What is reckless driving in Washington State and how do I prove it caused my accident?

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Reckless driving in Washington State is defined as driving that is “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons” using the road. The law also includes a disregard for property as a characteristic of reckless driving. A person who operates a motor vehicle in this manner is guilty of reckless driving. These offenses are considered misdemeanor offenses, and are punishable under the law.

To prove that reckless driving caused your car accident, you must provide evidence that can include:

  • Red light and speed camera footage
  • Police reports
  • Investigation reports

What kinds of behaviors are included in the term “reckless driving?”

The term “reckless driving” could include a range of driving behaviors that range from driving at excessive speeds to negligent lane changes. Reckless driving can also include:

  • Running red lights
  • Making turns without using appropriate turn signals
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol
  • Distracted driving

Can I hold a motorist liable if he is guilty of any of these behaviors?

If a motorist is guilty of just one of these behaviors, a court may not necessarily find that he was guilty of reckless or negligent driving. You may have to establish that the motorist indulged in more than one of these behaviors.

Merely running a red light may not suffice; however, if you are able to establish that the person was driving under the influence of alcohol and ran a red light, your chances of establishing liability are much higher. A court may not consider speeding by itself as reckless driving. However, a court could consider driving at excessive speeds that are almost guaranteed to result in an accident as reckless driving.

In addition, a person could be driving at posted speeds, but could still be guilty of reckless driving if he was driving at a pace too high for the current traffic, and weather conditions. Therefore, it is important to investigate the accident and the other motorist’s driving at the time thoroughly in order to clearly establish the role of reckless driving in causing your accident. Discuss how to establish liability in your reckless driving accident claim with a car accident lawyer.

How can I get help after an accident?

Reckless driving accidents are typically high-impact accidents that result in devastating injuries. If you believe your accident was caused by reckless driving, speak with Kirkland car accident attorney Max Meyers at Max Meyers Law PLLC at 425-399-7000 or fill out our online contact form, and learn if you have grounds for a claim to help you recover damages for medical expenses, lost income and other damages. After an accident, download our free eBook, Car Accident Secrets Unlocked for any questions you may have.

Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.