In Texas, reckless driving is one of the several traffic offenses that carry criminal penalties. Typically, the court will try it as a misdemeanor but the cause could be tried as a felo0ny when injury or death is involved. Therefore, if a reckless driver caused an accident that led to your injuries, you can sue them for damages.
Reckless driving in Texas
Reckless driving is when someone “drives in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” In other words, it’s a step beyond careless driving.
Careless driving is when someone doesn’t use proper care while operating their vehicle. An example would be if they were tailgating or failed to signal while changing lanes.
Reckless driving goes beyond just making an error while behind the wheel; it’s considered a deliberate act. Examples of reckless driving in Texas include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Fleeing from police officers
- Racing another vehicle
The process of suing a reckless driver in Texas
If you’ve decided to take legal action against a reckless driver, the first step is to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. In your claim, you will need to list the damages you suffered and request compensation.
The court will then require both parties to attend a mediation session. This is basically a meeting where both sides will try to reach an agreement outside of court. If an agreement can’t be reached, the case will go to trial.
At trial, a judge or jury will hear your arguments and then decide who is liable for the damages. If the jury rules in your favor, they’ll ask the at-fault driver to compensate you for your injuries and property damages.
It’s important to note that you only have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in Texas. If you don’t meet this deadline, you will likely be unable to collect any damages.