What Is Reckless Driving under Indiana Law?

Mar 18

Many car accidents happen due to driver error, as everyone makes mistakes on the road at some point. However, some crashes happen because of more concerning driver conduct – some people go beyond making mistakes and drive in a reckless manner. 

In Indiana, reckless driving encompasses many types of driving behaviors that put a driver and others on the road in danger. While reckless drivers might face criminal penalties, they should also face civil liability for any injuries and losses they cause to others. 

If a reckless driver caused you injuries, you should not wait to discuss your legal options with a car accident lawyer in Indiana

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Reckless Driving Behaviors

There are different acts that a driver can engage in that can be considered reckless driving under Indiana law. These include:

  • Driving too fast or too slow in a way that blocks traffic or endangers others
  • Passing another car when the driver cannot see more than 500 feet ahead due to a curve or a slope
  • Weaving in and out of traffic in an unlawful manner
  • Refusing to let a driver over if they are lawfully attempting to pass
  • Passing school bus in violation of the extended signal arm instructing drivers to stop

A first-time offense of reckless driving is a Class B misdemeanor, which means a driver can face a year of license suspension, up to 180 days in jail, and up to $1,000 in fines. In addition, if the reckless driver caused an accident, their insurance should have to cover any resulting losses, including medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. 

Holding a Reckless Driver Liable for Your Accident

After an accident, it is always wise to call 911, especially if someone’s reckless conduct caused the crash. Police officers can arrive at the scene and issue tickets or even arrest drivers who violated the law. Because reckless driving is a criminal offense in Indiana, many drivers are placed under arrest and then face criminal charges. 

If a driver is convicted of reckless driving, your car accident attorney can use this conviction as complete evidence of the driver’s liability. Causing injury while violating safety laws is automatic negligence, so you would not need additional evidence of negligent conduct if a driver is convicted. Your lawyer will then focus on proving your damages, as the issue of liability should be settled. 

Even if a driver is not arrested or convicted of reckless driving, it is still possible to prove liability for the accident. Your attorney can gather other types of evidence to prove that the driver’s conduct violated their duty of care on the road. Such evidence can include witness statements, video footage, accident reconstruction reports, and more. 

Speak with an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer Today

The law firm of Blackburn Romey represents car accident victims who are injured by reckless drivers in Fort Wayne, South Bend, Indianapolis, Lafayette and Terre Haute. While we specialize in claims involving various types of car accidents, we do not handle cases related to criminal charges for reckless driving. If you have been injured in an accident and believe reckless driving was involved, we can help assess your rights and provide guidance on your next steps—all at no cost to you. Please contact us for more information and for your free case evaluation.

Tom Blackburn

Blackburn Romey founding partner Tom Blackburn graduated with honors receiving a degree from Indiana University at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Initiating his legal career in 1977, he has been active in practicing law and currently serves as a member of the Indiana State Bar Association on the Ethics and Advertising Committees, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, as a board member at the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and as an appointed member of the Executive Committee for the State of Indiana for the National Trial Lawyers Association.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Tom Blackburn, who has more than 47 years of legal experience, including over 39 years specializing as a personal injury attorney.