Reckless Conduct and Civil Liability

Reckless conduct is an action taken despite knowledge that it could pose a danger or harm to others. In terms of civil liability, reckless conduct is a high level of civil liability, which means that if a court determines the defendant was acting recklessly, the defendant will have to pay damages.

On the scale of civil liabilities, recklessness is under intent and above negligence. Whereas intent signifies an action that was done in order to cause harm, recklessness applies to an action that was not meant to cause harm but was known that it could possibly cause harm. Negligence is a lower form of liability because the actor was not aware of the risk he was causing to others. If you are a victim of a reckless act, you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. The person who committed the reckless act is responsible for your injury, and you deserve compensation.

How Do I Know if an Action Was Reckless?

An action was reckless if the actor knew it was dangerous and could harm others, but disregarded that knowledge and acted in a risky way anyway. According to, there are four elements of a reckless action:
• The act was committed intentionally
• The actor knew the action could possibly harm others
• The risk of harm was unreasonable and serious,
• The actor knew or should have known that others were directly in harm’s way
If these four elements can be proved in court, the jury will most likely determine that the defendant was engaging in reckless conduct and will decide in favor of the plaintiff.

Common Examples of Reckless Behavior

Whenever someone is doing something that is obviously dangerous and putting others at risk, he is acting recklessly. In terms of civil suits, there are a few types of actions that are commonly determined to be reckless in nature, and thus are the easiest to prove.
• Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
• Racing or driving at high speeds in residential neighborhoods or school zones
• Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit
• Storing your weapon in a place where a child could access it
• Lighting fireworks in a place where children are likely present
If you were a victim of one of these types of behaviors, you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. Our attorneys at Bighorn Law can help you file your claim and get you compensation.

Punitive Damages

Reckless behavior is inherently irresponsible. By acting recklessly, a person is disregarding the risk to others and unnecessarily putting other people in harm’s way. Courts normally respond harshly to individuals who were acting recklessly and injured others. Not only will the defendant be forced to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other economic damages, but depending on how serious the damages are, the court may seek to punish the defendant and discourage this type of behavior by issuing punitive damages.

Even if you aren’t sure if you are the victim of reckless behavior, it’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer. At Bighorn Law, we know how to demonstrate recklessness in court and we can help you get justice and appropriate compensation for damages.

Bighorn Staff

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