In the majority of motor vehicle accidents, one of the drivers is at fault. Driver liability can be attributed to many different causes, and most often it is due to negligent or reckless driving behavior.
There are similarities and differences between the two, and definitions, liability, and penalties vary, depending on where the accident occurs.
Although the resulting accident can be the same whether caused by negligent or reckless driving, driver liability comes into question.
What is Negligent Driving?
Negligent driving implies that the person operating the car or truck did not use reasonable care, which led to the crash. The legal definition of negligence varies by state. It can mean that the person was not careful, or that they did not cause the accident on purpose. One example of this could be driving under the influence of a prescription drug but being unaware of its effects.
Some states require specific proof that the driver’s actions endangered another person’s life or property. Others stipulate that if the driver was negligent if they were driving while distracted, such as when using a cell phone.
What is Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving can mean driving without consideration of other peoples’ safety, and without regard for driving rules. General examples of this include running red lights, speeding, failing to yield, DUI, and passing illegally. Some states also include texting while driving in this category.
Delaware’s Driving Definitions and Penalties
Delaware laws prohibit “careless or inattentive driving,” which can mean driving irresponsibly, with no regard for road and weather conditions and/or not paying attention to surroundings while driving. Careless or inattentive driving fines are $25 to $75 for a first offense; repeat offenses within three years range from $50 to $95. Convictions add two points to the driver’s record. Additional consequences may be incurred if there were injuries to others.
Reckless driving is considered to be obviously unsafe driving, and penalties can be more severe if the driver is convicted. First offenses can lead to fines of $100 to $300, plus ten to 30 days of jail time. Repeat offenses within three years can result in fines of $300 to $1,000, plus 30 to 60 days of jail. There can also be six points added to the driver’s record, and possible license suspension.
In some situations, drivers charged with DUIs in Delaware can plea bargain down to a reckless driving charge, which is often referred to as a “wet reckless.”
In order to determine negligent driving, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant did not drive safely, and that this behavior caused the accident. This can include the gathering of witness testimony, photos, and other proof.
It is also possible that both drivers were at fault, which can happen at intersections. When driver liability is in question, having an experienced Delaware car accident lawyer is the safest bet.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Work with Injured Drivers to Prove Driver Liability
If you or someone you care about were involved in a car accident, contact the experienced Delaware car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. Our legal team has solid experience in negligent driving, reckless driving, and all other types of car accident cases. Call us at 302-888-1221 or contact us online. We serve clients throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.