Car Accidents

Personal Injury Attorneys

Home Car Accidents Reckless Driving

Wilmington Reckless Driving Accident Lawyers

Legal Help for Victims of Reckless Driving Injuries in North Carolina

Traffic crashes across North Carolina rose by 6.3% in 2016. Pedestrians killed in accidents involving vehicles were up 1.5%, and crashes with teen drivers rose by 4.8%. Many of these collisions can be attributed to driver recklessness. Examples of negligent behaviors include running a red light, failing to yield, tailgating, and more. If a driver exhibits multiple negligent behaviors or pairs any negligent behavior with speeding, this may be considered reckless driving. Drivers convicted of reckless driving will face penalties and, if they cause accidents that hurt people, can be sued for the victims’ medical expenses, pain, and suffering.

If you have been injured in an accident with a reckless driver, you may be entitled to significant compensation and should contact a Wilmington car accident attorney at Rhine Law Firm, P.C., for a free consultation.

NC Reckless Driving Statute

Under North Carolina’s § 20-140 statute, reckless driving is defined as operating a vehicle in a careless and heedless manner "demonstrating willful or wanton disregard" for the safety or others or driving "without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property." Violations are a Class 2 misdemeanor and may be punishable by up to 60 days of jail time and fines up to $1,000.

Speeding or Tailgating

Last year, 32.2% of all vehicle fatalities in North Carolina involved speeding, totaling approximately 89,839 crashes. Under most circumstances, exceeding the posted limit by more than 15 miles per hour is considered reckless driving. The law also requires that you maintain sufficient distance between your vehicle and a vehicle traveling ahead. The Charlotte Observer reported aggressive driving actions such as tailgating (following too closely) caused roughly 31,000 collisions in 2015. Though tailgating is not automatically classified as "reckless," it certainly can be if it contributes to an accident.

"Wet Reckless"

Some states allow certain driving while impaired (DWI) charges to be reduced to "wet reckless" charges – that is, reckless driving caused by alcohol. The penalties and fines are likewise diminished, though insurance rates will probably still go up. However, North Carolina only allows this in few, select counties, and a person who has a prior DWI can never receive a wet reckless charge. To qualify, the person must usually have a borderline 0.08% blood alcohol concentration, with no property damage or personal injury done in the accident.

Reckless Driving and NC’s Contributory Negligence

North Carolina is one of the toughest states in the nation when it comes to personal injury claims. The doctrine of contributory negligence means that a victim cannot recover any compensation if he or she was partially at fault for the accident that caused injury – as little as 1% at fault.

There is one other exception to contributory negligence, "the last clear chance" doctrine. In this scenario, a driver who exhibits one act of negligence and cannot stop the impending crash is less liable than another driver who had the opportunity to avoid the accident, but did not. This is used as both a legal offense and a legal defense in contributory negligence cases.

However, this doctrine only applies to negligence. If a person crashes his car into another vehicle through reckless behavior as defined by statute §20-140, not ordinary negligence, then he or she is liable for the damages, medical bills, and other expenses caused by the accident. Reckless driving accident lawsuits, for the most part, do not fall under the contributory negligence umbrella.

Construction (Work) Zones

In 2016, roughly 50% of work zone crashes were caused by speeding and/or distracted driving. Penalties are heightened within these zones, which are clearly marked with orange signs and/or "flaggers" – people in orange vests handling traffic control. In these dangerous stretches of road, law enforcement may be more likely to cite drivers for reckless driving.

Penalties: Reckless Driving

A point system exists for traffic violations that accumulate in the prior three-year period. If you accumulate 12 points in a three-year period, you may face up to a one-year license suspension. Here are examples of point-based violations:

  • Passing around a stopped school bus: 5
  • Aggressive driving: 5
  • Recklessly driving: 4
  • Tailgating: 4
  • Failing to yield to pedestrians: 4
  • Running a red light or stop sign: 3

Suspensions are a potential consequence for reckless drivers. For example, those convicted of speeding two times at over 55 mph in a 12-month span, or racing another vehicle, will face suspension of their driver’s licenses.

Wilmington Lawyers for Injury Victims in Car Accidents

Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident caused by a reckless or careless driver? The accident injury attorneys at Rhine Law Firm, P.C., have the experience and resources to obtain the financial retribution that you deserve. You may have a limited period of time to pursue a claim; contact us today for a free consultation at (910) 772-9960 or (866) 772-9960.

Additional Information

“They worked hard for me after I was involved in an auto accident. I appreciate their efforts and making me feel like family.”

ReviewerFive Stars

-Becky, posted at Google Review

When it Really Matters When it Really Matters

Contact Rhine Law Firm, P.C.

Working with our firm means your needs will be met and your questions answered by someone who knows your name and the details of your case — every time you call.

Contact Rhine Law Firm, P.C., at (910) 772-9960 or (866) 772-9960 toll free for a free initial consultation. Evening and weekend appointments upon request. Office hours 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Evening and weekend appointments also available. We also offer Spanish interpretation and translation services.

Rhine Law Firm, P.C.

1612 Military Cutoff Road, Suite 300
Wilmington, NC 28403
Toll Free: (866) 772-9960
Phone: (910) 772-9960
Fax: (910) 772-9062
Map/Directions

Rhine Law Firm

Connect With Us

We Hold the Highest Possible Ratings from Professional Organizations:

Based in Wilmington, North Carolina, Rhine Law Firm, P.C. represents clients statewide. We Regularly Meet With Clients After 5 P.M. And On Weekends

*Disclaimer: This is an advertisement by Rhine Law Firm, P.C., 1612 Military Cutoff Rd., Suite 300, Wilmington, North Carolina, 28403. The Rhine Law Firm, P.C., is licensed to practice law in the state of North Carolina and does not seek to practice in any other state or jurisdiction. To the extent that you reside in a state other than North Carolina, the Rhine Law Firm, P.C., may associate counsel licensed to practice law in that jurisdiction if necessary to comply with any and all rules of professional conduct.

No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. This advertisement does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, either express or implied. Prior outcomes do not guarantee any future results. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Do not rely on this advertisement in making any medical decision. Please call your physician before making any medical decision, including altering your use of any drug or treatment.

© 2017 Rhine Law Firm, P.C. - All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Sitemap | Website Design and Legal Internet Marketing by SLS Consulting

Contact Rhine Law Firm, P.C.

During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. Our attorneys also remain available to our clients via phone, email and other means, ultimately focused on doing what is truly in their best interests.

Close
Free Consultation Form