A reckless driver puts motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and others in danger through negligent behaviors such as excessive speeding, unsafe lane changes, and drunk driving. In one year, there were 485 alcohol-related car crash injuries and 61 fatalities in Utah.
Have you or someone you loved been harmed in an accident caused by a reckless driver? If so, you should not have to pay the financial price for someone else’s poor decisions. Victims of reckless driving accidents have the right to pursue compensation for the damage caused by these negligent drivers.
The lawyers at Siegfried & Jensen have been defending the rights of Utah car accident victims for over 30 years. In that time, we have recovered over $1.2 billion in damages for our clients. Contact our law firm today to find out how we can help you and your family.
Call us at 801-845-9000, chat with a representative online, or fill out our client information form to schedule a free case evaluation.
What Is Reckless Driving?
The exact definition of reckless driving varies from state to state. Under the Utah law code, a reckless driver is defined as one who operates “a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Willful or wanton disregard includes “committing three or more traffic violations in a single continuous period of travel covering three miles or more.”
Typically, reckless driving involves various behaviors and decisions, such as disobeying traffic laws or ignoring the rules of the road.
Examples of reckless driving behaviors include:
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Disregarding police traffic barriers
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Running stop signs or red lights
- Passing on the shoulder of the road
- Driving while distracted
- Street racing
Factors That Can Affect a Reckless Driving Charge
The definition of “reckless” can be a bit vague. There are certain factors that may be taken into consideration when determining whether or not a driver’s behavior was reckless.
These factors include:
- Time of day
- Road conditions
- Prevailing weather conditions
- Traffic conditions
- How familiar the driver was with the area
When a reckless driving charge is presented in court, the judge will often take into consideration the extent to which the driver was showing a blatant disregard for the safety of the people on the road.
Evidence to Be Gathered
In order for your personal injury claim or lawsuit to be successful, your lawyer will need to give proof that the other party caused the accident and is responsible for your injuries. That way, you can recover compensation for your medical bills, vehicle repairs, and other damages.
Evidence that proves the other party was driving recklessly may include:
- Photos and video surveillance footage: Pictures taken at the accident scene may show skid marks or other evidence of reckless driving. A dashcam or video surveillance camera in the area can provide solid evidence documenting the accident unfolding.
- Police report and citations: When law enforcement was dispatched to the scene of the accident, the officer likely completed a police report. In the report, the police officer may have stated that the other driver was speeding, drunk driving, or engaging in some other reckless behavior that caused the accident. This report, as well as any citations issued to the driver, can be valuable evidence.
- Breathalyzer or blood test results: If the police officers at the accident scene suspected the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they would have conducted a breathalyzer test or sent the driver to a medical facility for a blood test. These test results can prove that a driver was impaired at the time of the accident.
- Phone records and social media posts: Your lawyer may be able to subpoena the other driver’s cell phone records, providing proof that the driver was texting or talking on the phone at the time of the incident. Your attorneys will also check the other driver’s social media profiles to see if a post, tweet, or comment was added around the time of the collision.
- Medical bills and records: Your lawyers will request copies of all medical bills and expenses so that they can determine how much to request for compensation on your behalf. Your medical records will show the extent of the injuries you sustained as a result of the accident and what your prognosis is going forwards.
- Eyewitness statements: If the other party was driving recklessly, other motorists or pedestrians present could have been witnesses to the driver’s behavior. These witnesses may be interviewed and asked to give a statement.
- Consultations with specialists: When building a reckless driving accident claim, your legal team may consult with accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, law enforcement, engineers, and other professionals. These specialists may be asked to give a written statement of their findings or testify in court to support your case.
Do Not Wait to File Your Utah Reckless Driving Accident Case
At Siegfried & Jensen, we understand that it can take time to recover from the physical and emotional injuries a reckless driving accident can inflict. At the same time, you do not want to forgo your chance to pursue compensation for your injuries.
In Utah, you typically have 3 years from the date of the car accident to file a claim. While a three-year deadline may seem like a long time, it is important to file your claim as soon as possible.
You will need to provide solid evidence showing that the other party was driving recklessly, causing the accident. As time passes, evidence can quickly be lost or destroyed. The sooner you contact a personal injury law firm to represent you, the sooner they can begin collecting evidence and building a solid case on your behalf.
Available Damages for Utah Reckless Driving Accident Victims
A severe car accident can leave a victim suffering severe physical injuries that may require many weeks or months of recovery time. During this time, you may be faced with a mountain of medical bills, all while being unable to return to work because of your injuries.
A reckless driving accident lawyer will be able to accurately calculate the value of your claim and determine which damages you are entitled to receive.
Damages available to reckless driving accident victims may include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Wrongful death
A Utah Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Prove Reckless Driving
We at Siegfried & Jensen believe that reckless drivers need to be held accountable for causing car accidents that result in injuries to others. Over the past three decades, we have helped clients who were injured in many types of motor vehicle accidents.
Our personal injury lawyers understand that being involved in a car crash is an overwhelming experience, and we offer each client compassion, legal experience, and a high level of service and care. Siegfried & Jensen have the skills and resources needed to pursue successful claims against reckless and negligent drivers.
We take all car accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means we only get paid for our legal services if we are successful in negotiating a settlement or winning a monetary award for you in court. There are no upfront costs or fees when you choose us.
You have nothing to lose by scheduling a free case evaluation with Siegfried & Jensen. Contact us today at 801-845-9000.