you do not file your claim within this time, the courts and insurance company will likely dismiss the case, barring you from recovering any compensation at all.
There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations, but they are limited. One of the most commonly used exceptions to the statute of limitations is the discovery rule. Under this rule, the statute of limitations can be tolled, or delayed, if you did not discover your injuries right away. For example, you may have thought you were not injured immediately after the accident. One week later though, you may suffer from headaches and blurry vision and be diagnosed with a concussion. In this case, the statute of limitations could be tolled until the day of your diagnosis, and not the day of the crash.
You Can Trust Our Los Angeles Reckless Driving Attorneys With Your Claim
If you’ve been injured in a reckless driving accident, you need legal counsel immediately. Our Los Angeles reckless driving lawyers at the law office of El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers can start working on your case today. Time is of the essence in car accident claims, which is why it is important to reach out to our lawyers as soon as possible after a wreck. Consultations are offered free of charge – call us today at 213-985-1120 to get started.
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