Reckless Driving Accident Lawyer in Canton, GA
When reckless drivers hit the road in Georgia, no one is safe. Unfortunately, far too many people choose to drive dangerously for fun or to keep with the demands of their daily routines. When drivers sacrifice others’ safety to meet their own needs, they can be held accountable if someone gets hurt.
Reckless driving is a crime in Georgia. Drivers can be penalized with fines and jail time. But if they cause a crash that seriously injures another person, they can — and should — be held civilly liable through a personal injury claim.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Georgia reckless driving accident, call or contact Geiger Legal Group, LLC for a free consultation today. We’ll listen to your story and develop a strategy to pursue maximum compensation for the full extent of your losses.
Geiger Legal Group, LLC is a family-run law firm that prizes personal relationships over heavy caseloads. When you work with us, you won’t get the cold, corporate feel you might get from bigger law firms. Our reckless driving accident lawyers will give your case the time and respect it deserves.
Call us now for your free initial case review.
What is Reckless Driving?
Georgia law defines reckless driving as operating a motor vehicle in “reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property.” A variety of dangerous behaviors behind the wheel may count as reckless driving, such as:
- Speeding: According to statistics from the Governors Office for Highway Safety, speed-related deaths accounted for 17 percent of all Georgia traffic deaths in a recent year.
- Drunk driving: Alcohol-related deaths made up 25 percent of all Georgia motor vehicle fatalities during the same period.
- Disregarding traffic signs and signals: Running red lights, stop signs, and “rolling” through intersections can be lethal to Georgia motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
- Tailgating: Following too closely gives drivers little time to react if someone in front needs to stop suddenly. Tailgating is a common cause of rear-end collisions but can also result in chain-reaction crashes that severely injure multiple people.
- Not using turn signals: Drivers need to let drivers know when they intend to turn or switch lanes. Reckless drivers who fail to use turn signals take motorists by surprise, leaving them with little or no time to avoid a crash.
- Improper passing: The rules of the road dictate when it is appropriate for drivers to pass or overtake other vehicles in different traffic scenarios. Passing illegally makes drivers unpredictable and increases the risk of a crash.
- Distracted driving: There’s never an excuse for distracted driving. Cell phone use, texting, eating, adjusting the radio, talking to passengers, and reaching for objects in the car are reckless actions that can cause otherwise preventable crashes.
- Racing: Georgia roads are not speedways. But thrill-seekers who turn highways and city streets into racetracks can certainly be held liable if racing leads to a car wreck.
According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, around 76 percent of fatalities in Georgia crashes are caused by reckless driving. Speeding and drunk driving are the worst offenders.
Aggressive Driving vs. Reckless Driving in Georgia
Reckless driving and aggressive driving are not the same things in Georgia. According to Georgia Code § 40-6-397, aggressive driving means operating any motor vehicle “with the intent to annoy, harass, molest, intimidate, injure, or obstruct another person.”
The difference is intent. Aggressive drivers purposely make moves that endanger the lives of other drivers. Road rage is a classic example.
By contrast, reckless drivers are careless but do not intentionally harm others. Regardless, both types of drivers can be held financially responsible for any injuries they cause in a car accident.
Types of Reckless Driving Injuries
Sadly, reckless driving accidents result in a wide range of injuries. Examples include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injury/paralysis
- Muscle, tendon, and ligament damage
- Internal organ damage
- Facial injuries
- Abdominal injuries
- Knee injuries
- Wrist injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Deep cuts and lacerations
In reckless driving accidents that result in an individual’s death, eligible family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible driver demanding compensation for their loss.
How Can I Prove the Driver Was Reckless?
The success of any personal injury claim hinges on proving that someone else’s negligence caused the accident and your injuries. So, in a reckless driving accident case, you will need to provide substantial evidence to demonstrate that the driver’s actions met the legal standard for reckless driving in Georgia and that those actions directly resulted in the crash that harmed you.
Common types of evidence to support a reckless driving accident claim include:
- Medical records
- Police accident report
- A reckless driving citation or conviction
- Photos, video, and/or dashcam footage from the accident scene
- Witness statements
- Expert witness testimony
- Pay stubs to document lost wages
- Receipts, bills, and estimates for repair or replacement of your vehicle or damaged personal property
Keep in mind that a criminal conviction is not necessary to obtain compensation in a reckless driving accident claim. Even if the driver in your case is acquitted, you could still collect compensation in a civil claim because they are handled separately in the legal system.
The key to recovering full and fair compensation is to build a solid claim that carefully outlines each of your losses and provides strong evidence to back up your case. An experienced reckless driving accident lawyer can help you collect and organize the information you need to make the best possible case.
Types of Compensation in Georgia Reckless Driving Accident Claims
Filing a claim is the first step toward compensation after a reckless driving accident. Usually, that means filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Georgia offers two main types of compensation to accident victims:
- Economic damages cover the financial losses incurred as a result of the crash. Common examples of economic damages include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, property damage, and expected future care. These costs are fairly easy to calculate.
- Noneconomic damages include compensation for intangible losses with no dollar amount easily attached to them, such as loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and lost quality of life.
How a Reckless Driving Accident Attorney Can Help
During settlement negotiations, the insurance company will look for any reason to minimize your reckless driving accident payout. Adjusters are trained to use a variety of tactics in an attempt to drive down the settlement amount, such as:
- Making a quick settlement offer before you understand the true extent of your injuries
- Asking for a recorded statement before you’ve had time to consult with a lawyer
- Getting your signature on medical release forms that give them access to your entire health history, not just the records related to the crash
- Asking leading questions that could cause you to say something that accidentally damages your case, such as “How are you feeling today?”
- Telling you that you don’t need a lawyer
- Not returning your phone calls
- Saying their settlement offer is “final” in hopes that you agree out of fear
- Blaming the accident on you
In any of these circumstances, you’ll benefit from the help of an experienced reckless driving accident lawyer. Your attorney can defend you against unfair claims of fault and prevent the insurance company from taking advantage of you during such a stressful time.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
In general, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a reckless driving accident claim in Georgia. This deadline is called the statute of limitations.
It’s critical to file a claim before the statute of limitations expires. Missing the deadline could mean you lose your right to compensation altogether. There are limited exceptions to this rule, such as if the injured victim is a minor. If you have questions about the statute of limitations in your case, don’t wait. Ask an attorney right away.
Get Help from a Canton Reckless Driving Accident Lawyer
At Geiger Legal Group, LLC, our mission is to get justice for injured Georgians. If a reckless driver hit you or a family member, put us to work for you. Our reckless driving accident attorneys will push aggressively for the compensation you need to get your life back on track.
We’re ready to get started today. Call or contact us now for your free consultation.