Here in Boca Raton, we are seeing far more reckless drivers than ever before. Despite lockdowns in 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol reported that while collisions were down, they were deadlier. FHP reported a 70 percent increase in citations for going over 100 mph. 3,300 traffic fatalities were reported in the same time, more than the last two previous years’ findings.
Reckless driving is not only dangerous. It is illegal.
What is Considered Reckless Driving in Boca Raton?
The term reckless driving is a generic term for many different types of driving behaviors in Florida. Under Florida statute 316.192, reckless driving is defined as anyone who drives willfully or with wanton disregard for the safety of others. Reckless driving can include speeding, failure to yield, tailgating, or other driving that puts others in harm’s way. Florida law has made reckless driving a serious offense with significant penalties.
Reckless Driving is a Crime
Those who are convicted of driving recklessly have committed a crime. Reckless driving is not an ordinary traffic citation. It comes with serious criminal penalties and consequences, including
- For a first conviction, imprisonment for up to 90 days and/or a fine of between $25 and $500
- For a second conviction, imprisonment for up to six months and/or a fine of between $50 and $1,000
- For a first-degree misdemeanor causing property damage or injuring someone, up to one year in jail, up to one year probation, and/or a $1,000 fine
- For a third-degree felony causing serious injury with a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or other serious injuries, a maximum of five years imprisonment, five years of probation, and/or a fine of $5,000
Reckless Driving That Causes Serious and Catastrophic Injuries
For victims of an accident caused by a reckless driver, injuries are serious and often catastrophic. Many cause heartbreaking deaths.
Speed is one of the primary factors of how serious an injury is likely to be at the hands of a reckless driver.
An analysis of speed conducted by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that speed
- Increases the distance that a vehicle travels from when the driver detects an emergency to the time he or she reacts
- Increases the distance required to stop once the brake is applied
- Increases the risk of loss of control
- Increases crash energy exponentially.
In an accident involving a reckless driver who is speeding, the structure of the car that is hit often cannot withstand the impact and restraint systems will be unable to protect the occupants.
Because of the driver’s recklessness, victims of a crash may sustain life-changing injuries involving a lifetime of costly medical interventions, income loss, and disabilities. Unfortunately, a criminal conviction does nothing for these victims.
Insurance Complications and Reckless Driving Convictions
Unfortunately, insurance further complicates issues for victims of reckless drivers. Because we are a no-fault insurance state, injuries must qualify for a personal injury protection tort exception. You may only file a liability claim if your injuries meet a specific threshold, meaning you have suffered
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
Furthermore, the criminal conviction of the reckless driver may work against you. Most automobile policies do not insure intentional acts. A reckless driving conviction can be regarded as an intentional act and may result in denial of benefits for the victim.
Getting Legal Assistance
Management of these types of accidents and injuries can be extremely complicated. Consequently, those who have been seriously injured by a reckless driver will often need legal assistance to get fairly compensated for their injuries and other damages. These can include:
- Any medical costs, both current and future
- Any loss of income or loss of future earning capacity
- Personal property damages
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death benefits for family members if the accident resulted in a fatality.
A lawsuit brought against a reckless driver will require the assistance of an experienced Boca Raton personal injury attorney who understands the law and what the victim is legally entitled to after a serious car accident.
At Ged Lawyers, LLP, we diligently represent those who have been injured by the negligence of others. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a reckless driver, call us at (561) 995-1966 or contact us online to schedule a no-cost consultation to discuss your case.