Highway fatalities were considerably lower in 2022 on South Carolina roads. This still equates to two fatalities per day and numerous serious accidents with no deaths. If you or someone you love has had an accident and needs a car accident lawyer in North Charleston, the compassionate North Charleston personal injury lawyers at Shelly Leeke Law Firm are here to help.
Reckless Driving in North Charleston
In South Carolina, driving a vehicle in a way that demonstrates “willful or wanton” disregard for the safety of people and property is illegal. This behavior is considered reckless driving according to S.C. Code Ann. §56-5-2920 of the S.C. Code of Laws. But what does that actually mean?
Oxford Languages provides us with the following definitions:
- Wanton is an adjective that is described as deliberate and unprovoked cruel or violent actions.
- Willful is an adjective describing immoral or illegal behaviors performed deliberately and intentionally.
So, reckless driving happens when poor judgment or maleficient behavior is practiced deliberately, and the rules of the road are consciously disregarded. Various behaviors considered “wanton and willful” can cause accidents that end in reckless driving charges. These behaviors can contribute to property damage but do not have to in order to warrant a reckless driving charge.
Common Reckless Driving Conduct
Accidents that are blamed on reckless driving happen in a variety of ways. The thing they have in common is deliberately reckless behavior. Some of them are listed below:
- Exceeding the speed limit
- Brake checking and stopping suddenly and unexpectedly
- Ignoring stop signs by running them at full speed or performing a rolling stop
- Neglecting to use turn signals
- Following too closely
- Texting or other telephone use while driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Not practicing care when changing lanes
- Illegal or excessive lane changes
- Passing in areas that it is unsafe or where passing is prohibited
- Using the median, shoulder, or emergency lane to overtake a car or simply driving in a lane not meant for traffic
Reckless driving is one of the more severe offenses a motorist may be charged with, though it is typically a misdemeanor charge. It does carry hefty fines and a potential prison sentence. You may also be entitled to compensation if a reckless driver injures you.
Whether a driver is naturally more inclined to reckless behavior or if alcohol and drugs are involved, the consequences can be deadly. Passenger peer pressure encouraging poor choices often leads to severe accidents where reckless drivers are the culprit. Road rage is another typical behavior that is considered a reckless driving offense.
Damages You May Seek if You Are the Victim of a Reckless Driving Accident
The harm caused by reckless drivers can affect their victims in a variety of ways. If you or a loved one has sustained damages, you must contact a North Charleston reckless driving accident attorney to assist you in securing your due compensation. Below is a list of damages you may be eligible to demand:
- Medical bills: This includes ambulance trips, emergency room visits, hospital stays, diagnostic tests, medication, surgeries, procedures, doctor visits, and follow-up care.
- Home alterations: These are sometimes required because of certain injuries. Homes must be fitted to accommodate the injured person’s medical equipment and needs, such as ramps, wider doors, lifts, and wheelchair-accessible bathrooms and kitchens.
- Therapies: Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and psychotherapy may be required following an automobile accident.
- Lost wages: Car accidents can cause the injured parties to miss work or not be able to return to work at all. The loss of income makes it extremely stressful, especially as medical bills and expenses continue to grow.
- Loss of future income: Sometimes, injuries make it impossible to pursue careers or occupations that were once within the grasp of the injured person. For instance, a person who loses a hand may no longer be able to seek a career as a welder, even if he has the training.
- Lost educational opportunities: An accident can cause a person to miss school or to give up scholarships or admission to colleges, tech schools, or training certification programs because of their injuries.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: When you can no longer enjoy key aspects of your life that once brought you happiness and joy, you may ask for damages to compensate for your loss.
- Mental anguish: Anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression can occur following an automobile accident.
- Pain and suffering: Being forced to suffer pain and the anguish it brings because of the recklessness of another driver is unfair, and you should be awarded compensation if you are experiencing it.
This is not an exhaustive list of the damages you may be entitled to, but it gives you an idea of what you may demand. Your North Charleston reckless driving accident lawyer will analyze your case, help you determine what you are owed, and then will fight for the best available settlement on your behalf.
Best Behavior at the Scene
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with reckless driving, the case begins at the accident scene. Our best advice is to keep communication to a minimum. Law enforcement may ask what happened, and you can politely answer their questions but do not offer excessive information.
If you are able, gather information from other drivers and witnesses at the scene. Take photos and videos, and document anything out of the ordinary. Write down everything you can remember while it is fresh in your mind.
Get checked out at the emergency room, even if you do not feel an immediate injury. Sometimes, injuries do not immediately present themselves, and it is better to have a medical professional check you out before assuming you are uninjured.
Seek a Reckless Driving Accident Attorney in North Charleston Today
According to Forbes, South Carolina is the second deadliest state in which to drive. If a reckless driver has injured you, this will not surprise you. Sadly, it does not surprise North Charleston reckless driving accident attorneys with Shelly Leeke Law Firm either.
Contact us today, and we will analyze your case and begin pursuing the restitution you deserve.