Actor Paul Walker’s recent death is a reminder that Reckless Driving is not a victim-less crime.  Law Enforcement officials recently determined the Porsche Walker was riding in was traveling between 80 and 93 MPH prior to the crash.   The speed limit on the road was 45 MPH.  Investigators determined speed was the sole cause of Walker’s tragic death.  CNN Link To Speed Killed Paul Walker. 

It is no secret that Oregon Drivers will be cited for speeding.  However, many people are surprised they are cited for “reckless driving” after a collision.   A person commits reckless driving in Oregon if they recklessly drive in a manner that “endangers the safety of persons or property.” ORS 811.140. A person is “reckless” if they consciously disregard a substantial and unjustifiable risk.ORS 161.085.  Reckless driving is not only a Class A Misdemeanor, but a driver that commits reckless driving and injures a person or property can be liable for punitive damages.  If your not sure what a reckless driving is, see the youtube video below for a great example. (Yes, that is a machine gun being fired out of the window.)

In many cases, Oregon Law allows person to collect money from people that recklessly endanger and injure a person. ORS 31.730   These damages are awarded to the injured person to punish the reckless driver, and can make a difference in the amount of money the injured party receives. For instance, a person with temporary minimal soft tissue injuries with medical bills less than $10,000.00  will most likely find it difficult to receive a substantial award or insurance settlement.  However, if the at fault driver was reckless in causing the injuries then the injured party may receive more money.  The additional amount will vary depending on the injuries, the reckless conduct, and the “record as a whole.” ORS 31.730   

There are many nuances with punitive damages that should be specifically addressed by an Oregon Attorney.  Sometimes the effort to obtain punitive damages and what it allows the defendant to do may be detrimental to the injured parties case. It should also be noted that the State of Oregon will receive a portion of a punitive damage award. 

If you have been injured by a reckless driver in Oregon feel free to call Oregon injury attorney Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658 for yourfree personal injury consultation.  Ross Law LLC is always happy to discuss car crash cases with injured persons.  Please remember this post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Punitive damages can be a very complicated area of law and the law is constantly changing, so it is best to speak with an Oregon Lawyer about your case. Please also remember the post on the Ross Law LLC blog can be considered “Attorney Advertising” in some jurisdictions, and this post does  not create an attorney client relationship.