Reckless driving is a crime in Iowa. According to Iowa Code §321.277, any person who drives with “…a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.” Anyone convicted of this crime is guilty of a simple misdemeanor and faces imprisonment, a fine, or both imprisonment and a fine as determined by the court.
Reckless Driving Accident Recoveries
The State of Iowa may successfully pursue a criminal case against a reckless driver. However, you won’t recover any financial damages in a criminal case even if the state is successful in getting a conviction. Instead, you need to pursue a civil personal injury car accident case against the driver who caused your accident.
Before you decide whether or not to pursue a car accident case, we encourage you to consider the answers to the following three questions.
Were You Hurt by a Reckless Driver?
A reckless driver can cause serious accident injuries. By speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, following too closely, racing, or taking other dangerous actions, a reckless driver may cause a violent crash that results in:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Your loved one’s death
If you are hurt or grieving the loss of a close relative, then you need to consider whether you have a legal case against a reckless driver.
Do You Have a Case Against a Reckless Driver?
If you were hurt and you believe that a reckless driver caused your crash, then you need to consider whether you have a potential car accident case. As you weigh your legal options, it is important to consider:
- The cause of the crash. You will need to prove that the other driver failed to use reasonable care and that the driver’s actions (or inactions) caused your injuries. Even if you were partly to blame for the crash, you might still recover damages as long as you were not the primary cause of the accident.
- When the crash occurred. The Iowa statute of limitations typically provides you with two years to file a car accident case. However, in some cases, there are exceptions that shorten or lengthen that deadline.
If a reckless driver caused your accident injuries, then you may have a lawsuit. However, to convince the jury or insurance company that you should recover damages, you will need strong evidence and persuasive legal arguments.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Reckless Driving Accident?
The value of your car accident damages depends on why the accident occurred and the specific injuries you suffered. Generally, you may recover for past and future:
- Medical costs. This includes all of your healthcare costs, such as surgeries, hospitalizations, medications, doctors’ visits, and assistive health care devices.
- Lost income. Any income you can’t earn should be part of your financial recovery, including but not limited to wages, benefits, bonuses, and income from self-employment.
- Out-of-pocket costs. Any costs you incur, including funeral expenses if your loved one died, should be part of your settlement or court verdict.
- Pain and suffering. Your emotional and physical pain and suffering are a significant part of your loss and should be compensated in your legal recovery.
In some cases, punitive damages may also be possible.
Protect Your Rights Today With the Help of an Iowa Car Crash Lawyer
A reckless driving accident may leave you angry, injured, and worried about the future. You don’t need the stress and extra work of managing a personal injury lawsuit, but you do need the potential damages that you can recover from a personal injury case.
Our experienced Iowa car accident lawyers are here to help you. Over the past 50 years, we have represented tens of thousands of injured Midwesterners and secured more than $1 billion for their recoveries. Insurance companies know that we mean business and that we won’t settle for less than our client’s case is worth.
Call our Iowa personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and to learn more about your possible case and recovery. We will be happy to review your case, advise you of your legal options, and, if appropriate, fight hard for your fair financial recovery.