Urbana Driving Accident Lawyers

Urbana Reckless Driving Accident Lawyers

All Illinois drivers have a legal and ethical duty to operate their vehicles safely. Unfortunately, even when the vast majority of drivers take these responsibilities seriously, a single reckless driver can unleash chaos. Reckless and dangerous driving is one of the most common causes of auto accidents in the Urbana area.

If you have been involved in such an accident, the Urbana reckless driving attorneys at Patel Law, PC can help. We represent clients who have suffered critical, life-altering injuries at the hands of aggressive drivers. We can help you hold the reckless driver accountable by fighting for the compensation you deserve under the law.

What is Reckless Driving in Illinois?

You may think that “reckless driving” is just an expression, but it actually is a legal term. Illinois law defines reckless driving as someone who either operates a vehicle “with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property,” or who “uses an incline in a roadway” to “cause the vehicle to become airborne.”

A reckless driver who meets either of these standards is subject to prosecution for a Class A misdemeanor. If someone is seriously injured as a result of reckless driving, the state can elevate the charge to a felony. Of course, criminal prosecution is only intended to punish the reckless driver–it does not directly compensate an accident victim for their own losses.

This is why it is important to work with an experienced Urbana personal injury lawyer who deals with victims of reckless driving. Even if the reckless driver is never charged with, or convicted of, a crime, you still have the right to take civil action. Remember, the burden of proof is much lower in a personal injury lawsuit than it is in a criminal prosecution.

What are Some Common Examples of Reckless Driving?

As we have said, reckless driving means acting with a disregard for the safety of other people and vehicles on the road. It is more than a momentary lapse in judgment. We are talking about conscious choices made by drivers to act in an aggressive and unsafe manner. Here at Patel Law, PC, these are just a few examples of the types of reckless driving we see on a daily basis:

  • Excessive speeding – While driving a mile or two above the posted speed limit is not inherently unsafe, if a driver goes 20 miles over the limit, that would qualify as reckless driving.
  • Ignoring Other Traffic Laws – This includes running a red light or stop sign, weaving in and out of traffic (i.e., improper lane usage), making U-turns in the middle of a highway, or failing to yield at an intersection or crosswalk.
  • Drag Racing – Public highways are not a race course–any driver who engages in “racing” behavior is considered reckless.
  • Impaired or Distracted Driving – It should go without saying, but a driver who is intoxicated, drugged, or distracted by a cell phone is a reckless and dangerous driver.

Any combination of these reckless driving behaviors can lead to a serious accident. Victims of reckless driving can be killed or require ongoing medical attention for traumatic brain injuries, head and neck injuries, and broken bones, among other things. In addition to physical damage, victims may also face a loss of income, mental anguish, and a lifetime of pain and suffering. Under Illinois law, these victims may seek to recover all of these damages–and potentially more–from a reckless driver.

When Should I Contact an Urbana Reckless Driving Accident Lawyer?

The first thing you need to do following any auto accident is seek immediate medical attention. Even if you “feel okay,” you may have sustained injuries in the accident that do not manifest any symptoms at first. It is also a good idea to contact the police and have them prepare an official accident report. This is especially crucial in a reckless driving situation, as the driver may be cited or arrested for criminal behavior.

Your next step should be to contact an experienced Urbana reckless driving accident attorney. At Patel Law, PC, we can review your case and advise you on the appropriate course of legal action. In many cases, we can negotiate a settlement directly with the reckless driver’s insurance company. But if that does not fully compensate you for your injuries, we are prepared to go to court.

So, if you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s reckless or aggressive driving, contact us today to schedule a consultation.