Reckless Driving in Residential Areas
Reckless driving under California Vehicle Code section 23103 is defined as driving a vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for other people's safety or the safety of their property. Reckless driving is more than mere negligence or carelessness. If someone is cited for reckless driving, they may face criminal charges, particularly if someone is hurt or killed as a result. The consequences may be severe. At Sharifi Firm, our Los Angeles car accident attorneys may be able to help if you have been hurt by another driver's reckless driving in a residential area.Reckless Driving in Residential Areas
Reckless driving in a residential area may include drinking, extreme speeds or drag racing, following too closely after a bout of road rage, and a variety of other behaviors that create a risk of harm in an area where others are present and could be injured. For driving to be reckless, rather than merely negligent, the driver must make a conscious decision to act in a particular way, and a greater degree of risk must be involved. The driver does not need to intend to harm others, although they must have good reason to believe that their actions might hurt them.
Even if criminal charges are filed against a reckless driver, you can bring a personal injury lawsuit to pursue damages. The criminal case is separate from the civil case, and even if the criminal case results in a not guilty verdict, you may be able to prevail in a civil lawsuit because the standard of proof is different. In a civil case, you need to prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence, a lower standard than "beyond a reasonable doubt," which is required in criminal cases. However, a criminal case may have consequences that affect a civil lawsuit, so it is important to consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Damages that you may be able to recover if you were harmed by a reckless driver include all economic and noneconomic losses, including medical costs, vocational rehabilitation, lost earning capacity, lost wages, household services, loss of enjoyment, and mental anguish. The precise damages available vary from situation to situation, and the purpose of the damages is not to punish but to make the victim whole.
In California, you can potentially recover punitive damages if the type of reckless driving involved in an accident was drunk driving. Punitive damages are also known as exemplary damages. They are intended to deter the defendant and punish them. The amount awarded varies, depending partly on the egregiousness of the conduct and the amount that would be sufficient to be a punishment.Discuss Your Car Accident Case with a Los Angeles Attorney
People expect to be relatively safe in residential areas near their homes. Reckless driving may have devastating consequences for pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and people in passenger cars. At Sharifi Firm, PLC, our experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation if you have been hurt in an encounter involving someone else's reckless driving in a residential area. Call us at 1-866-422-7222 or use our online form to set up a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision lawyer. Our firm also represents people in Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendale, Covina, Riverside, San Bernardino, and other Southern California cities.