Traffic accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence on Indiana roads, and many of these accidents happen due to the gross negligence of reckless drivers. Although most are familiar with the term “reckless driving,” many are unaware of what constitutes this serious form of negligence.
Indiana’s road laws detail what kinds of driving behaviors qualify as reckless driving, and you need to be aware of these laws to avoid harsh penalties. Additionally, it’s important to know what to do after suffering from an accident that was caused by a reckless driver.
Types of Reckless Driving
Indiana Code 9-12-8-52 explicitly states what’s considered reckless driving, and the different components outlined in this law involve drivers disregarding others’ safety. Indiana Code 9-12-8-52 states that the following driving behaviors are forms of reckless driving:
- Disregarding others’ safety by weaving in and out of traffic.
- Driving over or under the speed limit in a way that blocks traffic or endangers others.
- Passing a vehicle when you can’t see over 500 feet ahead of you because of a shift in elevation or curve.
- Refusing to allow a driver to legally pass you.
- Passing a school bus when it has its stop sign arm out.
Is Reckless Driving a Criminal Offense in Indiana?
Those who drive recklessly in Indiana may face criminal penalties, and they’ll likely be held responsible for any damages that they cause to others on the road. The severity of their criminal penalties will depend on their specific actions and if they caused damage or harm to others. The penalties include:
- Illegally passing a school bus: Passing a school bus while it has its arm extended will result in a Class B misdemeanor, which can carry up to a $1,000 fine and 180 days in jail. Those who commit a Class B misdemeanor may also have their driver’s license revoked for up to a year.
- Other forms of reckless driving: If a person drives at a dangerous speed, weaves in and out of traffic, or engages in another behavior that’s considered reckless driving, they may face a Class C misdemeanor, which can come with up to a $500 fine and 60 days in jail.
- Engaging in reckless driving that results in property damage: If a person drives recklessly and causes property damage as a result, they may be charged with a Class B misdemeanor.
- Engaging in reckless driving that causes injuries: When a person drives recklessly and injures others as a result, they may face a Class A misdemeanor, which can carry up to a $500 fine and one year in jail. Additionally, they may also lose driving privileges for a year.
What Should I Do After a Reckless Driving Accident?
If you’re involved in an accident with a reckless driver, you need to contact the police immediately. If anyone involved in the accident is hurt, you should call 911, and if necessary, you should accept medical attention from EMTs when they arrive on the scene. If no one is injured, you’re still legally obligated to contact the police. Wait for them to arrive and answer their questions.
While at the scene of the accident, you can collect valuable evidence that you can later use to file a claim with the reckless driver’s insurance company or a lawsuit against the driver. You can take photographic and video evidence of the accident’s aftermath, and you can also interview any eyewitness who saw the event unfold. You should also make sure to record the eyewitnesses’ names and contact information.
Even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured after the wreck, you should still seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you are injured, you’ll need to draw a direct link between the reckless driving accident and your injuries. That way, you can prove that you suffered personal injury damages as a direct result of the negligent driver’s actions.
Finally, you need to contact an Indiana car accident attorney. A skilled attorney can help you prove that the reckless driver was at fault for the accident. Hiring a car accident lawyer is critical because the reckless driver’s insurance company or legal representation will attempt to reduce the amount of damages that you can receive. They may argue that you were partially or entirely at fault for the accident in question.
Your lawyer will present your case on your behalf to prove that the reckless driver was at fault, and they’ll work to maximize the damages that you can receive. Depending on the unique circumstances of your accident, these damages could include property damage, medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of future earnings, and more.
For reliable legal representation after a reckless driving accident, contact Flores Law Group. We’ll work diligently to prove your case and get you the full compensation you deserve after your wreck. Call us today at 317-900-2556 for a free consultation, or you can schedule your consultation online.