Memphis Reckless Driving Attorneys
Every state has specific laws to try to keep motorists safe. However, a lot of people are careless when they drive or simply decide to disobey the law. Such drivers are considered reckless. Reckless driving can lead to auto accidents and severe injuries. Gold Law Firm is prepared to represent you if you suffered an injury in a reckless driving accident.
Tennessee defines reckless driving as operating a motor vehicle with disregard for the safety of other people on the road. It comes in many forms and can be any action that puts drivers at risk of physical harm, such as:
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Drug or alcohol impairment
- Illegal merging or swerving between lanes
- Failure to use a turn signal
- Failure to use headlights at night
If you’ve been the victim of an accident caused by a reckless driver, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. The Memphis reckless driving attorneys at Gold Law Firm can help you understand your legal rights and options. Call us today at (901) 244-5003 for a free consultation.
How to Handle a Reckless Driving Accident
Crossing paths with a reckless driver is frightening. You don’t know what they’re going to do next and if you’re in any danger. If you end up getting injured because of someone driving recklessly, there are several steps you should take before leaving the scene of the crash:
- Call 911. Make sure an officer comes out to the accident site to investigate and write a traffic crash report. Tell the officer if you believe reckless driving on the part of the other motorist caused the collision.
- Get the negligent driver’s name, contact information, and auto insurance information.
- Take photos of the scene, both vehicles, and skid marks or debris on the road.
- Speak to those who witnessed the crash and write down their names and phone numbers.
Unfortunately, victims of reckless driving accidents tend to sustain severe injuries. If you’re unable to follow any of the steps above, make sure someone else does it for you.
You should seek medical treatment after the accident. Don’t wait for several days. Insurance companies will look for any reason to deny your claim, and if you waited to see a doctor, they will assume it’s because your injury isn’t serious.
You Should Hire a Reckless Driving Accident Lawyer
At Gold Law Firm, we understand the complex nature of car accident cases. There’s a variety of evidence you need to collect and documentation to submit to the insurance company. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, it can be pretty confusing and overwhelming.
Your reckless driving car accident lawyer will take care of everything for you. When you hire us, we will locate the following evidence:
- All available auto insurance policies
- Photos and video surveillance of the accident scene
- Witness statements
- Vehicle repair estimates and bills
- Your medical records
- Police reports
Gold Law Firm can file an insurance claim on your behalf and negotiate a full and fair settlement. We know how to determine the value of a reckless driving case and maximize the claim, so you receive the highest compensation available.
Options for Pursuing Financial Compensation
When you become the victim of a reckless driving auto accident, there are several options to choose from to get the compensation you need to cover your expenses. These include:
Liability Insurance: All drivers in Tennessee must carry liability insurance with bodily injury and property damage coverage. If the at-fault party caused the crash, you’re entitled to compensation from their insurance carrier.
UM Insurance: UM, uninsured motorist coverage, isn’t a requirement under Tennessee law. It’s optional coverage and provides compensation for victims of an auto accident if the negligent driver doesn’t carry insurance.
Personal Injury Lawsuit: It’s possible to file a civil lawsuit against the other motorist if the insurance company won’t pay the compensation you’re owed for your injuries and losses. Our attorneys will always be prepared to fight for your case in court before a judge and jury.
Damages Covered by a Reckless Driving Claim
Depending on the severity of your injury, you could potentially get compensation for your total damages. Damages are the economic and non-economic losses resulting from an accident.
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and lost future earnings
- Vehicle repair or replacement
- Rental car expenses
- Physical and emotional pain
- Mental anguish
- Loss of society, consortium, and companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Non-economic damages are difficult to measure. Since there’s usually no invoice or number associated with physical or emotional pain, it makes determining how much someone deserves a bit complicated. Tennessee law places a limit on pain and suffering compensation.
You can only receive up to $750,000 for your pain and suffering. If there’s a catastrophic injury or loss, the limit goes up to $1 million. In situations where the negligent driver acted intentionally, concealed or destroyed evidence, was driving under the influence, or got charged with a felony conviction, there’s no limit to the amount of compensation you can win.
Comparative Fault Rule
Many states follow a comparative fault, or comparative negligence, rule when it comes to auto accidents. Those rules dictate the maximum amount of compensation a victim can receive depending on the percentage of shared fault.
Tennessee follows a strict 50% comparative fault rule. If you share 50% or higher of the blame for the accident, you’re automatically unable to receive compensation for your damages. If fault is 50/50, neither party can pursue payment from an insurance company.
If the reckless driver who caused your car crash was 80% at fault and you shared 20% blame, because you failed to use your turn signal or some other type of infraction, you can still pursue financial compensation. However, you won’t be able to cover your total costs. If your damages equal $100,000, the maximum amount you’re allowed is $80,000 because you have to subtract your 20% fault from the total damages.
Reckless Driving Car Accident Lawsuit
There’s a strict deadline to file a lawsuit for compensation of damages. If you want to sue the reckless driver, you have to follow the one-year statute of limitations. That means you only have a year from the date of the crash to sue the person who caused it.
If one year passes and you haven’t filed a lawsuit, you lose your right to pursue compensation. If you try to file, the judge will likely dismiss the case because of the missed deadline.
It’s crucial to ensure your insurance claim gets filed with plenty of time to try to resolve it, just in case you end up needing to sue. If you try to negotiate a settlement and can’t get the amount you want, or your claim gets denied, you’ll have to file your lawsuit before the statute expires. Some insurance claims take months to process, so make sure you keep track of how much time has passed.
Reckless Driving Causes Debilitating Injuries
When you get into an accident with someone driving recklessly, you’ll probably sustain injuries that are severe, life-threatening, or lead to a permanent medical condition. Whether you get hit from the side, rear, or head-on, the range of possible injuries is endless.
The most common injuries victims of reckless driving accidents suffer from include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Permanent or significant scarring
- Soft tissue injuries
- Whiplash or concussion
It’s possible to walk away from a collision with a reckless driver. However, sometimes, even if you take certain precautions, like always wearing a seatbelt, you can still suffer serious injuries due to someone else’s reckless actions. Remain vigilant when you’re behind the wheel, and if you see someone on the road who’s out of control, try to stay away from them. Unfortunately, however, you can’t always see a reckless driver coming.
Compensation for Wrongful Death Claims
If someone dies as a result of a reckless driving crash, immediate family members can pursue a wrongful death claim for compensation. The extent of damages depends on the type of injury and how soon after the accident the victim died.
Tennessee law establishes who’s allowed to file a wrongful death claim against a negligent driver, including:
- Surviving child or next of kin
- Personal representative for the deceased individual’s estate
- Surviving parent if the victim was dependent on them at the time of death
- Administrator of the deceased’s estate if they were a dependent of the administrator
It’s possible to pursue compensation for damages the deceased person would have incurred if they lived, as well as damages incurred by the surviving family member. Those damages include the following:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of earnings between the date of injury and date of death
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental distress or anguish experienced by the victim because of their fatal injury or medical condition
- Lost wages the deceased would have made if they survived
- Physical or mental suffering, lost time, and necessary expenses suffered by the family due to the death
- Loss of the victim’s companionship or love
If the next of kin is a minor, the damages sought in a wrongful death claim goes into a trust until they turn a certain age.
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is one year from the date of the victim’s death.
Speak to an Experienced Reckless Driving Lawyer
Gold Law Firm offers a free consultation for anyone interested in discussing how we can help them with their reckless driving accident case. We understand the burden you’re facing. We will fight hard for the justice you deserve.
Call us at (901) 244-5003 today to speak with one of our dedicated Memphis car accident lawyers.