Many people in Texas will become reckless when behind the wheel, and this is a serious traffic offense. Also known as careless driving or dangerous driving, reckless driving is defined as driving with a willful disregard for others’ safety, and it’s a step above negligent driving.

Those reckless drivers who are caught are usually charged with a misdemeanor, not an infraction, and if they are convicted, they may face a heavy fine or perhaps time in jail. This is so in Texas where offenders pay a fine of up to $200 and/or are placed in the county jail for 30 days.

The following are just a few examples of what would constitute reckless driving. First, a driver is reckless if he or she exceeds the posted speed limit by 25 mph or more. Racing another vehicle is a second example. Also, escaping from the police counts as reckless behavior. Drivers who pass a vehicle on a two-lane highway when there is little or impeded visibility would fall under this category.

Many auto accidents are the result of recklessness as drivers may crash with someone who, for example, was speeding away from police. Victims who wish to seek compensation may want to speak with a lawyer because they may be eligible for more than would a victim of driver negligence.

In Texas, victims of malice or gross negligence can recover what are called exemplary damages, known in other places by the name of punitive damages. These go over and above the losses that victims sustained and are meant to punish the defendant. During a case evaluation, the lawyer may be able to determine how much victims will be eligible for in damages and then negotiate on their behalf for a fair settlement out of court.