Legal Options if Injured by a Reckless Driver in Ohio
Reckless driving can cause accidents that lead to devastating injuries. If you were hurt in a car accident caused by a reckless driver, it’s important to know your legal options and rights during such a situation.
Per Ohio Revised Code 4511.20, reckless driving is defined as “willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.” Unfortunately, reckless driving is a common occurrence that leads to serious accidents and injuries. If you are involved in an accident that was the result of someone else’s negligence, you should reach out to our highly skilled Ohio reckless driving accident lawyers at Kisling, Nestico, & Redick. We may be able to help you obtain compensation for your damages.
Examples of Reckless Driving Behaviors
There are a variety of reckless driving behaviors that can put motorists and pedestrians in danger. Some examples of reckless driving behaviors that are often seen in Ohio include:
- Braking abruptly
- Texting, eating, or engaging in any other distracting activities
- Changing lanes or turning illegally
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to use turn signals or headlights at night
- Failing to stop at lights or stop signs
Penalties for Reckless Driving in Ohio
Ohio takes reckless driving seriously. The majority of reckless driving offenses are minor misdemeanors that come with a small fine. However, if you have been convicted of another traffic offense within the past year, you will be charged with a fourth-degree misdemeanor. Additionally, if you have been convicted of two or more traffic offenses within the past year, you will be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor.
A fourth-degree misdemeanor may lead to up to 30 days in jail, and fines reaching $250. A third-degree misdemeanor could cause you to spend up to 60 days in jail while paying fines of up to $500.
Understanding Why People Drive Recklessly
People engage in reckless driving for a plethora of reasons. Often, they do not even realize they are driving recklessly. This can cause serious accidents. People drive recklessly because they:
- Do not care about hurting themselves or others.
- Do not want to stop at lights or signs.
- Are fleeing from the police.
- Are late or impatient.
- Unaware of traffic laws or consequences.
When reckless driving leads to an accident, victims may suffer from serious injuries such as whiplash, lacerations, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, back injuries, and neck injuries. If you’ve sustained injuries as the result of a negligent driving accident, contact our reckless driving accident lawyers right away.
How to Respond to a Reckless Driver and Avoid Becoming One
You should always be on the lookout for reckless drivers and know how to respond whenever you see one. By following these tips, you can keep yourself safe and reduce your risk of becoming involved in a reckless driving accident.
- Adhere to all traffic laws.
- Drive defensively.
- Refrain from honking you horn at reckless drivers.
- Avoid flashing your lights at reckless drivers.
- Keep your seat belt buckled at all times.
- Call the police and report any reckless drivers you see.
- Resist the urge to make eye contact or rude gestures at reckless drivers.
In addition to responding appropriately to reckless drivers, you should make an effort to avoid becoming one. Here’s how you can ensure that you drive safely and resist the temptation to engage in reckless driving behaviors:
You’re far more likely to drive recklessly if you’re late. Therefore, try to leave early and give yourself extra time to get to your destination.
Control road rage.
If you find it a challenge to stay calm while driving, listen to soothing music and/or breathe deeply. Keeping calm will reduce your risk of causing a reckless driving accident.
Do not drive under the influence.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs almost always leads to reckless driving. If you know you’ll be drinking, find a designated driver or invest in a taxi or ride-sharing service.
What to Do After a Reckless Driving Accident
Immediately after a reckless driving accident, you should call the police. This way, you can obtain a police report that can help you in a personal injury claim if you choose to file one. Then, you should take pictures of the accident scene and collect the contact information and insurance details of the other driver.
Next, you should visit the doctor and seek medical attention. By doing so, you can get treated for your injuries and ensure they are properly documented. Lastly, consult our reckless driving accident lawyers. They will gather evidence and witness testimony, determine an appropriate amount of damages you should be due, and speak to the other driver’s insurance company to make sure that you do not receive a low-ball settlement.
Hurt in a Negligent Driving Accident? Contact Our Reckless Driving Accident Lawyers
If you’ve been hurt in a reckless driving accident, it is in your best interest to contact the Ohio reckless driving accident lawyers of Kisling, Nestico & Redick right away. With our legal representation by your side, you may be able to secure compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Contact us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW to schedule a free, initial case consultation.