Were You Injured in an Accident Caused by Reckless or Aggressive Driving?
If you pay attention to the news, it seems like more and more drivers are engaging in reckless or aggressive driving across the state of Maryland. Over the last five years, statistics for the state of Maryland reflect that 290 fatal accidents have been caused by aggressive driving. For the same period, 779 fatal accidents were caused by speeding, more than the number of fatal accidents caused by drunk driving. The reality is that aggressive driving, reckless driving, and driving in excess of the speed limit are among the top causes of car accidents in our state, and many of these accidents result in serious injuries for other drivers. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you get fair compensation for your injuries and other losses if you have been injured in a car or truck accident caused by someone driving aggressively, recklessly, or in excess of the speed limit.
Understanding Reckless and Aggressive Driving
Under Maryland law, aggressive and reckless driving are criminal offenses. They are defined as follows:
- Aggressive driving is when the driver commits three or more of the following offenses at the same time:
- Disregarding traffic lights or signals
- Improperly passing or overtaking other vehicles
- Passing other vehicles on the right
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Driving outside of a single lane
- Reckless driving is driving in such a manner as to indicate a blatant and outrageous disregard for the safety of others.
Both aggressive and reckless driving are misdemeanor offenses, but reckless driving is a more serious charge. If the other driver is ticketed for either of these offenses, a personal injury lawyer will know how to best use this as evidence in support of your claim.
Reckless or Aggressive Driving is Negligent Driving
In any motor vehicle accident case, you need to prove that the other driver was negligent in some way. In other words, you need to prove that they failed to drive in a reasonable and responsible manner so as to avoid getting into an accident with other drivers. Proving negligence can be quite challenging in some cases, as it can be difficult to prove exactly what the other driver did to cause the accident.
If the other driver in your case was driving recklessly or aggressively, you can use this to prove that they were negligent and, therefore, should be held accountable for the accident. Again, a ticket for either of these offenses can be powerful evidence in your case.
However, you can still prove that they were driving recklessly or aggressively even if the other driver did not receive a ticket. You will need to rely on other sources of evidence such as traffic cameras, other eyewitness accounts, or even what you witnessed. You may also engage an accident reconstruction expert to determine the other driver’s approximate speed and other factors that may have caused your accident. A personal injury lawyer will know how to develop the evidence you need to prove your case.
Your Personal Injury Claim is Independent of Any Traffic or Criminal Charges
If the other driver was ticketed or charged with reckless or aggressive driving, you can pursue a personal injury claim regardless of the outcome of the process. While a conviction would obviously help your case, you can pursue your claim even if the ticket or charge is dismissed. If you have been injured in a car accident, your first priority should be getting the compensation you need as quickly as possible.
Punitive Damages May Be Available
In most personal injury cases, the victim is seeking only compensatory damages – damages intended to financially compensate them for their losses. Punitive damages – damages intended to punish the other party and dissuade others from behaving similarly – are available when the other party acted with actual malice. To be clear, this is a very high standard and may only be available in cases where the other driver was driving recklessly. In order to prevail on a claim for punitive damages, you will need to prove that the other driver was intentionally trying to cause harm to others. If you believe that the other driver’s actions warrant punitive damages, you should contact a personal injury lawyer right away.
Contact Personal Injury Lawyer Thomas E. Pyles Today
At The Law Offices of Thomas E. Pyles, we’ve been helping accident victims get the compensation they deserve for over 30 years. If you have been injured in a reckless or aggressive driving accident, get the help you need by calling us at 301-705-5006 or contacting us online to schedule a free consultation.