Reckless Driving in Wisconsin

Reckless driving is against the law in Wisconsin. According to Section 346.62 of the Wisconsin Statutes, no person may endanger the safety of any person or property, cause bodily harm, or cause great bodily harm by the negligent operation of a vehicle.

Anyone who violates this statute may be guilty of reckless driving. If the State of Wisconsin pursues a criminal case, then the driver could face jail time and fines for violating the state’s reckless driving law.

However, a criminal case won’t be enough to protect your rights if a reckless driver caused your accident injuries. Instead, you will have to pursue a civil personal injury case to protect your potential recovery, but you won’t have to do it alone. Our experienced Wisconsin car accident lawyers can help you every step of the way,

Reckless Driving Is Relevant to Your Personal Injury Case

A criminal charge of reckless driving requires that the driver was operating a vehicle negligently. Criminal negligence is defined in Wisconsin law as “ordinary negligence to a high degree…” In other words, the standard that the state uses to find a reckless driver negligent is higher than the standard of negligence that you need to prove in a civil case. Therefore, the negligent actions that led to reckless driving charges will likely also be considered negligence in a personal injury lawsuit.

Some examples of reckless driving that could cause a car accident include:

  • Driving significantly over the speed limit
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Applying the brakes too quickly
  • Following the vehicle in front too closely
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Driving aggressively

Evidence that the state gathers in its criminal case may be relevant to your civil car accident case. This evidence could include:

  • The police report
  • Any tickets issued to the driver or formal charges brought against the driver
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Pictures or video of the accident scene
  • Accident reconstructionist evidence

You are not limited to the evidence described above. You may also gather your own evidence. To recover compensation in a car accident case, you will need proof to prove that:

  • The driver owed you a duty of care. All motorists owe all other people on the road a duty of care.
  • The driver breached the duty of care. Drivers must reasonable care when operating their vehicles. The failure to use reasonable care breaches the duty of care.
  • The driver’s breach of the duty of care caused your injuries. In other words, your injuries would not have happened but for the actions, or inaction, of the other driver.
  • You are legally entitled to damages. Wisconsin law allows you to make a financial recovery for your injuries. Damages may include past and future medical costs, lost income, out-of-pocket expenses, physical pain, and emotional suffering.

If you can prove these elements of a car accident case, then you may recover damages regardless of what happens in the criminal reckless driving case against the driver who hurt you or killed your loved one.

Protect Your Rights After a Reckless Driving Crash

You may have suffered significant physical injuries in a reckless driving accident. You may be able to recover damages if you suffered a broken bone, internal injury, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, burn injury, amputation, another physical injury, or you are mourning your loved one’s death in a reckless driving wreck.

Our experienced Wisconsin car accident lawyers are here to help you. Insurance companies know that we mean business. We have represented car accident victims for more than 50 years. While we always negotiate settlements aggressively, we are not afraid to go to trial to get our clients the recoveries that they deserve.

Please contact us today to learn more about how we may help you after a reckless driving injury. We welcome your call any time, and we would be pleased to provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation to review your claim.

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham