September 1, 2020

According to the CDC, 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2017. That translates to one death every 88 minutes in the United States.

Pedestrian injuries and deaths from traffic accidents are unfortunately all too common. More often than not, they’re caused by reckless drivers putting other lives in danger, either by drinking, speeding, driving recklessly, inattentively or using a cell instead of operating their vehicle.. 

If you have been injured or know someone who was killed or seriously injured due to reckless driving, you are entitled to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. In this blog, we’ll go over what causes these accidents and what pedestrians can do to hold reckless drivers accountable.

What Counts as Reckless Driving in Virginia?

The definition of reckless driving is fairly universal and self-explanatory. In Virginia law, reckless driving is defined as someone who drives their vehicle “on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.”

Within this definition, reckless is defined as “a careless disregard by the driver of a motor vehicle for the consequences of his act and an indifference to the safety of life, limb or property.”

This definition begs the question, what specifically counts as reckless driving? 

There are some fairly common examples:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving under the influence
  • Failing to follow traffic laws and signs
  • Ignoring weather conditions 

What Are The Costs For The Driver?

If a driver causes an accident while doing any of these actions, they may be considered a reckless driver and can be charged as such. 

Reckless driving is a class one misdemeanor and can lead to many penalties. Legally, these include a $2,500 fine, suspended license, and in extreme cases, jail time. Monetarily, reckless driving can cause an increase in your automobile insurance and loss of a job due to a conviction.

The charges can get more severe depending on the circumstances of the accident. If the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they’ll also be charged with a DUI. If the driver left the scene without exchanging information, then they could be charged with hit and run.

If the accident leads to a victim’s death, the driver could be charged with vehicular or involuntary manslaughter. This charge is only applied in extreme cases, where the driver’s recklessness goes beyond simple negligence, or there was a fatality or serious injury involved. 

What Are The Costs For The Pedestrian? 

While a reckless driver does face consequences after causing an accident or death, the damages towards the pedestrian can be worse and longer lasting. 

There are the physical damages that a victim faces from being hit by a car. These can range from bruises and scratches, and escalate to broken bones or lost limbs. Worst all, a reckless driver can cause someone to lose their life.

Beyond the physical damages, there are economic damages that a victim of reckless driving can sustain. These include:

  • Hospital bills
  • Physical therapy treatment
  • Medical accessories like crutches or wheelchairs 
  • Job loss due to injuries
  • Replacement or repair of personal property
  • Future medical expenses and lost wages

Both physical and economic damages can lead to emotional damages, such as:

  • The pain and suffering caused by the accident
  • Loss of personal interactions due to injuries
  • Loss of a limb or a sense, like hearing or sight
  • Inability to perform simple tasks in your day-to-day life

How Do I Hold A Reckless Driver Accountable?

If you’ve suffered any of the damages listed here, or want to discuss the effects a reckless driving accident has had on your life, you need to speak with an experienced attorney.

The attorneys at Cravens and Noll are well-versed in personal injury law, specifically in reckless driving accidents. Our lawyers will work with you to make sure you receive the compensation you need and deserve after a horrible accident. 

Let us be your guide. We have a proven track record of success at trial and pretrial settlement negotiation. If your case is worth a million dollars, we are the lawyers to call.

Call or email us to schedule a consultation today.

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