Getting into a car accident is awful on its own, but it’s even worse knowing the other driver was at fault for being negligent or reckless. It’s one thing to blame road conditions or faulty vehicle equipment, but sometimes things are out of our control and we have to accept that reality.
However, if you were injured because another driver was careless, that’s a lot harder to let go of. Depending on the situation, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the other driver. If that’s an action you’re thinking of taking, it’ll be important for you to know the difference between reckless driving and negligent driving.
Negligent or Reckless? Intent is Key
On the surface, negligence and recklessness might seem like the same thing. They’re both the result of the driver not respecting the dangers of the road or the privilege of driving a vehicle.
The differentiator between the two is the mindset of the driver at the time of the accident. Negligent driving is when the person makes errors or bad choices, but not intentionally. This can include people zoning out or being distracted while driving, or they could be driving while being too tired or slightly intoxicated.
Reckless driving, on the other hand, implies a much more severe state of mind. In this case, the driver will intentionally drive carelessly and ignore other people’s safety. A reckless driver could be one who is speeding excessively or intentionally running through red lights.
In both reckless driving and negligent driving, the person who’s at fault in the accident can be held liable to pay financial compensation to cover injuries or property damage.
However, if a reckless driver injures someone, they could also receive criminal charges. Punishments for reckless driving can include jail time, hundreds of dollars in fines, community service and driver’s license suspension.
Common Causes of Negligent Driving
- Using a phone or other electronic device
- Eating or grooming behind the wheel
- Alcohol or drugs
- Exhaustion or illness
- Complacency or zoning out, especially in construction zones or during inclement weather
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may have the right to financial compensation. Ted B. Lyon & Associates can provide you with thorough and personalized legal services to ensure you’re getting the best outcome possible.
Call 877-Ted-Lyon / 877-833-5966 or send us an email to talk to one of our experienced car accident lawyers. We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. If you’re unable to visit our office, we also provide home and hospital consultations.