Houston Reckless Driving Car Accident Attorneys
Reckless driving is the wanton disregard for another person’s safety while driving a vehicle. Various behaviors fall under the category of reckless driving. If someone’s reckless driving caused your car accident, you can hold them accountable and seek a settlement from their liability insurance company.
Gibson Hill Personal Injury has helped clients like you recover the compensation necessary to cover expenses and losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. A car crash caused by reckless driving often leads to debilitating injuries and fatalities. When someone is weaving in and out of traffic or driving too fast, the impact with another vehicle can be devastating.
We know you’re suffering and in pain. Our Houston personal injury attorneys want to help you recover from your injuries and move forward with your life quickly.
Call us at (713) 659-4000 to set up a free consultation and find out how we can handle your reckless driving accident case.
Car Accidents Caused by Reckless Driving
There are various actions a driver could exhibit that signify recklessness. Any behavior that could cause physical harm to another person is a form of reckless driving. The most common examples include:
- Distracted driving, such as texting
- Road rage
- Impairment by drugs or alcohol
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Failure to use turn signals
- Failure to obey traffic signals and signs
- Sudden braking
Reckless driving is illegal in Texas. It’s a misdemeanor offense with penalties ranging from $200 in fines to 30 days in jail. It doesn’t always result in injuries, but when it does, it’s typically severe. Reckless drivers cause devastation on the roadways. The accidents that occur from their careless behavior are rarely minor. Whether it’s a head-on collision or T-bone crash, the victim usually ends up with injuries that require medical care.
Injuries Resulting From a Reckless Driving Accident
Reckless drivers usually travel at high speeds, so the impact with another vehicle causes injuries that can lead to long-term effects or disability. The most common injuries people suffer in a reckless driving accident include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken or crushed bones
- Loss of limb or amputation
- Spinal cord injury
What You Do (and Don’t Do) After a Car Crash is Crucial
When you get hurt in a reckless driving accident, the steps you take next could impact your case’s outcome. Most people are unsure of what to do, and a simple mistake can cost them the maximum compensation available. Be sure to follow these tips below to ensure you’re able to pursue full and fair compensation from a car accident claim:
- See your doctors regularly. Try not to skip appointments or allow too much time to pass between appointments. Consistent and ongoing treatment is vital to proving you sustained an injury that requires medical care to recover.
- Provide your health insurance to all medical providers. Liability insurance claims don’t provide a settlement until treatment concludes. By then, your medical bills could end up going to collections. Your health insurance should pay upfront for all your treatment, and when you receive your settlement, you can submit those records for reimbursement.
- Don’t settle with the insurance company until you finish treatment with all your doctors. You’ll need to follow up with your medical providers until they release you from care or place you at maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement means the patient won’t heal any further with additional medical intervention. If you accept a settlement check too soon then get diagnosed with a disability, you’ll have to pay for treatment out of pocket.
- Confirm that your physicians explicitly mentioned your injury in their notes. Medical records are important evidence for insurance companies. If they don’t include any information about your injury, and that it was the result of a car accident, you won’t be able to collect compensation.
- Don’t admit fault for the crash. Any amount of blame you share could result in a lower financial award. Modified comparative fault rules reduce the amount of compensation by the percentage of shared blame. For example, if you have $100,000 in expenses but were 20% at fault for the accident, you’re only allowed to recover a maximum of $80,000.
- Don’t talk to the insurance company. Hire a lawyer to speak with the insurance company on your behalf. Gibson Hill Personal Injury knows how to fight for the compensation you deserve. We won’t say the wrong thing or jeopardize your rights. We’ll make sure they treat you fairly and pay the maximum settlement you need to pay your expenses.
Reckless Driving Car Accident Damages
When someone gets hurt in a car wreck, they likely need medical treatment. All the expenses incurred are known as damages. They intend to make the injured victim whole. The losses you suffer fall under two main categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are expenses related to the accident and injury. Examples include:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Out of pocket costs
- Lost earning capacity
- Car repairs or replacement
Non-economic damages are intangible losses, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
Since non-economic damages are difficult to calculate, some factors could determine a fair amount of compensation. They include the following:
- Type of injury sustained and how severe it is
- Duration of ongoing medical treatment
- Invasive surgeries or medical procedures to treat injuries
- Emotional or psychological trauma experienced after the accident
- Total economic damages
- Diagnosis of a physical or mental disability
- Insurance coverage available
- Amount of relevant evidence submitted
- Degree of negligence on the part of the reckless driver
Punitive damages are another type of damage you can seek if you choose to file a lawsuit. Instead of reimbursing you for your expenses and compensating your suffering, it’s a form of punishment against the at-fault motorist. The financial award you receive reflects the degree of negligence and aims to deter them from committing similar acts in the future.
Options for Collecting an Insurance Claim Settlement
All Texas drivers must hold liability auto insurance with minimum bodily injury and property damage limits. Those limits can cover an injured party’s medical expenses and vehicle repairs. When you file a liability insurance claim, you essentially seek compensation for all damages related to the crash.
Unfortunately, some motorists don’t carry auto insurance. When that happens, you can file a claim with your auto insurance. UM, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, is optional on every driver’s policy. It’s not a legal requirement, but all insurance companies are supposed to offer it to their policyholders.
UM can cover someone injured in a car wreck if the at-fault driver either doesn’t hold liability insurance or their limits aren’t high enough to cover all damages. When you file a UM claim, you can recover compensation for most of the economic and non-economic damages available in a liability claim or civil lawsuit. It can also cover anyone in your car at the time of the accident, family members in your household, and someone driving your car with your permission.
The damages available in a UM claim include:
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Car repairs or replacement
- Vehicle rental
- Permanent or partial disability
Another optional coverage on your insurance policy is personal injury protection. PIP can cover a variety of damages resulting from a reckless driving accident, such as:
- Medical costs
- Lost income
- Loss of household services or care
The minimum limit offered on an auto insurance policy for PIP coverage is $2,500, and it goes up to $10,000. You can pay for your medical treatment up to the limit you chose to purchase. Basically, PIP works much like medical insurance. Instead of receiving a settlement at the end of the case, it will pay upfront for each appointment.
You Don’t Have to Pay Upfront for Quality Legal Representation
Most victims of reckless driving accidents worry about the costs of hiring a lawyer. They might forego representation to try to save money. At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we understand the financial burden you’re facing. We don’t want to add any additional stress to your life, so we take cases on contingency.
You don’t have to pay us any legal fees or costs upfront. We’ll work on your case to try to get you the highest compensation available. If we’re able to recover an insurance settlement or secure a favorable jury verdict, we’ll collect our fee. However, if we lose your case, you won’t have to pay us at all.
Choose Gibson Hill Personal Injury
Our Houston car accident lawyers have the dedication, experience, and knowledge to advocate for our clients. We will protect your rights and fight hard to get you the justice you deserve. We know how difficult this has been for you. When you’re in pain and trying to recover from a severe injury, the last thing you want to deal with is a legal case. When you hire us, we’ll relieve your burden by handling every step of the process on your behalf. Your only job will be to focus on recovering.
You can schedule a free consultation with us to discuss your case and receive legal advice. We’ll review all the details surrounding your reckless driving crash to determine the options you have for pursuing financial compensation. We’ll help guide you in the right direction, and if you choose to hire us, we’ll begin working on your case immediately.
If you suffered an injury in a reckless driving car accident in Houston, call the Houston personal injury attorneys of Gibson Hill Personal Injury at (713) 659-4000 and find out how we can help you.