Car accidents claim lives in the U.S. every day. Recently, Q City Metro reported that a two-car crash claimed the life of a Charlotte taxi driver. A driver in the second car struck the taxi at a high rate of speed as the taxi was making a left-turn. Police believe the high rate of speed and alcohol factored into the wreck.
Drivers have a responsibility to drive carefully. The driver who allegedly caused the accident described above appeared to have been driving recklessly. Injuries and loss of life from car accidents caused by the carelessness or recklessness of a driver may result in a legal claim for the injured person.
All drivers should operate motor vehicles with “reasonable care under the circumstances,” or they will be considered negligent. Courts consider a number of factors as evidence of negligence. These factors can include:
- Disobeying traffic signs or traffic lights
- Failing to use signals when turning
- Speeding or driving too slowly
- Driving too fast in inclement weather or heavy traffic
- Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs
A person whose negligence leads to a car crash may be legally required to compensate the injured driver or drivers in the form of damages to pay for treatment or hospital care, as well as car repair.
Besides carelessness or inattention, sometimes a driver’s intentional disregard for driving safely may cause that driver to be found legally responsible for an accident. The same factors a court considers when determining negligence also apply when considering recklessness. The difference is proving that the driver intentionally disregarded the reasonable care expected from a driver. For example, a driver intentionally speeding may be found as disregarding the increased risk of an accident caused by driving that fast.
Finally, a drunk driver might be both criminally and financially responsible for the injuries from a car crash that he or she caused, because drunk driving is usually automatically considered reckless conduct. Additionally, sometimes the bar who served alcohol to an intoxicated guest who later caused a car accident may also be found to be reckless and financially liable.
Attorneys specializing in car accident injuries can help determine if a driver has failed his or her responsibility to operate a motor vehicle with reasonable care. Injured drivers or passengers, and families who have suffered a loss, may be entitled to receive some compensation as a result of an accident caused by a negligent or reckless driver.