Man Driving Car

In many car accidents, the at-fault driver will be given a citation for something minor that caused the crash, such as failing to yield to traffic when pulling out of a driveway. If you're accused of especially dangerous action, though, you could be facing serious allegations for things like reckless driving. It's crucial to know what this means and how these charges are settled upon.

Wanton Disregard

Essentially, reckless driving means you have not shown any regard for the safety of others on the road or the traffic laws that are in place. This goes beyond making a mistake or driving negligently. You're willfully doing something that you know, or should know, is very dangerous. You may have put other people's lives at risk with these actions, especially when being cited for reckless driving after an accident.

Things that could bring about these charges include running from the police or racing other cars. Driving excessively over the speed limit -- often, at least 25 MPH over the posted limited -- could also instigate charges. Passing dangerously, such as when there's clearly no visibility and you could easily cause a head-on collision, may also trigger them.

The Consequences

The exact consequences vary from state to state, which is why it's so important to know the local laws when being charged. You could face jail time in some cases, especially if someone is hurt or killed in the accident. You may also lose your driving privileges and be given steep fines. If the other party sues you after the accident, a reckless driving conviction could play into that civil suit, helping to prove that you were at fault for the injuries.

Legal Options

When facing these serious charges after a car accident, you have to know your legal rights. This is twice as crucial if you think that the charges are excessive and, even if you caused the accident, you don't think you were being deliberately reckless or trying to put anyone else in harm's way.