After a crash, you may be asking what exactly happened. Because accidents occur so quickly, most of the time, neither driver can actually put together all the pieces. Now, as a victim, you might wonder about the other driver’s charges or consequences. It’s a natural part of resolving the crash and getting some closure for yourself. If a car accident happened at excessively high-speeds or under unreasonable circumstances, it’s likely that the at-fault driver will face charges. Those charges will likely be either negligent or reckless driving. These are separate instances, although they can be combined as “negligent and reckless behavior.” A car accident attorney in the Tampa area can help if this ever happens to you.
Charges for Negligence and Reckless Driving
Reckless driving in Florida is specific to those drivers who acted with willful or wanton intent and disregarded the safety others present. Willful is one of those legal words that appear again and again and is constantly under question. How can you prove that someone acted with purpose, intent, or “willfully?”
The answer is that recklessness often relies on looking at additional factors and deciding if the driver was in a state to make those decisions. For example, if a driver enters a freeway from the wrong direction and was not intoxicated or in an altered mental state, then it’s likely they will face charges of negligence. If for any reason, a person did this by accident, they should have taken immediate measures such as contacting emergency services for help or pulling off the road to safety.
An important note is that drunk driving does often fall under recklessness, as they chose to drink and then drive. Carelessness is tamer when compared to recklessness because it’s believed that the person didn’t act on purpose but rather based on an in the moment decision. It covers everything from running a red light to texting while driving.
Possible Consequences of Careless or Reckless Driving Decisions
The charges for negligence, recklessness, and carelessness vary widely based on the behavior. But, a charge of negligence could come with additional charges even of violent crimes such as assault. If someone drove with the intent of causing harm to others, then it could easily become a criminal case as well as a series of traffic violations.
The consequences of these charges depend entirely on the situation, and the people impacted in any way. It’s likely that charges of recklessness or carelessness, however, would be much less severe than negligent driving.
Victims Often Need an Auto Accident Lawyer in Tampa, FL
Insurance companies hardly ever do what they should to help a victim recover. Because of the PIP system in Florida, there is little concern on the insurance front over who was the victim or not. That means that your insurance company doesn’t care that you’re the victim past the determiner of fault.
An auto accident lawyer from Tampa can provide a strong voice to your claim that reverberates the need for your recovery. Victims usually fall victim to the insurance process as well. While they are in rehabilitation or receiving the treatment they fail to provide documents or evidence on time delaying the process and minimizing their claim. Working with an attorney is the best chance of preventing these issues from arising.
What to Ask When Calling a Tampa Auto Accident Attorney
As a victim, you can ask questions, but you may not be entitled to getting full answers. For example, you can ask if the other driver received charges. That doesn’t mean you’ll get details on their case or involvement in the process. It’s vital that you have someone next to you to prepare you for that loss.
You can and should ask your auto accident attorney about the resolution possibilities beyond your insurance claim. It’s possible that you could sue the driver independently of the claim under certain circumstances. Additionally, you should ask if their careless or reckless driving would entitle you or open the option for punitive damages if you went to court. Punitive damages are usually only awarded in extreme situations, but it’s possible.
Contact Winters & Yonker Offices to Start Your Claim
As a Tampa injury law firm, we focus on providing services to the victims of car accidents. Given the nature of crash resolution in Florida and the methods of submitting insurance claims, we understand that the process is both difficult and confusing. Don’t waste time trying to figure out the claim process on your own.
Instead, call Winters & Yonker to set up a consultation with an attorney now and start fighting for your recovery.