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Abels & Annes, P.C. Chicago Injury Blog

Reckless Driving and the Serious Impact for Innocent Victims

Abels & Annes, P.C.

An Illinois driver’s license is a privilege that many drivers abuse by driving recklessly. When a speeding or distracted driver crashes into you while you are driving, walking, or riding a bicycle, the results are often devastating. Most serious injuries caused by a reckless driver can change your life in drastic and expensive ways. You and your family may face an uncertain financial future due to the loss of employment and medical expenses. If you were seriously injured due to a reckless driver, consider contacting an Illinois motor vehicle accident lawyer today.

Examples of Reckless Driving

Too often drivers make poor choices while behind the wheel. Engaging in reckless behavior that results in serious injuries to someone else is negligence. Illinois law defines a reckless driver as anyone who “drives any vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” The law expands the definition to include deliberate actions that cause a vehicle to become airborne—like that of jumping the tracks at a railroad crossing. Other examples of reckless driving include but are not limited to:

Speeding – Everyone is in a hurry these days; however, that’s no excuse to speed. Drivers who risk speeds of 20 or more miles per hour over the posted speed limit place everyone in harm’s way. Once a driver loses control of their vehicle at a high speed, the results are devastating for the innocent people around them.

Aggressive driving – The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety defines aggressive driving as “unsafe driving behavior performed deliberately and with ill intention or disregard for safety.” Key behaviors that indicate aggressive driving include:

  • Tailgating
  • Running red lights
  • Cutting in front of another driver, then slowing down
  • Weaving in-and-out of traffic
  • Blocking cars attempting to pass or change lanes

Aggressive driving can quickly escalate into road rage. Examples of this type of reckless behavior include intentionally sideswiping or ramming a car, forcing it off the road, or throwing objects at the car.

Distracted driving – Changes to the way we communicate place us all at risk on city streets and highways. Smartphones and other devices are taking eyes off the road and creating numerous reckless drivers. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that sending or reading a text takes your mind off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your eyes off the road.

Illinois recently passed tougher legislation regarding the use of hand-held phones or other electronic devices behind the wheel. Until all drivers put their phones and devices down, the risk for harming others remains real.

Driving under the influence (DUI) – Depending upon the circumstances, some cases involving a DUI charge are later reduced to reckless driving. Drivers who avoid the serious consequences of a DUI conviction may continue to take risks by drinking and driving.

All it takes is one reckless behavior behind the wheel for someone to change your life forever. No matter how defensively you drive, a collision caused by another driver can result in serious bodily harm for you. If your life was impacted by a reckless driver who crashed into you while you were driving, walking, or bicycling, learn more about your legal options by contacting a personal injury attorney.

Common Serious Injuries Caused by Reckless Drivers

There is usually nothing you can do to prevent a reckless driver from crashing into you. The dangerous driver may appear out of nowhere, leaving you little or no time to avoid them. The force of impact, whether it is a collision with your car or your body, can cause serious injury and in some cases, death.

A trip to the store, a walk with your dog, or a quick bicycle ride can turn tragic in a second. A crash caused by a reckless driver can result in one or more of these common types of serious injuries:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Broken bones

Some victims never fully recover from their injuries and instead, need a lifetime of medical and personal care. Families who must place their injured loved one in a skilled nursing facility face costs of approximately $6,000 per month. Other types of injuries may require home modifications to accommodate power chairs, expensive medications, and extensive therapy. The lifetime costs of a spinal cord injury can reach into the millions of dollars each year.

It is emotionally draining and stressful when you or your loved one can no longer enjoy favorite activities or return to a rewarding career. No one should suffer physically, emotionally, and financially due to the careless actions of a reckless driver. Their failure to share the road responsibly demands accountability for their selfish and reckless actions.

How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help

Insurance companies like to settle cases quickly. It is not uncommon to hear from them soon after the accident. Aggressive representatives will make an initial offer, eager for you to sign and accept. While the initial settlement offer may seem like a nice amount of money, chances are it is not enough to cover any future medical needs.  Sometimes it won’t even cover your ER bills.

The right personal injury attorney knows how to negotiate with insurance companies to secure the compensation you deserve. If they are unable to reach a settlement, the same attorney is unafraid to go to trial. While each case is different, you may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

You have enough to deal with when it comes to your injuries. By securing the services of an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney, you can rest better knowing your case is in the right hands. Don’t risk your financial future by trying to handle your case alone. A car accident case requires legal representation that understands Illinois law. When a reckless driver causes serious injuries to you, demand justice and accountability. Most personal injury attorneys offer free case evaluations; if you’ve been involved in a reckless driving incident or have more questions regarding the law, consider contacting an Illinois car accident lawyer you trust.

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