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The Cost of Reckless Driving in Sarasota Florida

Sarasota is home to beautiful beaches and parks, making it a tourist destination for many looking for warmer weather and respite from the cold during winter. However, Sarasota is also known as one of the more dangerous places statistically for drivers and pedestrians in the area.

According to the Florida Crash Dashboard, Sarasota County had 7,053 accidents in 2022, with 57 fatalities. Total pedestrian crashes during that time were 186, with 9 total pedestrian fatalities.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System records Florida’s deadliest highway as US-1, followed by I-95 and our own local highway, I-75. And according to AsecureLife, I-95 ranks as one of the three deadliest highways during the summer in eight states.

How Common Is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving in the state fell by 5% during the pandemic. However, it is now on the rise again. In 2019, there were 5,833 cases of reckless driving, which shot up to 6,880 cases in 2021, a 21.5% increase over the previous year.

Reckless driving has the potential to go from a citation to a criminal charge. Florida Statute 316.192 defines reckless driving as “any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”

When charged criminally, a reckless driver could face a fine of $500, up to 90 days in jail, or a combination of both. With repeated traffic violations, fines can be as much as $1,000 with 12 months in jail. It is considered a third-degree offense when there is also property damage or the accident caused serious bodily harm. The reckless driver may also be required to pay damages when found liable.

What Is Considered Reckless Driving?

When a motorist commits one or more traffic violations that damage those around them and surrounding property, it can be deemed reckless driving. Reckless or aggressive driving places pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists in danger.

Reckless driving may include excessive speeding, street racing, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, tailgating, weaving between lanes, or disregarding traffic signs and lights.

Damages From Reckless Driving

Some damages incurred during a reckless driving accident include all medical bills that the injured party has, including future medical bills, surgeries, ambulance services, lost wages, and more. The average number of Florida law resources states that the settlement amount for these accidents is between $10,000 and $60,000 or more.

Is there a limit on how much you can get? Florida has no limit on the compensation you can sue for because of an auto accident. However, you must have all the necessary evidence and proof to support all submitted documentation.

What Are the First Steps?

If you have been involved in an accident due to reckless driving, you first need to seek medical attention for all injuries. Be sure to retain copies of your medical records and bills. You also want copies of the police report regarding the accident, witness statements, photographic evidence, or anything else outlining the details.

Next, you will want to consult an experienced personal injury attorney who is well-versed in reckless and aggressive driving cases. They know what you need to prove your claim and can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve following this kind of devastating accident.

Reckless driving cases can turn out to be quite complicated and complex—hard for anyone to navigate alone. So, when filing your personal injury claim to pay your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses related to the accident, speak with your attorney first, and they will guide you through the entire process from start to finish.

Stephen M. Fernandez developed a strong belief in justice and fairness in public policy while earning his Political Science degree prior to attending law school. Since joining the Florida Bar Association in 2004, Stephen Fernandez has combined his background in public policy, business administration and civil law to serve as a highly effective trial lawyer fighting for Florida's injured, working hard every day to make sure his clients get what they are owed.

The Cost of Reckless Driving in Sarasota Florida

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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