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The Differences Between Reckless and Careless Driving

Human error is responsible for 93 percent of all traffic accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which brings to question the validity of the term “accident.” Regardless of terminology, traffic collisions are not unavoidable facts of life. One or more parties in an accident, more likely than not, was driving in a careless or reckless manner that caused harm to the other. But what is the difference between recklessness and carelessness? If you were injured by another party and they were deemed to be at fault, their actions may have been deemed either reckless or careless in the court’s eye, and you may be wondering what that means and how it affects your civil case. Luckily, if they are found to be negligent, a charge of recklessness or carelessness carries the same weight in terms of compensation. While carelessness is a much lesser charge, you will still have the same options for regaining the damages lost in the accident if the charge was reckless instead. In either case, if you were hit and injured by another driver, contact an experienced Jacksonville, Florida car accident attorney today to discuss your legal options.

Reckless and Careless Driving in Florida

Florida law describes a reckless driver as “Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.” Deciphering the actual meaning of legal terminology can be confusing. What this statute is saying is that a reckless driver is someone who acted in a willful or deliberate manner, or acted unruly or without checks and balances. When a driver operates their vehicle in this way, and poses a threat to other road users, they are going beyond what the law sees as careless. The state of Florida describes carelessness as such: “Any person operating a vehicle upon the streets or highways within the state shall drive the same in a careful and prudent manner, having regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and all other attendant circumstances, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person. Failure to drive in such manner shall constitute careless driving and a violation of this section.” As you can see, there seems to be quite a bit of overlap between careless and reckless driving. Therefore, it is up to the law to decide what is and isn’t considered reckless or careless driving. In terms of punishment, there are vast differences. A reckless driver in Florida that causes damage to property or a person will be charged with a misdemeanor, while a reckless driver that causes serious bodily injury will be charged with a third degree felony. In comparison, a careless driver that causes serious bodily injury to another in the state of Florida would be charged with a small fine (in the hundreds of dollars) and points on their driver’s license.

Contact the Gillette Law Firm Today to Begin the Legal Process of Compensation

If you have been injured by a reckless or careless driver in Florida, contact Gillette Law, P.A. at 888-366-5904 today to learn what type of legal actions you can take and the compensation you can expect to receive. Call us today for a free consultation.

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