Statistics from the Utah Department of Public Safety reported 18,220 motor vehicle crashes resulting in injury within a single year. Speeding was the cause of 8,095 crashes during the same period.
Excessive speeding is a common form of reckless driving. A reckless driver poses a risk to everyone who is forced to share the roadway with him or her. Victims of a reckless driving accident may sustain severe physical injuries and be left to cope with medical bills and other financial hardships.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Utah car accident caused by someone else’s reckless driving, you could be entitled to financial damages for your losses. At Siegfried & Jensen, we have over 30 years of experience in helping car accident victims get the compensation they deserve. Call us today at 801-845-9000 to schedule a free case review.
Utah’s Definition of Reckless Driving
While it is common knowledge that drunk driving is a serious offense in the State of Utah, you may be surprised to learn that reckless driving is too. Both are considered to be the same level of offense, a Class B Misdemeanor.
Utah law code defines reckless driving as operating “a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”
In regard to reckless driving, “willful or wanton disregard” is defined as traveling on the highway at speeds of 105 mph or greater or committing 3 or more traffic violations in a single continuous period of travel covering 3 miles or more.
The State of Utah takes reckless driving offenses seriously. Drivers caught driving recklessly may face:
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- 6 months of jail time
- 80 demerit points on their driving record
- License suspension
- Higher insurance rates
Common Causes of Utah Reckless Driving Accidents
All drivers are expected to focus on their driving without distraction, yield the right of way when required, obey all traffic laws, and operate their vehicles in a way that protects everyone on the road. Driving recklessly is dangerous and can result in a catastrophic accident.
Reckless driving can take many forms, including:
- Failing to signal when changing lanes or turning
- Running stop signs and traffic lights
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Braking suddenly
- Making sudden stops
- Failing to yield
- Distracted driving
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Passing a school bus unlawfully
- Speeding excessively
- Failing to pull over for an emergency vehicle
If one of these driving behaviors or others played a role in your car accident, you should not have to pay the cost of someone else’s negligence. A personal injury attorney can help you hold the responsible party liable for his or her actions.
Teenagers and Reckless Driving
While drivers of all ages may drive recklessly, accident statistics show some age groups are more prone to this type of driving behavior.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of a motor vehicle accident is higher among teens aged 16-19 than any other age group. The report showed that some 2,800 teens were killed and approximately 227,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes within only one year.
What were some of the common causes of these car accidents involving teens? Speeding, distracted driving, drinking alcohol, using substances, and other reckless behaviors were some of the top causes.
Reckless Driving Can Cause Serious Injuries
When a driver shows a blatant disregard for others on the road, the result can be devastating for victims and their families who are involved in a serious auto accident.
A victim of a reckless driving collision may suffer severe injuries, such as:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Cuts or lacerations
- Whiplash and other soft tissue damage
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back injuries and spinal cord damage
- Loss of a limb
- Scars or disfigurement
Why Hire a Utah Reckless Driving Accident Attorney
After being involved in a reckless driving accident, you may be debating whether you should file a claim with the insurance company on your own or hire a personal injury lawyer. While it may seem easiest to just accept the first settlement the insurance company offers, this is likely not in your best interests.
It is important to keep in mind that the insurance company is not on your side. Their goal is to get you to settle for as low of an amount as possible. If you accept a settlement and then realize later that it does not even cover the cost of your medical bills, let alone your other financial losses, you are not able to go back and request more money.
Consider some of the many benefits of having a lawyer on your side after a reckless driving accident. He or she can:
- Gather evidence to support your case
- Identify and locate the at-fault party
- Calculate the value of your claim
- Handle all communications
- File all paperwork on time
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Keep you updated on the progress of your case
- Litigate in court if necessary
Compensation Available to Utah Reckless Driving Accident Victims
A car accident lawyer from Siegfried & Jensen may be able to help you recover compensation for damages you suffered in a reckless driving accident.
While compensation for damages will depend on the individual details of your case, available forms of compensation may include:
- Medical expenses: Compensation for ambulance rides, diagnostic tests, hospital stays, doctor visits, surgeries, medications, and other medical treatments
- Property damage: The cost to repair your vehicle or replace it if the damage is extensive
- Loss of income: You can request damages if your injuries prevent you from being able to return to work for a time
- Loss of future earning potential: These types of damages are awarded when people’s injuries are so severe they are unable to return to their previous careers for an extended period of time
- Pain and suffering: Compensation for the mental and emotional harm the victim suffers after the trauma of being in a car accident
Help for Family Members Who Have Lost a Loved One in a Utah Reckless Driving Accident
In some tragic situations, a motor vehicle accident may be so severe that it causes a fatality. If you have suffered the tragic loss of a loved one in a reckless driving accident, our compassionate lawyers may be able to help you receive some financial support.
We understand that no amount of money can compensate for the loss of a dear loved one. It can reduce the stress of worrying about finances as you and your family try to move forward during this difficult time.
Wrongful death damages may include compensation for:
- Medical bills incurred from the accident
- Burial costs
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of support and more
Contact a Utah Reckless Driving Accident Lawyer Today
Reckless drivers threaten the safety of everyone on the road and should be held accountable for their actions. If a reckless driving accident has caused you or someone you love to suffer harm, do not hesitate to contact our law firm today.
At Siegfried & Jensen, we have over 30 years of experience in helping Utah car accident victims recover compensation for their injuries. Our legal team will review your case for free to inform you of your legal rights and help you determine if you have a claim for compensation.
Let us help you get your life back on track after a reckless driving accident. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation at a time and location convenient to you. Call us at 801-845-9000, complete our easy contact form, or start a live chat with a representative from our team.