Even if a driver takes every possible precaution, follows the road rules, and maintains their attention where it belongs, crashes can still occur. In these situations, a driver does not commit a criminal act but may be liable to provide compensation to injured parties.
However, some driving is so dangerous that it violates the state’s criminal code. The state’s reckless driving statute punishes people who make a conscious decision to endanger the wellbeing of others. A conviction in criminal court for reckless driving can be powerful evidence in a related but separated civil claim for compensation.
A Metairie reckless driving accident lawyer may be able to help you if another driver’s reckless decisions resulted in your injuries. The legal team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers is ready to explain the state’s reckless driving law and how it interacts with your civil claim for compensation. We will take every step necessary to fight for the payments you need to set things right. Give us a call today at (504) 777-7777 for your free consultation.
What It Means to Commit the Offense of Reckless Driving
Driving on Metairie’s roads comes with a duty to keep others safe. A major part of this obligation is following the rules of the road. Many of these rules are straightforward. Laws such as speed limits, yield signs, and red lights are clear in their instructions to drivers and when a violation occurs.
Unfortunately, not every traffic law is this specific. For example, another part of responsible driving is ensuring that one’s actions do not needlessly harm the wellbeing of others. Even if a driver appears to adhere to other road rules, they may still threaten other people’s safety.
The Louisiana Revised Statutes (RS) §14:99 describes “reckless operation” as any time a driver uses a means of transportation in a criminally negligent or reckless manner. This differs from simple negligence that follows many car crashes. In this case, the prosecutor is attempting to prove that the driver intentionally took actions that endangered others’ wellbeing. The fact that the driver’s actions harmed another is incidental to this concept.
The reckless driving statute leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Police officers who respond to the scene of an incident may decide to make an arrest or issue a ticket as the result of:
- Extreme speeding
- A failure to use headlights at night
- Driving while intoxicated
- Street racing
Each of these activities is illegal on its own. However, a driver receiving a citation for reckless driving faces potential jail time upon conviction. The outcome of a criminal case that follows a reckless driving citation may be critical to your claim for compensation. A lawyer can provide more information about the concept of reckless driving.
For a free legal consultation with a reckless driving lawyer serving Metairie, call (337) 777-7777
Leveraging a Criminal Conviction into a Civil Claim for Compensation
People who are asking a civil court to award damages after an accident bear the burden of proving that another party’s actions were the cause of their losses. In addition, they may also need to prove that their own actions were not a contributing factor to the incident. According to the Louisiana Civil Code (CC) §2323, courts will award reduced compensation to injured people who contribute to the events that led to an accident.
However, in situations where a driver receives a ticket for reckless driving, proving that driver to be at fault in a civil claim can become much simpler. This is because a criminal court will act independently to determine whether the other driver was violating the law at the time of the incident.
If a criminal case ends with a guilty verdict, either as the result of a guilty plea or a trial, the state has determined that the driver was in violation of the law beyond a reasonable doubt. Because courts will not argue a point of fact more than once, this finding may be direct evidence of driver fault in a related civil claim for compensation that a Metairie reckless driving accident lawyer may pursue. A Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers team member can help follow a reckless driving case through the criminal courts to determine whether a conviction might help you pursue your case. Reach out to us today at (504) 777-7777 to learn more.
Metairie Reckless Driving Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Let an Attorney Help You to Pursue the Compensation that You Need to Set Things Right
Every person who suffers a personal injury because of the actions of another party deserves compensation. This compensation can cover the costs of medical bills, reimburse them for lost wages, or make up for their lost quality of life.
It is not unusual for the victims of car crashes to endure tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage. At the same time, the other driver’s insurance company may be pressuring you to provide a recorded statement or denying that their driver was to blame for the incident. It is not surprising that you may feel overwhelmed or frightened when facing this situation.
A Metairie reckless driving accident lawyer is here to help you. They can work to explain the concept of reckless driving and how it relates to your case for compensation. If a criminal court convicted the other driver under state law, we can work to leverage this conviction into a powerful demand for payment. If not, your claim may still be valid using other methods to prove that the other driver was to blame for the accident.
The legal team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers is ready to fight for you. We will take control over every part of your case so that you can focus on making your best recovery and getting your life back on track. Contact us today at (504) 777-7777 for your free consultation and to learn how we are here to help you.