Reckless Driving Accidents in Houston
With about 475,000 crashes, more than 14,000 serious injuries, and nearly 4,000 fatalities recorded in just one recent year, according to the state Department of Transportation, it’s clear that Texas has a massive problem with car accidents. In many cases, these crashes result from drivers behaving recklessly. Sadly, reckless drivers’ actions often leave others with severe injuries, expensive medical bills, disabilities, and lingering emotional distress.
The Callahan Law Firm can help if you’ve been injured in a reckless driving accident in Houston. Our Houston car accident lawyers have over 25 years of experience helping crash victims put their lives back together. We’ve recovered significant awards for our clients, and you don’t owe us any fees unless we collect compensation on your behalf.
Get your free initial consultation today and learn more about how we can help after a crash involving reckless driving in Houston.
What Is Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving can be defined as driving without due concern for other motorists and anyone else in the vicinity. It encompasses a wide range of actions a driver can commit, such as:
- Weaving through traffic
- Not using a turn signal when merging, turning, or changing lanes
- Ignoring traffic signals and signs
- Increasing speed when a traffic light turns yellow
- Not watching for cyclists or pedestrians
- Passing illegally
- Chasing or racing other drivers
- Cutting off other drivers who are trying to pass
- “Brake checking” or purposefully slowing down to get another driver to react
- Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs
If a driver does any of these or similar things while not looking out for the safety of others around them, it could qualify as reckless driving.
Texas Reckless Driving Laws
The Texas reckless driving law is found in Section 545.501 of the Texas Transportation Code. This law states that reckless driving is the act of driving with “willful or wanton disregard” for the safety of others. The law says the penalty for reckless driving is a fine of up to $200, up to 30 days in jail, or both. A reckless driving conviction could also add points to your license and cause you to lose your driving privileges.
Types of Accidents Due to Reckless Driving
Some of the accidents caused by reckless driving include:
- Head-on collisions — Drivers who weave through traffic, speed, pass illegally, or engage in other reckless driving behaviors can lose control and end up crossing a median or yellow lane marker. This puts them into the path of oncoming traffic and can lead to a deadly head-on collision.
- Rear-end collisions — Drivers who tailgate, race other drivers, speed, drive while impaired, drive while distracted, or are otherwise behaving recklessly can end up running into the back of vehicles in front of them. Rear-end accidents can also happen if a driver recklessly slams on the brakes to try to get a car following behind them to back off.
- Sideswipe accidents — Reckless drivers who are weaving through traffic, aren’t paying attention, or don’t use their turn signals can end up sideswiping vehicles in lanes next to them, causing a crash. Sideswipe accidents can also happen if a reckless driver speeds up to block someone trying to pass or merge from entering their lane.
- T-Bone accidents — Drivers who don’t make sure they have enough time and space to turn safely or who aren’t watching out for other vehicles turning in front of them can end up causing a T-Bone accident. T-Bone crashes can happen due to driver carelessness, but intoxication, distractions, speed, fatigue, and other factors can also play a role.
- Rollover accidents — Rollover accidents can happen if a reckless driver tries to take a turn too quickly, causing their vehicle to tip over. High-speed crashes caused by reckless driving can also cause vehicles to overturn in an accident.
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents — Pedestrians and cyclists are the most vulnerable people on or near the road since both lacks the protections provided to motorists. A reckless driver could fail to see a pedestrian or bicyclist, could be traveling too fast to avoid a collision, or otherwise might fail to exercise adequate caution when driving near them, leading to a severe injury or fatal accident.
Injuries Caused by Reckless Driving Car Accidents in Houston
Reckless driving accidents frequently cause severe injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Damage to soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, tendons, etc.)
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Crushed or amputated limbs
- Traumatic brain injuries
Can I Get Compensation If I’m in an Accident with a Reckless Driver?
If you’ve been injured in a crash with a reckless driver, Texas law allows you to pursue compensation for your injuries, provided you can prove the driver’s negligent behavior caused your injuries. With the right reckless driving accident attorney, you could potentially recover compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Reduced future earning potential
- Medical bills
- Damaged personal property
Traffic Charges and Liability for Reckless Driving Accidents
If a reckless driver causes an accident that harms or kills someone else, they could be issued a traffic citation or face other charges if they violated the law. However, any personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit will be entirely separate from the driver’s criminal charges.
The fact that the driver was cited or arrested after the accident could be a helpful piece of evidence in the victim’s civil injury claim. The official police report created and filed after the accident will typically note the responding officer’s initial investigation findings and any citations issued at the scene. This information could go a long way in establishing liability for the crash.
However, a civil personal injury lawsuit could still be successful even if the at-fault driver is acquitted on reckless driving charges or never faces charges. Keep in mind that the burden of proof is also lower in a civil lawsuit than in a criminal case.
Contact Our Experienced Houston Car Accident Lawyers Today
Were you injured, or did you lose a loved one in a collision caused by a reckless driver in Houston? If so, turn to an experienced Houston car accident lawyer at The Callahan Law Firm for help holding the at-fault driver accountable. Reach out to us today for a free initial consultation.