Baltimore Reckless Driving Accident Lawyer
Reckless driving has long been an issue in Maryland and across the country. The pandemic era seems to have made the problem worse. Recently, the number of reckless driving accidents in Baltimore and the surrounding area have increased dramatically, and authorities report a greater number of fatalities per accident due to risky behavior.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by a reckless driver, you could be left with substantial medical bills, missing income from time off work, and substantial pain and suffering. But you could also be owed compensation for these and other losses.
Let the attorneys of Cohen & Dwin, P.A., help you hold the reckless driver accountable and demand the money you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation with a reckless driving accident lawyer in Baltimore.
What Is Considered Reckless Driving in Maryland?
Maryland law defines reckless driving as “driving a vehicle in wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property.” In common usage, the term is used to describe a range of dangerous driving behaviors, which can include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, recreational drugs, or certain medications
- Driving while distracted by texting or engaging in other dangerous distractions
- Failing to yield the right of way to other drivers or road users
- Failing to use turn signals or monitor mirrors and blind spots consistently
- Speeding, especially exceeding posted speed limits by 20 miles per hour or more
- Driving too fast for current road conditions, especially in rain, sleet, fog, or snow
- Intentionally racing other vehicles on public roads and highways
- Driving through red lights or stop signs without stopping
- Tailgating or driving too closely behind other vehicles in poor road conditions
- Engaging in unsafe passing maneuvers, such as passing on blind curves or hills, passing in emergency lanes or shoulders, and passing stopped school buses or emergency vehicles
- Swerving from lane to lane, evading traffic barriers, or weaving in and out of traffic
Common Types of Crashes Caused by Reckless Driving
Drivers who engage in reckless behavior behind the wheel can cause serious accidents, such as:
- Rear-end crashes – Reckless drivers frequently cause rear-end collisions when they tailgate other vehicles, follow too closely for conditions, or drive distracted.
- Sideswipe collisions – Sideswipe collisions are a common consequence of reckless driving behaviors like lane weaving or cutting off other motorists.
- T-bone accidents – Drivers who merge or turn improperly, run red lights or stop signs, or speed through intersections risk causing T-bone collisions.
- Head-on collisions – Swerving into oncoming traffic to pass other vehicles is a common cause of head-on collisions, a particularly devastating type of accident.
- Rollover accidents – Reckless drivers who take tight curves too quickly or strike fixed objects at high speeds risk rolling their vehicles.
Injuries Commonly Seen in Reckless Driving Accidents
Victims of reckless driving accidents frequently suffer severe, life-changing injuries, particularly when the reckless driver was speeding or did not apply the brakes.
The violent transfer of energy upon impact leaves many crash victims with injuries like:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Head and neck injuries
- Facial injuries and dental trauma
- Back and shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Partial or total paralysis
- Seat belt and airbag injuries
- Abdominal injuries and internal bleeding
- Arm, elbow, wrist, and hand injuries
- Dislocated or broken bones
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Amputation and loss of limb
- Bruises, lacerations, and puncture wounds
- Soft tissue strains, sprains, and tears
- Leg, knee, ankle, and foot injuries
- Burn injuries from fires and explosions
- “Road rash” from contact with the road surface
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Other emotional and psychological injuries
Maryland Reckless Driving Laws
Reckless driving is defined in §21-901.1 of the Maryland Traffic Code as:
- Driving with “willful” or “wanton” disregard for the safety of other road users or for the property of others
- Driving in a manner that suggests the driver has a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others or their property
The law also describes specific behaviors that could be considered “negligent driving” or “aggressive driving.” These violations are both similar to yet distinct from reckless driving. A conviction for reckless driving can lead to demerit points, loss of driving privileges, and fines of up to $1,000.
Can You Still Recover Crash Compensation If the Reckless Driver Was Never Charged?
Yes, you could still be entitled to compensation from a reckless driver, even if they were never charged with or convicted of a reckless driving violation. Personal injury claims are filed in civil court and seek redress for specific wrongs committed against the plaintiff (the person bringing the case) by the defendant. Criminal charges of reckless driving are handled through the criminal courts and are brought by state prosecutors seeking to punish wrongs committed against society more broadly.
A reckless driver can face civil and criminal charges for the same incident. The same evidence and witnesses may be used in both cases, but the outcome of one case will not affect the other. In other words, you can still seek compensation from a reckless driver who was never formally charged or if they are acquitted on charges.
Why Hiring an Attorney Is Necessary After a Maryland Reckless Driving Crash
Securing fair compensation after a reckless driving accident in Baltimore can be more complicated than it should be, especially if the other driver was never charged or tried to imply that you were to blame. Fortunately, you don’t have to face this challenge alone.
At Cohen & Dwin, P.A., our Baltimore personal injury lawyers will leave no stone unturned as we seek the compensation you deserve. We can conduct an independent investigation of the crash, communicate with insurers on your behalf, and negotiate aggressively to maximize your compensation. We’re also not afraid to take a case to trial if it becomes the best way to get the money and justice you deserve.
Contact Our Baltimore Reckless Driving Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you are struggling to receive appropriate medical care or pay your bills due to a reckless driving crash in Baltimore, get in touch with the respected team at Cohen & Dwin, P.A., today. Our attentive and compassionate lawyers can answer your questions and review your case for free when you contact us for an initial consultation.