Reckless Driving Accident Lawyer

Reckless drivers are those whose actions show a blatant disregard for the safety of other drivers and passengers on the road. Those actions can cause serious accidents which can lead to injuries and even death. If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one due to the irresponsible actions of a reckless driver, you have the right to fight for fair compensation. 

According to the state of South Carolina, “any person who drives any vehicle in such a manner as to indicate either a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.” 

Reckless driving is different from negligent driving because reckless drivers know they are doing something wrong, and they simply don’t care about harming others as a result. Negligent drivers, on the other hand, are typically described as not driving with reasonable care. Their actions can still cause serious car accidents, but not because of an intentional disregard for the safety of others.

Here are some common examples of reckless driving in South Carolina:

  • Driving at least 25 mph over the speed limit
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Erratically weaving in and out of traffic 
  • Failing to signal when changing lanes
  • Failing to yield to an emergency vehicle
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way
  • Fleeing from law enforcement 
  • Ignoring stop signs, red lights, and other signals
  • Ignoring traffic laws
  • Illegal passing
  • Racing with another vehicle
  • Road rage

What are the penalties for reckless driving in South Carolina?

Reckless driving is a misdemeanor in South Carolina, and those found guilty can face the following penalties:

First-time offenders:

  • Between $25 and $200 in fines
  • Up to 30 days in jail
  • 6 points on license 

If the six points added to their license brings the driver’s total points to 12 or more, their license will be suspended.

Repeat offenders who are charged with reckless driving within five years of the first incident may face the following penalties:

  • All the penalties listed above
  • Three-month license suspension

Reckless drivers who cause accidents that kill someone can face the following penalties for reckless vehicular homicide:

  • Between $1,000 and $5,000 in fines
  • Up to 10 years in jail
  • 6 points on license
  • Five-year license suspension

Those found guilty of reckless vehicular homicide can petition the court to reinstate their license after they have served their sentence and paid the fine if the incident didn’t involve a DUI. This can only occur when at least one year has passed since their license was revoked, and the driver must let the deceased person’s representative know of their intent. That representative has the right to request a formal hearing on the matter. 

What to do if you encounter a reckless driver on the road

Witnessing a reckless driver in action can be a scary experience, particularly if they have road rage. If you encounter a reckless or aggressive driver, you should do the following:

  • Use defensive driving techniques
  • Distance yourself by slowing down or exiting the highway
  • Avoid flashing your lights or honking
  • Don’t gesture or make eye contact
  • Don’t respond to aggressive or provocative behavior
  • Don’t stop your car or get out of your vehicle
  • Call law enforcement to report the driver when it’s safe to do so

How to prove someone was driving recklessly 

Proving someone was driving recklessly at the time of an accident can be tricky, which is why it’s usually a good idea to hire a personal injury lawyer who can build a strong case and argue on your behalf. 

South Carolina personal injury attorneys can do the following to prove a driver was acting recklessly:

  • Consult the accident report – This is a great starting point, as the officer who arrived at the scene might have indicated a suspicion of reckless driving.
  • Contact eyewitnesses – Those who saw the accident occur are often able to provide an account of what was happening right before the collision, including any reckless behavior.  
  • Collect video footage – An attorney will do their best to collect security camera footage, red light camera footage and/or dashcam footage which might have shown the accident occur. 
  • Collect speed calibrations – If a radar or laser device tracked the driver’s speed, an attorney will work hard to obtain that data. 
  • Examine the at-fault driver’s record – An attorney will determine whether the driver has a history of reckless driving or other risky behaviors on the road. Although this is not considered hard evidence, it can certainly strengthen a case.
  • Speak to accident reconstructionists – These are professionals who specialize in analyzing the factors of crashes and how they occur. They can be very helpful in reckless driving cases, so attorneys often turn to them. 
  • Speak to medical professionals – Doctors and other medical professionals can examine your injuries and provide you with a forecast for the future when it comes to medical bills, rehabilitation, and possible permanent disability. This information will be very powerful when it comes to time for an attorney to negotiate on your behalf. 
  • Serve as your advocate throughout the entire process – When you hire a personal injury attorney, you’re able to leave all the legal legwork to them while you focus on your recovery. Your attorney will communicate with you every step of the way, acting as your adviser and advocate. 

Contact McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates today

The personal injury lawyers at McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates are highly skilled at representing victims of car accidents caused by reckless drivers. For more than 40 years, our firm has been helping victims receive fair compensation after being injured in reckless driving accidents. 

The lawyers at McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates believe that reckless drivers should be held accountable for their irresponsible actions, particularly when those actions cause harm to someone else. We know the physical, emotional, and financial toll that these accidents can have on a person, and that’s why we fight tirelessly for victims to receive fair compensation. 

We build strong cases for all our reckless driving accident victims, conducting a thorough investigation into the cause of each accident. Our South Carolina attorneys are highly experienced at negotiating with insurance companies who will do everything they can to avoid paying out a fair sum. 

Our personal injury lawyers will consider all current and future expenses that you are likely to experience as a result of your injuries, and we won’t accept low-ball settlements. If an agreement can’t be reached with the other side’s insurance company, we’ll take your case to court. Our experience means we know what to expect from the other side, and how to respond to their arguments. 

We are proud of our outstanding track record of getting clients what they’re owed, including compensation for the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Lost income
  • Lost or diminished earning capacity
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Disability

We also represent the families of those who have lost loved ones to the irresponsible actions of reckless drivers. While we understand that no amount of money can bring a loved one back, we know that receiving fair compensation can help alleviate the financial burden of funeral costs and other end-of-life expenses. 

McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates has seven offices across the Midlands of South Carolina, in AikenCamdenColumbiaLexingtonNewberryOrangeburg, and Sumter, and we would love to give you a free case evaluation. Give us a call today at 888-353-5513. It won’t cost you anything to see if we can help.®