Reckless vs. Negligent Driving in Nevada

January 11, 2024 Car Accidents,Nevada Law

While navigating the roads of Nevada, drivers are expected to follow rules and exercise caution to ensure safety for everyone. Unfortunately, not all drivers adhere to these expectations, leading to accidents that can cause serious harm.

Legally speaking, the behavior of these drivers often falls into two categories: reckless and negligent driving. For anyone involved in a car accident, it is essential to understand the difference between the two so that you can recover the compensation that you deserve.

What Counts as Driver Negligence?

Driver negligence in Nevada refers to a failure to exercise the level of care that a reasonable person would under similar circumstances. This typically involves unintentional conduct that leads to an accident, such as:

  • Distracted driving, like using a cellphone
  • Failing to obey traffic signs and signals
  • Not adjusting driving behavior according to weather or road conditions
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Negligence does not imply an intent to cause harm but rather a disregard for the safety and well-being of others on the road. However, motorists breach their duty to drive safety and obey traffic rules when they engage in negligent driving— putting others at risk of injury or worse.

The Difference Between Reckless and Negligent Driving

The key distinction between reckless and negligent driving lies in the driver’s mindset and behavior. Reckless driving is more severe and involves willful disregard for the safety of others; these motorists make a conscious decision to engage in risky driving behaviors, knowing that these actions could cause an accident.

In Nevada, reckless driving is considered a more serious offense than negligent driving due to its deliberate nature. Examples of reckless driving include:

  • Excessive speeding, especially in crowded areas
  • Aggressive driving, such as tailgating and unsafe lane changes
  • Ignoring traffic laws and signals with deliberate intent
  • Engaging in illegal street racing

Potential Damages in Claims Against Reckless Drivers

If you were injured by a reckless driver, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages. Nevada is a fault-based accident state, requiring at-fault drivers to pay for any accidents that they cause.

You may be entitled to multiple forms of compensation in an insurance claim or lawsuit, such as:

  • Compensation for the cost of hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and any other past or present medical expenses
  • Compensation for the income lost due to your inability to work following the accident, including short- and long-term wage loss
  • Compensation to repair or replace your vehicle, electronics, and any other property that was damaged in the crash
  • Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress endured because of the accident

However, victims of reckless driving accidents are often entitled to punitive damages. This form of compensation is intended to punish the offender and deter similar future conduct. In Nevada, you may recover punitive damages if you can prove that the defendant acted maliciously, fraudulently, or with oppression.

What to Do If You Are Injured in a Nevada Car Accident

If you find yourself injured in a car accident in Nevada, it’s essential to take immediate steps to protect your rights and interests. Seek medical attention right away to treat any injuries and create a record of your damages, and call 911 to report the incident to the police.

Once you have sought treatment, contact an auto accident attorney in Las Vegas right away. A lawyer can help you differentiate between negligence and recklessness in your case, guide you through the legal proceedings, and advocate for the compensation you deserve.