Everyone wants to reach their destination as quickly as possible, but we also all want to get there in one piece. The rules of the road are put in place so that drivers and pedestrians remain safe. Reckless driving occurs when those rules are ignored, and often results in a vehicle collision and catastrophic injuries.
Virginia Reckless Driving Laws Overview
In the state of Virginia, reckless driving is a crime that carries a class 1 misdemeanor charge. Reckless driving most frequently involves speeding, and accidents that occur at higher speeds are more likely to cause severe injuries or even wrongful death.
Speeding isn’t the only reckless driving behavior, however. In Virginia, a reckless driving charge can specifically include:
- Attempting to pass two vehicles side by side (unless there are more than two lanes), or attempting to pass on a hill or other area with an obstructed view.
- Driving more than 20 miles per hour over the local speed limit, or driving more than 80 miles per hour anywhere regardless of the speed limit.
- Driving too fast for road conditions, such as on snow and ice or in construction zones. The exact speed that is considered too fast may be less than the normal 20 miles per hour listed above, depending on the severity of the conditions.
- Failing to yield.
- Operating a vehicle without properly maintained brakes.
- Passing a school bus or an emergency vehicle that has its lights or sirens activated.
- Street racing.
- Turning or changing lanes without signaling.
After being struck in a reckless driving collision, you may end up with bruising, broken bones, lacerations, traumatic brain injuries, or other injury types that put you out of work for an extended period.
Why You Need to Talk to an Attorney After a Reckless Driving Crash
The legal system can be confusing to car accident victims, especially if you are focused on recovering from a serious injury. You may mistakenly believe that the reckless driver being cited or arrested is all that needs to happen for you to recover damages. The truth is that you still need to work with a personal injury attorney even if the state files criminal charges against the at-fault driver.
A reckless driver who caused your accident may face fines, license suspension, or even actual jail time, but none of that helps you in your recovery. Those kinds of criminal consequences don’t do anything for you as bills pile up and you can’t return to work. Here’s the key difference you need to understand—a criminal case isn’t the same as a civil case, and you’ll need an experienced personal injury attorney to recover compensation for the accident.
Of course, some of the evidence between the two types of cases will in fact be the same, and a guilty plea or verdict is extremely helpful to a personal injury case. However, simply being charged with reckless driving doesn’t immediately establish the defendant's liability in your personal injury case. A lawyer still needs to investigate the crash and prove the at-fault party was responsible for your injury. That process includes gathering and presenting evidence for all of your costs stemming from the accident, like:
- Loss of wages, which includes hourly pay as well other costs like being skipped over for a promotion while recovering and any impact to your future earning potential
- Pain and suffering if the accident caused a severe impact on your daily life such as mental anguish or permanent disfigurement
- Your current and future medical bills, which may include therapies, rehabilitation, or surgeries down the line
Get in Touch With a Personal Injury Attorney as Soon as Possible
After seeking medical treatment, your next step after a car crash should be to contact a personal injury attorney with a strong knowledge of Virginia traffic laws and reckless driving cases. If you were hurt by a reckless driver, set up a consultation with The Mottley Law Firm to find out how we can help you.