A 15-year-old driver intentionally directed her vehicle into oncoming traffic as a Holmes County Sheriff’s vehicle chased her on I-10. Her actions caused a chain-reaction crash on -10. After she crossed the grass median in the center of the highway, the girl drove “directly into the path of a pickup truck that was pulling a trailer.” According to the Florida Highway Patrol, two other vehicles collided with the trailer.
Fortunately, the girl was the only one who suffered injuries, which were minor—but her recklessness could have been fatal. What happens when you’re involved in an accident where the other driver intentionally or recklessly caused harm?
Florida’s reckless driving statute
Florida Statute 316.92 describes reckless driving as “Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property,” and “fleeing a law enforcement officer in a motor vehicle” is considered reckless driving per se.
In this case, the driver’s conduct is considered reckless driving on its face, since she was fleeing law enforcement. However, even if that weren’t a factor, her actions are indicative of recklessness. “Willful” means that they intentionally took an action—in this case, driving across the median into oncoming traffic. To be “wanton” means that they did so without regard for the consequences of their actions.
Recklessness goes beyond negligence, which is the foundation for most personal injury accident lawsuits. Negligence occurs when someone has a duty of care, or to avoid harming others, fails to meet that duty, and harm occurs as a result.
Normally, proving recklessness and intent can be quite difficult. However, in this case, fleeing law enforcement acts as a rebuttable presumption of recklessness.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact an experienced Sarasota, FL auto accident lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh today.