If you were hit by an aggressive driver in Lakeland, you need the assistance of a reckless driving accident attorney. Whether you were rolling along down I-4 or you were on a neighborhood road, aggressive driving is a serious problem that leads to road rage and collisions. In fact, unsafe drivers end up causing around 30% of accidents every year!
Whether intentional (intimidating other drivers, showing off, experiencing road rage, demonstrating impatience, etc.) or unintentional, operating a vehicle without regard for the safety and wellbeing of others is a crime, punishable by imprisonment and fines. As a victim, you may be owed compensation, so it is wise to consult with a reckless driving accident attorney to better understand how you can recover from your accident.
Careless Driving vs. Reckless Driving: What is the Difference?
As the victim, you may be wondering if you can pursue charges against an aggressive driver. If you are unsure, a reckless driving accident attorney in Lakeland can clear your confusion. In Florida, people tend to use the terms ‘careless’ and ‘reckless’ interchangeably. These terms are actually two separate offenses and knowing the difference is important.
Florida Statute §316.1925 states that all persons operating a vehicle must do so in a “careful and prudent manner, having regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and all other attendant circumstances, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.” Aggressive driving is a violation that will lead to fines, points on your license, the possible revocation of your license, and possible auto insurance hikes.
Reckless driving, on the other hand, is defined as the “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property” while operating a vehicle, according to Florida Statute §316.192. This is a criminal traffic offense, and the punishment for the crime reflects that. For a first conviction, drivers face imprisonment of no more than 90 days, a fine between $25 and $500. Some may even face both imprisonment and a fine. For a subsequent conviction, drivers face imprisonment of no more than six months, a fine between $50 and $1,000, or both imprisonment and a fine.
Examples of Reckless Driving
While the definition in Florida Statute §316.192 is somewhat broad, examples of how someone may drive recklessly in Florida cities like Lakeland include:
- Speeding or racing other cars
- Getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Fleeing a law enforcement vehicle
- Operating a cellphone while behind the wheel
- Disregarding traffic signals and signs
Aggressive careless driving is different, however, and is defined as committing two or more of the following acts simultaneously or in succession:
- Improperly changing lanes
- Following too closely
- Failing to yield
- Violating traffic control and signals
As you can see, the differences between the two offenses are vague at best. Proving definitively that another driver was acting recklessly can be difficult. Therefore, having a reckless driving accident attorney in Lakeland to fight for you and help get you the compensation you deserve is critical.
Call a Reckless Driving Accident Attorney at Dismuke Law
A reckless driving accident attorney is a valuable asset after an incident in Lakeland. You may want to file an auto accident lawsuit, and while you can do so without a lawyer, having one is extremely beneficial. With a professional, you have someone to discuss your case with who understands the laws and how the legal system works. They are your best resource for getting the justice you deserve when you are in an aggressive driving accident.
Most cases that a reckless driving accident attorney works on end in personal injury settlements, especially in cases with egregious behavior. To work with a skilled lawyer in the Lakeland area, trust the professionals at Dismuke Law. Call us today at 1-800-ASK DAVE or contact us online to learn more.