Most drivers do not intend to be involved in a car accident, but some drivers actions are so reckless in nature they should have known their actions were likely to lead to an automobile accident. Reckless driving is serious because it can lead to accidents causing serious personal injury and death, and thus a charge of reckless driving is a very serious criminal offense. The State of New Jersey defines reckless driving as “heedlessly, in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property.” This definition means the driver either knew or should have known their actions were likely to harm another person or property and they chose to continue to act in this manner anyway.
Reckless driving charges and insurance
New Jersey already has some of the highest automobile insurance rates in the country, and New Jersey drivers pay more in auto insurance premium increases for traffic violations than drivers from most other states. According to data gathered from multiple insurance quoting websites the average New Jersey driver convicted of a reckless driving charge will see their automobile insurance premiums increase between 22% and 88%. This means a reckless driver is risking more than their personal safety, and the safety of others on the road, they are also risking their personal automobile insurance rate increasing because of their actions.
Because reckless driving is not only a ticket, but also a criminal misdemeanor charge, it can add points to both your license and your insurance eligibility. The insurance eligibility point system is used by auto insurance carriers to determine how much of a risk the driver presents, whether the driver is eligible to be covered, and how much they will have to pay for their insurance coverage. If you accumulate too many points on the insurance eligibility point system, you may not be able to buy auto insurance on the voluntary market at all and will be forced to go through the more expensive New Jersey Personal Automobile Insurance Plan (NJPAIP).
Criminal penalties for reckless driving charges
Reckless drivers in New Jersey will also face strict criminal charges which come with serious penalties because of their actions. A ticket for reckless driving will automatically include a penalty of 5 points being added to your license, and reckless driving offenses are often ticketed in addition to other penalties which will add even more points to your license. A driver convicted of a first-time reckless driving offense will face up to 60 days in the County Jail or a fine of at least $50 up to $200, or both. The driver can also have their license suspended for up to 3 months. For any subsequent reckless driving offenses, the driver will face up to 90 days in the County Jail, or a fine of at least $100 up to $500, or both. A driver convicted of multiple reckless driving offenses can also have their license suspended for up to 6 months.
Compassionate New Jersey personal injury lawyers fight aggressively to hold reckless drivers accountable and recover the maximum compensation their victims deserve
If you have been involved in an automobile accident caused by a reckless driver, or your loved one has been killed because of the actions of a reckless driver, you need a dedicated personal injury lawyer prepared to passionately advocate for your rights and recover the compensation you deserve. The New Jersey accident attorneys at Leonard Legal Group, LLC have more than 25 years of experience obtaining exceptional results for accident victims. Call us today at 973-984-1414 or contact us online to review your rights to the compensation you deserve. We are proud to serve Morristown and all surrounding areas.