Street Racing Accidents
Drag racing, also known as street racing, is a highly dangerous activity that could lead to serious injuries and even death. Despite this common knowledge, street racing remains a significant contributing factor in violent car crashes every day in the United States. When a person decides to engage in street racing, they not only put themselves at risk for harm, but also risk injuring others around them. Specifically, unsuspecting motorists, pedestrians, and vehicle occupants are prone to being injured in street racing accidents caused by those who participate in these illegal and deadly races.
If you sustained injuries in an accident caused by a driver who was street racing, you may be entitled to significant compensation. At Labrum Law, we understand the applicable law as well as the issues that are unique to personal injury cases involving street racing. As such, we will fight hard for you to obtain the maximum amount of damages possible, including compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Consider contacting us today at (615) 338-9500 to learn more about your legal rights and options.
What Is Street Racing?
Street racing is an unauthorized and illegal form of auto racing that occurs on a public roadway. In Tennessee, street racing is classified as a Class A Misdemeanor and could result in the imposition of several harsh penalties including imprisonment, monetary fines, and more. If a street racer causes an accident involving injuries or death, they could be charged with a felony-level offense, including vehicular assault, criminally negligent homicide, or vehicular homicide. Tennessee takes the issue of street racing so seriously that it is attempting to enact even harsher penalties for those that take part in this reckless and dangerous activity.
Street Racing Statistics
Despite the State of Tennessee's efforts to deter people from engaging in this reckless behavior, the problem still persists. Specifically, Tennessee ranks ninth in the country for street racing where for every 100,000 drivers, 10.19 engage in street racing. Moreover, there are nearly 2,000 incidences of street racing that are reported in the state per year.
Across the Unites States, the highest level of participation in street racing is by males between the ages of 15 and 23. Nearly 60% of all street racing-related fatalities involve those between the ages of 15 and 30. Approximately 70% of illegal street races happen at night. Moreover, half of all illegal street races occur on highways while the other half occur on commercial/residential streets. Additionally, a large percentage of vehicles involved in street racing are “souped-up,” meaning that they have been modified to make them faster, often leading to more serious injuries upon impact.
Driving Hazards Related to Street Racing
It is widely understood that speeding in a vehicle creates a significant risk of harm to others. Aside from the increase in force at the moment of impact in a crash, street racing imposes the following obstacles to the safe operation of an automobile, leading to serious accidents:
- Diminished reaction time to avoid other motorists or pedestrians
- The inability to turn safely or maintain control of a vehicle while navigating turns/curves
- Increased risk of skidding off a road
- Increased risk of a rollover accident
You should not have to bear the burden of the expenses and injuries you suffered as a result of another person's reckless driving behaviors. At Labrum Law, we can assist you in better understanding your legal rights and to pursue your personal injury case against those responsible for the harm you sustained.
Who Is at Risk of Sustaining Injuries in a Street Race?
Individuals who engage in street racing drive at excessive rates of speed and as a result, can easily lose control of their vehicle and cause a deadly wreck. While speed alone is a highly dangerous factor in street racing, other reckless decisions made by street racers to improve their standing in a race (such as weaving in and out of traffic or running stop signs and traffic lights) are also extremely hazardous and life threatening. As such, those who engage in illegal street racing put many people in danger of sustaining serious injuries or death. Victims of street racing accidents include:
- Drivers and passengers in the vehicles racing
- Innocent drivers and passengers in other vehicles
- Pedestrians and spectators
Common Injuries Associated with Street Racing Crashes
There are a variety of different injuries that can occur as a result of street racing accidents, some of which may be catastrophic. These include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries (skull fractures, intracranial swelling, hemorrhages, concussions, etc.)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Contusions and hemorrhaging
- Traumatic amputations
- Partial or complete paralysis (e., paraplegia or quadriplegia)
- Burn injuries
- Organ damage and failure
- Internal bleeding
- Facial lacerations
- Eye injuries
- Bone crush injuries
- Permanent scarring
- Broken teeth
Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Actions Related to Street Racing
If you sustained harm due to a driver engaged in street racing, you can file a personal injury case against them and seek financial compensation for your damages, which include, but not limited to:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
If a loved one died due to injuries sustained as a result of street racing drivers, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. This type of personal injury case alleges that a death was caused by the negligence of another individual. Compensation may include, without limitation:
- Medical expenses up until the time of death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering (if the deceased did not die immediately from their injuries)
While punitive damages are typically not awarded in personal injury or wrongful death cases, they may be considered appropriate in a street racing case due to the specific set of circumstances surrounding the accident. The sole purpose of these types of damages is to punish the wrongdoer in order to deter future bad behavior.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today
Cases involving street racing accidents are often highly complicated legal matters. At Labrum Law, our attorneys have the skills, experience, and dedication necessary to take on your case, regardless of how challenging or complex the circumstances may be. Meeting with a knowledgeable Tennessee Street Racing Accident Attorney at Labrum Law can help you better understand all of your legal rights and options. We offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you do not have to pay us until you win your case. Consider contacting us now at (615) 338-9500 to schedule an appointment.