Reckless Driving Car Accident Attorney in Biloxi
When we get behind the wheel, we have to respect the rules of the road and trust that others will do the same. This is how we all stay safe and minimize the chances of injuring someone or damaging their property. Put another way, drivers owe a duty to exercise reasonable care when operating a motor vehicle. And when a driver operates a motor vehicle recklessly, they breach this duty.
Reckless driving (Miss. Code 63-3-1201) happens when a person drives in a manner that indicates willful or wanton disregard for the rules of the road and the safety of others. In Mississippi, this is a misdemeanor that carries fines of up to $100 for a first offense, and up to $500 (as well as the possibility of jail time) for a second and subsequent offense. Careless driving is a lesser offense, but it is still punishable with a fine of up to $50.
The criminal penalties for reckless driving serve as very little comfort to someone who is severely injured or to the family of someone who is killed because of another driver’s recklessness. While the offender pays a few hundred dollars and maybe spends a few days in jail, the person injured can have their entire life turned upside down.
One minute, they are minding their own business driving to where they are going. The next minute, they find themselves in a serious collision with injuries that could last months, years, or even a lifetime. In such cases, there is a long road to recovery, and the damage done to the injury victim is widespread and very difficult to quantify.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a reckless driving accident, you deserve to have experienced representation. At the Gardner Law Firm, we understand the enormous physical, emotional, and financial toll car accident injuries take on victims and their families, and we fight hard to ensure that our clients receive maximum compensation, and that those responsible for the injuries are held fully accountable.
For over four decades, we have successfully represented individuals who have been injured in auto accidents in Ocean Springs, Biloxi, Gulfport, Pascagoula, and communities throughout Southern Mississippi. We are skilled negotiators and strong litigators. Whenever possible, we look to secure a settlement that represents full and fair compensation without the need for a trial. If the other side is not willing to negotiate in good faith, however, we are ready and able to pursue full damages through litigation.
Reckless Driving Accidents in Mississippi
As we talked about earlier, drivers owe a duty of care when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle, and since we all know the catastrophic consequences that can result from an auto accident, most of us do our best to follow the rules. Unfortunately, some motorists choose to drive carelessly or recklessly, even when they know full well the dangers associated with this type of behavior. This often results in various types of accidents; which may include rear-end collisions, side-impact collisions, and head-on collisions.
Some common examples of careless or reckless driving include:
- Speeding excessively;
- Driving faster than what is safe under current conditions;
- Disobeying traffic laws (e.g., running stop signs and red lights);
- Tailgating/following vehicles too closely;
- Passing a school bus illegally;
- Passing other vehicles illegally or in an unsafe manner;
- Weaving erratically between lanes;
- Refusing to yield the right-of-way;
- Driving after dark without headlights;
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs;
- Road rage;
- Distracted driving;
- Fleeing law enforcement officer;
- Street/drag racing;
- Playing “chicken”.
Pursuing Damages in a Reckless Driving Accident Case
Reckless driving car accidents can cause a wide range of injuries. Some of the most common include:
- Head and facial injuries;
- Fractures/broken bones;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Herniated disc;
- Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries;
- Loss of limbs/amputations;
- Internal injuries;
- Wrongful death.
Those who suffer injuries at the hands of a careless or reckless driver deserve to be fully compensated. Compensatory damages for these injuries can be divided into two general categories:
- Economic Damages: These are actual monetary losses sustained by the injured party. Examples include hospitalization costs, costs for surgeries and other medical procedures, rehabilitation expenses, costs for ongoing medical care, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, funeral and burial expenses, and property damage.
- Non-Economic Damages: These are losses that are real but more intangible and difficult to quantify. Examples of non-economic damages include physical pain and suffering, psychological distress, diminished quality of life, disfigurement, permanent disability, loss of consortium, and loss of support, guidance, and care.
In more limited cases, punitive damages may be awarded not as compensation for the injured party’s losses, but as punishment to the party responsible for the accident. In order for the injured party to receive punitive damages, it must be shown that the driver acted with actual malice, gross negligence, or with willful, wanton, or reckless disregard for the safety of others. With most auto accident cases, this is a very difficult standard to meet. However, punitive damages may be more attainable in a reckless driving auto accident case, because it can often be demonstrated that the driver’s actions met this threshold.
Mississippi caps both non-economic damages and punitive damages in a personal injury claim. In most cases, non-economic damages are capped at $1 million, and punitive damages are capped using a complicated formula that is based on the net worth of the defendant. The statute of limitations for most car accident cases in Mississippi is three years. However, if the driver responsible for the injuries was a government employee, the statute of limitations is one year, and there is a different set of procedures that must be followed to initiate a claim.
Contact a Skilled Mississippi Reckless Driving Accident Attorney
Being injured by a reckless driver can be life-altering event. At the Gardner law firm, we understand this, and we are here to provide strong legal guidance and moral support during this difficult time. We take care of all the complex legal tasks, and we deal directly with the other side, so you can focus on getting healthy and getting your life back on track. We work closely with you throughout the process, and we provide frequent updates on your case, so you are always kept informed.
If you are in Ocean Springs, Gulfport, Biloxi, Pascagoula, or anywhere along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, call the Gardner Law Firm today at 228-436-6555 or message us online to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.
We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency basis – you only pay attorney fees if we win your case