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Reckless Driving Accidents in Georgia May Justify Punitive Damages

February 16, 2013

Car accidents caused by reckless drivers in Georgia are both avoidable and inexcusable, which makes the severe injuries and fatalities they cause all the more tragic. Reckless drivers, by definition, exhibit a reckless disregard for the safety and property of others.

While some states specifically delineate what types of unsafe driving practices constitute reckless driving, Georgia law leaves this determination up to the discretion of judges.

Although there is no specific list of driving practices that constitute reckless driving under Georgia law, common examples of types of driving that may be deemed to constitute a reckless disregard for safety include:

  • Tailgating
  • Weaving through traffic
  • Driving at high rates of speed
  • Alcohol or drug-impaired driving
  • Fleeing the scene of a traffic accident
  • Passing cars on the shoulder or otherwise unsafely
  • Texting or talking on a mobile phone while driving
  • Driving at an unsafe speed given road conditions
  • Street racing
  • Veering into other lanes of traffic

While drivers that engage in reckless driving practices will typically be deemed at-fault by the law enforcement officer that prepares the accident report, insurance companies for at-fault drivers aggressively fight to have the plaintiff in a car accident claim or lawsuit determined to be negligent. For example, the insurance company may use accident reconstruction experts to establish that the plaintiff also violated traffic safety laws or otherwise engaged in risky driving practices which contributed to the plaintiff’s injuries. This may result in a reduction in recovery or even a bar to recovery depending on the degree of blame assigned to the plaintiff.

When the court does find that the other driver was driving recklessly, this may justify punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish particularly wrongful conduct and to discourage such conduct in the future. Our Georgia car wreck attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or Free 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.