Most vehicular collisions in Indiana result from driver negligence. Some examples of negligence include negligent maintenance, distracted driving, and driving while fatigued. Drivers are usually at fault for a wreck because they made a mistake that resulted in an accident. What distinguishes reckless driving from common mistakes is that it involves engaging in dangerous behavior that disregards the safety of others on the road.
Those who drive recklessly may face criminal charges, and they can be held liable for damages and personal injuries. In this blog, we discuss what’s considered reckless driving and its penalties in Indiana, and we cover what you should do if a reckless driver causes your wreck.
Types of Reckless Driving in Indiana
Indiana road authorities classify particular dangerous actions as reckless driving. These actions include:
- Passing another motorist when you can’t see beyond 500 feet in front of you because of a road elevation change or curve.
- Dangerously weaving in and out of traffic.
- Driving under or over the speed limit in a manner that either endangers other drivers or blocks traffic.
- Passing a school bus that has its stop sign extended.
- Not allowing a driver to pass you when it’s legal.
A driver can also face legal and financial consequences if they drive aggressively. A driver’s behavior may be labeled aggressive when they engage in an activity that could be considered road rage, such as tailgating, honking aggressively, or purposefully hitting another car.
What’s the Penalty for Reckless Driving in Indiana?
When a person engages in reckless driving, their penalty will depend on their specific behavior. Common penalties include:
- Standard reckless driving: Those who engage in standard reckless driving, such as driving too fast or passing a vehicle while having a limited view of the road, will be charged with a Class C misdemeanor. Class C misdemeanors can result in up to a $500 fine and 60 days in jail.
- Reckless driving that causes property damage: When a driver engages in reckless behavior that causes property damage, they’ll face a Class B misdemeanor conviction. Class B misdemeanors can result in up to a $1,000 fine and 180 days in jail. Additionally, reckless drivers that cause property damage may lose their license for up to a year.
- Passing a school bus illegally: Like with reckless driving that causes property damage, passing a school bus while it has its stop sign arm extended can result in a Class B misdemeanor.
- Reckless driving that causes injuries: Those who drive recklessly and cause an injury can be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor. The penalty includes up to $5,000 in fines, one year in jail, and a one-year license suspension.
What Should I Do If a Reckless Driver Caused My Accident in Indiana?
The first thing you need to do after suffering from a vehicular accident is ensure your safety and the safety of your passengers. If anyone involved in the wreck is injured, you need to call 911. Additionally, if EMTs arrive, you need to allow them to treat you even if you only have minor injuries. If the wreck didn’t result in any injuries, you still need to call the police and wait for them to arrive. Driving recklessly is a criminal offense in Indiana, so the police may arrest the reckless driver.
If you’re physically able, you need to attempt to gather evidence in case you file a claim. You can gather eyewitness testimonies, and you can gather photographic and video evidence of the wreck with your phone. You should also collect witnesses’ names and contact information.
After leaving the scene of the accident, you need to see a doctor as quickly as possible. Even if you don’t think you suffered from an injury, you could have sustained delayed onset injuries that are not yet apparent. Seeking medical attention as soon as possible after a wreck will also help your case if you need to file a claim because it draws a causal link between the accident caused by the reckless driver and your injuries.
Finally, you need to contact a reckless driver accident attorney to help you with your case.
Contact an Indiana Reckless Driver Personal Injury Attorney
You aren’t required to hire a personal injury attorney in order to file a personal injury claim against a reckless driver, but legal representation will greatly increase the likelihood of settling or winning your case. A seasoned Indiana personal injury lawyer can help you gather evidence and present your case in and out of court to prove that the reckless driver was at fault for your vehicle damages and injuries.
A lawyer can also assist you by subpoenaing necessary evidence that can prove your case, such as a police report or an arrest warrant against the reckless driver, and they can gather expert witnesses, like accident reconstruction experts and medical experts.
If you’re considering filing a personal injury claim in Indiana, contact the attorneys at Crossen Law Firm. We have years of experience assisting Indiana residents with reckless driving and personal injury cases. We may be able to help you recover damages for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of future earnings, and more. Call our office today at 317-401-8626, or you can schedule a free consultation here.