The actions of other individuals can often put you at risk of suffering serious harm. One of the most common situations in which you may get hurt due to someone else involves car accidents. If you have suffered severe injuries in a car crash, you may wish to seek compensation for your injuries. While you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit, you may want to help bolster your case by understanding what type of liability the other driver may face for the incident.
Though you may know that negligence often contributes to car accidents, recklessness also falls into the category of common crash factors. Recklessness can lead to a more dangerous situation as individuals who act recklessly know that their actions could harm others.
Tests for reckless behavior
When it comes to addressing recklessness, authorities look at the issue from a subjective and objective standpoint. Subjectively, the court considers the irresponsible party's knowledge and thoughts regarding the event. Objectively, authorities consider what a reasonable person's thoughts would have been in such a situation. These tests work to determine whether the individual knew or should have known that his or her actions put other people at risk.
A variety of actions could constitute recklessness when it comes to operating a vehicle. These activities may include:
- Drinking and driving
- Street racing
- Purposefully disregarding traffic signals
- Excessive speeding
Any of these and other factors could result in serious accidents that lead to injuries or even death.
Because negligence and recklessness can sometimes prove similar, assessing certain elements of the incident can help authorities determine whether the driver acted recklessly. These factors include:
- Intention to carry out action that may cause harm
- Knowledge that the action could cause harm to others
- Risk going beyond negligent actions
- Unreasonableness of the act
Though recklessness involves the intention to carry out a potentially harmful act, it does not include the intention to harm another person purposefully. When an individual sets out to hurt another party, that action constitutes intentional wrongdoing rather than recklessness.
Injuries caused by recklessness
Reckless actions can easily result in you suffering serious harm, especially in a car accident. Because these injuries can cause financial, physical and emotional difficulties, you may wish to consider filing a personal injury claim. An experienced Hawaii attorney could help you better understand this option and how a successful claim could allow you to gain compensation.