A high number of auto accidents in New Jersey are provoked by reckless driving, often resulting in serious injuries.
Reckless driving is a major cause of car accidents on New Jersey roads. This is especially true when inclement weather conditions make the roadways difficult to navigate, as well as during the winter months when roads ice over. According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation, there are nearly 300,000 auto accidents in NJ annually, and those accidents result in more than 60,000 injured motorists and passengers. Anyone who has been injured in a car accident caused by a reckless driver could find themselves facing financial difficulties due to costly medical bills and car repairs. When it comes to securing the financial compensation you need and deserve, your best move will be to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side to help with your claim.
To learn more about reckless driving as a cause of car accidents in New Jersey, keep reading.
What Constitutes Reckless Driving in NJ?
“Reckless driving” refers to a very particular kind of driving that puts other motorists and passengers at risk of injury or death. In fact, reckless driving is considered so dangerous that it is against the law in New Jersey, and it can result in a driver being ticketed, fined, and even having their license suspended. The NJ traffic codes and regulations define “reckless driving” as an act that involves a motorist who either willfully or wantonly disregards the rights and safety of others in a way that is likely to endanger other people and/or property. Basically, if a motorist commits any kind of traffic violation that exposes others to risk – such as speeding, tailgating, texting, etc. – the motorist could be cited for reckless driving. When the traffic offense results in an accident, it could lead to a civil lawsuit in addition to the traffic charges.
Some of the Most Common Types of Reckless Driving
One of the major causes of high-speed collisions is speeding, since it necessarily involves a motorist traveling at a rate of speed that is above the legal limit. A large percentage of fatal auto accidents are caused by speeding, which could result in a driver being unable to bring the vehicle to a complete stop and instead slamming into the back of another vehicle that is already stopped on the roadway. Or it could result in a driver losing control of their vehicle, suddenly changing lanes, and subsequently being involved in a head-on collision.
Driving While Intoxicated
Drunk driving is a significant contributor to many reckless driving accidents, particularly fatal crashes since inebriated motorists are more likely to completely lose control of their vehicles, drive at excessively high speeds, swerve into the wrong lanes, etc. A motorist who causes a drunk driving accident will almost certainly face DWI or DUI charges, as well as civil charges for any damages suffered by the other driver and/or passengers.
Drivers need to pay attention to the road at all times in order to protect themselves, their passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians who might be crossing the road at a traffic light or stop sign. Unfortunately, many motorists fail to keep their eyes on the road because they find themselves distracted, which can make it harder for the motorist to react in time when they need to slow down the vehicle or bring it to a complete stop. Whether it’s a distraction such as eating, drinking, smoking, using a cell phone, adjusting the radio, or even just talking to passengers in the vehicle, distracted driving can be extremely dangerous.
Texting While Driving
One of the most common forms of distracted driving is when a motorist attempts to text on their cell phone while continuing to operate the motor vehicle. Every year, thousands of auto accidents on NJ roads and highways are caused by a driver who is texting, reading a text message, or using a cell phone for any other reason. In New Jersey, the law actually bans the use of hand-held devices by drivers, so these accidents can result in both criminal charges and civil liability.
When a driver gets tired, they may fall asleep at the wheel. Even if this only occurs for a moment, it can result in the driver losing control of their vehicle and crashing into another car on the road, or leaving the road entirely and hitting a pedestrian. Fatigued or drowsy driving is a particular problem for over-tired truck drivers who might find themselves on the highway for several hours at a time.
Common Injuries Caused by Motorists Driving Recklessly
Reckless drivers pose significant risks to others, and sometimes those risks become a reality. Thousands of people are injured by reckless motorists on NJ roadways every year, and many of these injuries are serious enough to require hospitalization and extensive medical treatment. In the worst cases, the injuries, ailments, and physical damage are long-lasting and permanent.
These are some of the most common injuries caused by reckless driving accidents in New Jersey:
Depending on the severity of your injuries and the extent of destruction to your vehicle, your expenses could be considerable. Beyond the obvious medical expenses, you could also be looking at lost wages in the short term, lost earnings in the future, and diminished enjoyment of your life due to pain and suffering. The good news is that New Jersey law provides for protections against reckless drivers and ensures that individuals who have been injured in these kinds of auto accidents are able to get financially compensated. The law specifically requires reckless drivers and/or their insurance companies to compensate accident victims for all of their physical harms, financial losses, and other damages suffered as a result of the accident.
Bringing a Claim Against a Reckless Driver Who Injured You
Although insurance may cover your damages, it might still be necessary to bring a civil claim against the reckless driver who caused the accident. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can make sure that you file all the necessary paperwork with the insurance company and provide all required documentation, such as the police accident report, medical bills, doctor’s reports, and car repair estimates. A lawyer can also help you prove that the other motorist was driving recklessly and therefore should be held liable for your damages. For example, you may need to get the results of a sobriety test administered by law enforcement if it was a DWI accident, or you may need to get cell phone records if the other motorist was texting at the time of the accident.
Your lawyer will also be able to support you in other ways, such as getting you paid without even needing to go to trial. For example, an attorney will likely be in a better position to negotiate a favorable settlement with the insurance company because insurance adjusters tend to take legal representation more seriously. Beyond that, if a fair settlement cannot be reached and the case does go to trial in front of a jury, a personal injury lawyer will be able to argue the case on your behalf and help you secure a victory in the courtroom.
Contact Our Trenton Reckless Driving Accident Lawyers for Help with Your Claim
The knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Cohen & Riechelson have vast experience representing clients who have suffered injuries, property damage, and other physical and financial losses at the hands of reckless drivers. With decades of experience in personal injury and automobile accident law, our legal team is prepared to handle every step in the process of ensuring that you are justly compensated.
The first step is investigating your claim further to validate and assemble a case against the reckless driver. Start today by calling 609-528-2596 for a free case evaluation and talk to a dedicated car accident lawyer free of charge. If we represent you, you pay nothing unless we win. To learn more, contact our Hamilton office today. Our firm serves a multitude of injured victims throughout Mercer County and surrounding areas in New Jersey, including Burlington, Ewing, Trenton, Princeton, Lawrence, and Willingboro among other towns.