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Illegal Racing Accidents Lawyer

Street racing is an illegal form of reckless driving, and most states mandate harsh punishments for the act alone. Speeding presents many dangers, but the excessive speeds associated with racing drastically increase a deadly car accident risk. If you suffered an injury or lost a loved one in an illegal street racing accident, you may benefit from speaking to a car accident attorney about seeking financial compensation.

Potential Hazards Related to Street Racing

Street racing creates an obviously dangerous situation because of speeding, but that speeding leads to other, more specific hazards, such as:

  • More forceful impact, causing excessive damage
  • Greater risk for rollover
  • Decreased ability to react to other vehicles or pedestrians
  • Increased risk of losing control of the vehicle
  • Higher risk of skidding off the road 

Unlike controlled racing sports, street racing occurs on public roadways, often where other unsuspecting drivers can make unpredictable moves. Additionally, these roads are not designed to accommodate racing. Potholes, uneven or broken pavement, and road debris could cause drivers to lose control.

Common Injuries Caused by Street Racing Accidents

Considering the high-speed nature of street racing, the injuries in street racing accidents are often significantly worse than injuries from other common roadway accidents. For example, rear-end accidents commonly occur at stop signs or stoplights. However, getting rear-ended by a street racer will likely result in severe injuries and a totaled vehicle.

Some common examples of injuries resulting from street racing accidents include:

  • Lacerations
  • Bruises and contusions
  • Back injuries
  • Compound and simple fractures
  • Internal injuries, such as organ damage and internal bleeding
  • Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions
  • Road rash and burns
  • Soft tissue injuries, such as pulled or torn muscles and whiplash
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Amputations
  • Knee injuries

Considering the serious nature of an illegal street racing accident, many victims experience a combination of injuries, and most result in multiple broken bones. Medical treatment is costly, and it adds up quickly if the injured person requires continued long-term care. For example, traumatic brain injuries, internal injuries, and knee injuries typically result in surgery, sometimes multiple surgeries. Amputations likely cause the most damage, including mental and emotional distress.

Determining Fault for an Illegal Racing Accident

Liability is a crucial element of a personal injury claim. In some common car accident cases, determining fault is complex and may include shared liability if both parties involved contributed to the accident in one way or another. However, in an illegal street racing case, the race participants are almost always 100% at fault for the accident and, therefore, responsible for the financial repercussions of the injuries, property damage, or fatalities that the accident caused.

Personal Injury Lawsuit vs. Wrongful Death Case

Victims of an accident caused by illegal street racing can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver if the accident resulted in injuries. If you suffered damages because of a street racing accident, avoid speaking to anyone other than the police or an attorney about details of the accident. It is essential that you do not admit or imply any fault. Additionally, if you have any video or photo evidence collected at the scene, that may help your attorney more accurately value your claim and argue your case.

A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of personal injury case in which a person dies due to another person’s negligence. Most states allow family members to file a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for the financial and emotional damages caused by the loss of their loved one. These cases are typically very complex and emotionally charged.

Penalties for Illegal Street Racing

Some states extend penalties for street racing beyond just the drivers. Anyone assisting in the race could suffer consequences. In most states, anyone caught racing on public roads, highways, or streets faces a first-degree misdemeanor without causing an accident. Depending on the situation, some expected consequences include:

  • Revocation of driver’s license
  • Suspension of driver’s license
  • Arrest and possible jail time
  • Excessive fines
  • Forfeiture of vehicle
  • Cancellation of car insurance or drastic increase in car insurance rate

If someone dies due to illegal street racing, the at-fault party will face criminal charges.

Recoverable Damages From a Street Racing Accident Case

Like any other personal injury claim, you may seek compensation for compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are designed to make whole the losses suffered in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. These damages fall under two categories: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are also called specific or special damage, and these include:

  • Costs associated with medical treatment, such as doctor visits, hospital stays, ambulance expenses, medications, long-term therapies, and the use of any medical assisting devices
  • Costs associated with lost wages, including future lost wages caused by missed work for continued medical treatment
  • Loss of earning capacity, which occurs when the injured person suffers a permanent or temporary disability, making them unable to perform the job they performed before
  • Replacement or repair of damaged or destroyed property, specifically the vehicle involved in the collision
  • Cost of funeral and burial expenses, including cremation, if the victim died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident

Noneconomic damages, also referred to as general damages, are more subjective. These include the psychological repercussions of the injuries suffered. Examples are:

  • Pain and suffering, measured mainly by the severity of the injuries
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress associated with losing a loved one
  • Permanent disfigurements, such as amputation or severe scarring
  • Disability caused by lost use of a body part of bodily function
  • Loss of companionship caused by the death of a loved one
  • Loss of consortium, typically in cases where one loses a spouse or partner
  • Loss of the ability to enjoy life as you did before the accident

The court or your attorney may measure non-economic damages by multiplying the value of economic damages by an appropriate number. They also consider your written statement and testimonies from people involved in your daily life.

Punitive Damages

In cases where the defendant’s behavior displays no regard for the value of human life, also known as gross negligence, the court may order payment of punitive damages. Punitive damages are rare in car accident cases, often reserved for drunk or impaired at-fault drivers. However, illegal street racing is excessively reckless, and in circumstances that result in severe injuries or death, the court may order punitive damages in an effort to punish the defendant and encourage them to avoid street racing in the future.

Advantages of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer

In the aftermath of an illegal racing accident, the at-fault party should face all the financial repercussions of the accident. If you suffered an injury in a racing accident because of another’s negligence, you may want to take advantage of the help provided by an experienced car accident lawyer. At Fielding Law, we recommend hiring representation if you have trouble with the insurance company or suffer from moderate to severe injuries resulting in long-term treatment. Our team is here to represent your best interests and protect your rights. That means we will take your case all the way to trial if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement. Contact Fielding Law today for a free consultation, and we will get started on your case right away.

Sources:

https://www.hlmlawfirm.com/blog/whos-liable-if-im-injured-by-a-street-racer/

https://www.abellawfirm.com/articles/dangers-of-street-racing/

https://www.salinastriallaw.com/blog/street-racing-accident/