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What You Should Know About Reckless Driving in Dallas

All drivers in Texas have an obligation to drive safely and obey traffic laws. When they don’t, innocent people will get badly hurt and even killed. That’s why reckless driving in Texas is a serious offense that carries heavy fines and possible jail time, even when it’s prosecuted as a misdemeanor.

Driving in Dallas can be challenging. In fact, it was recently named the most dangerous city for driving in America. Dallas has some of the worst infrastructure conditions in the nation, and it’s fourth in the country when it comes to fatal accidents involving speeding drivers.

At The Lenahan Law Firm, we get justice for people with severe injuries that were caused by other people’s negligent actions. If you or a loved one has been injured by a reckless driver in Dallas, you have the right to seek compensation to cover the cost of your injuries and other expenses, such as lost wages, rehabilitation, and wrongful death.

Founding partner Marc C. Lenahan belongs to the prestigious Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. The Lenahan Law Firm has a perfect 10.0 Avvo rating, and we have high marks from Super Lawyers based on peer reviews and independent research.

Call (214) 295-1008 to learn more today.

What Is Considered Reckless Driving in Texas?

According to Texas statutes, reckless driving is defined as “operating a vehicle with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Speeding often results in a reckless driving conviction, but exceeding the speed limit by a specific rate doesn’t automatically subject a person to reckless driving charges.

Drivers may be charged with reckless driving for several types of careless or aggressive behavior that endangers people on the road, such as the following types of behavior:

  • Driving too fast for road conditions
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Ignoring traffic signs
  • Running a red light
  • Evading the police
  • Street racing
  • Speeding

Some states have specific laws against aggressive driving, which include speeding and tailgating. However, aggressive driving is not a statutory offense in Texas, so drivers who engage in these types of dangerous behavior may be charged with reckless driving.

Types of Reckless Driving

Drivers can be charged with reckless driving in any traffic area, including roads, highways, parking lots, and garages. Reckless driving is usually prosecuted as a misdemeanor unless several offenses are involved or it involves extremely hazardous conduct such as racing.

When drivers are charged with street racing or evading the police, penalties become more severe. Reckless driving can also result in felony charges when someone is injured or dies.

Reckless Driving and Negligence vs. Negligence Per Se

Everyone has a duty of care to avoid actions that may cause reasonably foreseeable harm to others. Someone guilty of reckless driving has violated the duty of care.

There are two ways that negligence may be defined — negligence and negligence per se. If the driver who injured you is found negligent, it means their actions caused the accident. Negligence per se occurs when a person is negligent while breaking a law designed to protect public safety. If your lawyer can prove negligence per se, it will strengthen your case.

The law enforcement officer investigating the accident will include evidence of reckless driving in the police report, and they may arrest the other driver. Then, the District Attorney will decide if they will bring charges against the defendant.

Comparative Negligence in a Dallas Reckless Driving Case

When it comes to automobile collisions, Texas is an at-fault state. Reckless drivers and all other parties whose negligent behavior contributed to your injuries may be held liable and forced to pay damages.

Texas applies the legal principle of modified comparative negligence, which means your compensation will be reduced if it is determined that your actions played a role in the accident. For example, if someone causes an accident by making an unsafe maneuver, such as changing lanes without signaling, and crashes into you, you may be held partially responsible for the accident if you were speeding.

Suppose a jury finds that a negligent driver caused your accident. They award you $1,000,000 in damages but also determine you to be 20 percent liable for the accident. Your compensation will then be reduced by that amount, so your total compensation will be $800,000.

Under Texas modified comparative negligence laws, a driver must be less than 50 percent responsible for the accident to receive damages.

Compensation for Accidents Caused by Reckless Dallas Drivers

In addition to reckless drivers, employers can also be held liable for your injuries. For example, trucking and delivery companies may be guilty of negligent hiring when they fail to screen new employees for safe driving history. That means reviewing their driving record and checking references.

Employers must ensure drivers have adequate training and experience to operate all vehicles. Employers can also monitor driver performance using onboard cameras and event data recorders (EDRs).

If you were injured by a reckless driver, The Lenahan Law Firm will investigate the accident by reviewing the police report, examining physical evidence, interviewing and consulting with witnesses, and collecting accident scene photos and dashcam and surveillance camera video.

After completing our investigation, the experienced litigators at The Lenahan Law Firm will file a claim against anyone who committed a negligent act that contributed to your injuries. This may include the driver that hit you, their employer, and other drivers involved in the crash.

The Consequences of Reckless Driving in Dallas

Street racing and other types of reckless driving are extremely hazardous behaviors that have no place on our roads and highways. At The Lenahan Law Firm, our Dallas car accident attorneys meet victims of reckless driving and their families all the time. These people have had their lives shattered by a serious injury or the loss of a loved one.

Many of our clients are struggling to live with serious injuries that will require a lifetime of medical treatment and daily professional care. Injuries frequently caused by reckless driving include:

Our Dallas Car Accident Attorneys Specialize in Severe Injuries

At The Lenahan Law Firm, our lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in settlements for our clients. We do everything we can to help people put their lives back together after an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence.

We only handle a limited number of severe injury cases, so each client has our complete and committed attention. The Lenahan Law Firm has the resources to take on big insurance companies and win. Call (214) 295-1008 to learn more today. Our lawyers are on your side.

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- Charles D.