Reckless driving has caused an increase in fatalities over the past decade in Indiana. Some examples of reckless driving include unlawfully passing another car or bus, speeding, operating while intoxicated (OWI), distracted driving, or negligence that ends in injury.
Indiana imposes severe penalties for reckless driving that may include jail time, fines, driver’s license suspension, community service, or probation. In addition, a person who is convicted of reckless driving may face additional personal or professional consequences.
Some Reckless Driving Examples in Indiana
According to Indiana Code 9-21-8-52, some common examples of reckless driving cases and penalties in Indiana include:
Standard Reckless Driving
Standard reckless driving cases in Indiana typically include unlawfully passing another driver up a hill or around a curve. A driver who is driving too fast under certain conditions may also be cited for reckless driving. Standard reckless driving violations are class C misdemeanors.
Passing a School Bus Unlawfully
Indiana has strict rules regarding passing a school bus. Violations may include passing a school bus when loading or unloading passengers, passing a school bus while stopped at train tracks, or passing a bus when the bus stop sign is flashing or displayed. This type of violation is categorized as a class B misdemeanor.
Texting and Driving
Like most states, texting and driving is against the law in Indiana. As such, drivers can be convicted of the use of a telecommunications device while operating a motor vehicle under IC 9-21-8-59.
Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)
In the state of Indiana, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is referred to as operating while intoxicated (OWI). Per IC 9-30-5, a driver can be convicted of an OWI if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more, demonstrate signs of impaired driving, or have a schedule I or II controlled substance in their body.
Penalties for Reckless Driving in Indiana
The penalties that a motorist may receive for reckless driving depends on the circumstances of the violation. Penalties may include:
- Driver’s license suspension
- Jail time
- Community service
- Steering wheel/ignition interlock device
A person may also be required to attend traffic school or take a mandatory alcohol or drug addiction treatment program.
Professional consequences of a reckless driving charge may include a suspension or revocation of a professional driver’s license or CDL. This can affect the driver’s ability to get a job in Indiana.
Personal Injury Lawsuits in Reckless Driving Cases
If someone’s reckless driving leads to personal injury, they may face a civil claim or lawsuit in addition to legal penalties. In a civil case, an auto injury lawyer in Indianapolis can help the injured person file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company to recover damages.
Damages in a personal injury case against a reckless driver may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost pay during recovery
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
A reckless driving lawyer in Indianapolis may be able to help a victim establish who is at fault for the accident and estimate the value of their claim depending on the total amount of the losses.
The Process of Pursuing Justice Through a Civil Case
How you might begin to pursue compensation to pay for your accident-related damages is by filing an insurance claim against your own policy, as Indiana is an at-fault state. Every driver is required to have auto insurance, as stated by the Indiana Department of Insurance. Your lawyer can look over your policy to see what your coverages are.
If you cannot recover a settlement that pays all your accident-related bills, you could file a lawsuit against the liable party (or parties) in your case. Your lawyer will negotiate with the other party in an attempt to keep your case out of court. Just because you file a lawsuit doesn’t mean that you have to stop negotiating.
What to Do if You Are Injured in a Reckless Driving Accident
If you are injured in a reckless driving accident, you should seek emergency medical attention immediately. Seeing a doctor after your accident can create a link in your medical record between your injuries and the accident. If possible, document the accident and keep careful records of your medical treatment.
Consider Hiring a Lawyer to Take On Your Reckless Driving Case
Next, you may want to consult a reckless driving law firm. They may be able to review your case and discuss your legal options. If you hire a lawyer to represent you, they can typically:
- Communicate with all parties on your behalf
- Investigate your case for fault and liability
- Gather evidence in your defense
- Gather evidence of your damages
- Negotiate a settlement with the insurance company based on evidence of your losses
- Represent you in court if you decide to file a lawsuit against the liable party
- Protect your rights
- Inform you of your options
- File paperwork
Simply speak to your lawyer if there is something we can do for you that we have not mentioned above. For instance, we can come to you if you cannot come to our office. You do not have to pay us upfront for us to take on your personal injury case.
Get Compensation from Your Personal Injury Case
If you were injured in an accident by a reckless driver, our personal injury lawyers are ready to speak with you. We can help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. is dedicated to protecting the rights of personal injury victims. Call us today for a free consultation with a member of our team.