Reckless Driving Accident Attorneys in Columbis SC
When you get in a vehicle to travel somewhere, you have a right to expect that other drivers will exercise reasonable care to maintain the safety of the roadways. We all know that vehicle collisions can be disastrous, so most of us follow the rules of the road and the best safety practices, and we expect others to do the same. Unfortunately, not all motorists respect the driving laws. Some choose to drive recklessly, putting themselves and others in great danger.
Reckless driving (S.C. Code § 56-5-2920) is defined as driving in a manner that indicates “a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” In other words, the driver commits deliberate or unruly acts without any boundaries or limitations. In South Carolina, this is a misdemeanor offense that carries the possibility of up to 30 days in jail. But when a reckless driver’s actions cause severe injuries to others, the criminal penalties the driver is subject to provide very little comfort to injury victims and their families.
For someone who is injured in a reckless driving car accident, the consequences can last for a lifetime. Many auto accident injuries are permanent and debilitating, requiring ongoing medical care. Victims also frequently have to miss a lot of time from work, if they are ever able to return to work at all. Add in the untold amounts of physical and emotional pain and suffering, and the extent of the damages suffered becomes very difficult to quantify.
If you or someone close to you was injured or killed in a reckless driving accident, you need strong legal counsel in your corner advocating forcefully for your legal rights and interests. At Peake & Fowler, we have over two decades of experience representing individuals who have been injured at the hands of a reckless driver, and those who have suffered all other types of personal injuries in South Carolina. Our lawyers have in-depth knowledge of this area of the law, and we put our extensive experience to work to fight hard for maximum compensation on behalf of each client we serve.
Our practice is focused exclusively in the areas of personal injury and workplace accidents, and we have a proven track record of success with even the most complex injury cases. We routinely go up against well-funded adversaries, such as large insurance companies and their armies of lawyers. We know the common tactics they use to try to diminish the value of a claim, and we know what it takes to successfully counter these tactics and secure the most favorable outcome possible for our clients.
Reckless Driving Accidents in South Carolina
A reckless driver is someone who is in a mindset of total disregard for the welfare of others on the road. Some people drive this way when they are intoxicated, others do so because of lack of maturity. Whatever the reason, reckless driving is an especially egregious act, because it puts even the most cautious motorists in danger of an accident.
There are many examples of reckless driving, some of the most common include:
- Excessive speeding (in South Carolina, defined as going 25 miles per hour or more over the speed limit);
- Running stop lights and stop signs;
- Weaving erratically in and out of lanes;
- Illegal or dangerous passing maneuvers;
- Refusing to yield the right of way;
- Driving after dark without headlights on;
- Driving the wrong way down a one-way road;
- Distracted driving;
- Playing “chicken”;
- Street/drag racing.
Motorists who drive recklessly can cause a number of different types of vehicle accidents, such as:
- Rear-End Collisions: According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end crashes are the most frequent type of vehicle collision in the U.S. These accidents usually occur when one car is following another too closely, driving too fast to slow down in time to avoid a crash, and other reasons. Even at slower speeds, rear-end accidents can cause significant injuries, especially to occupants of the lead vehicle who do not see the collision coming and have no time to brace for it.
- Side-Impact Collisions: Commonly known as a T-bone crash, side-impact crashes happen when one car perpendicularly impacts the side of another car. This often happens when a reckless driver runs a red light or stop sign and crashes into the side of a vehicle that is moving through the intersection.
- Head-On Collisions: Head-on crashes are less common than rear-end inside impact crashes, but they can be extremely deadly. Head-on collisions can involve two vehicles, or they can involve a vehicle crashing into a being or object, such as a pedestrian, animal, tree, or roadside. These types of accidents often happen when a driver is intoxicated, driving the wrong way down a one-way street, or is distracted by their smartphone and crosses over the center line in the road.
- Merging Collisions: This type of collision happens when two lanes merge and one vehicle sideswipes another while they are merging. Merging collisions often happen because one driver fails to see the other vehicle in their blind spot. This could be due to one driver going too fast for the other to see them, one driver being inattentive, or other reasons.
- Multi-Vehicle Collisions: A multi-car crash involves three or more vehicles, and frequently occurs on busier roadways. A multi-vehicle accident can be caused by a number of different reckless acts, such as speeding, distracted driving, and various other dangerous maneuvers. Injuries can also be more severe with these types of crashes, because vehicle occupants may experience multiple impacts from different angles.
Those who suffer injuries at the hands of a reckless driver deserve to be fully compensated. Compensatory damages may be available not only for actual monetary losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity, but also for non-economic losses such as physical pain and suffering, psychological distress, and diminished quality of life.
With some reckless driving car accident cases, punitive damages may be available to “punish” the wrongdoer and help deter them and others from committing similarly egregious actions in the future. In the majority of South Carolina personal injury cases, punitive damages are capped at $500,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is greater.
Speak with a Seasoned Reckless Driving Accident Attorney in South Carolina
At Peake & Fowler, we understand being injured by a reckless driver can turn your whole world upside down, and we are here to provide strong legal guidance and moral support during this difficult time. We are there with you from beginning to end, and we take care of all the complicated legal tasks, so you can focus on your recovery. Throughout the process, we communicate regularly to provide frequent updates on how your case is progressing, and we are always available to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced South Carolina personal injury lawyers, call our office today at 803-788-4370. You may also send us a message through our online contact form or stop by our Columbia office in person at your convenience.