When individuals make egregious decisions that they should have known or knew would cause harm, it could be the basis for a lawsuit. From a legal standpoint, recklessness means that an individual knew that his or her action would hurt another person. While the legal definition stops just short of intent to harm someone, it is generally more serious than negligence.
There are two tests that can be applied when determining whether or not an individual's action could be considered reckless. First, a subjective test is applied to determine what the individual was thinking when the act occurred. The objective test than weighs that against what a typical person would have done in a similar situation. Examples of reckless behavior may include drinking and driving or drag racing in a residential area.
When considering whether an action is reckless, there are four questions that may be asked. These questions include whether or not an individual knew that others would be present when an act was taken. If an action presents a risk higher than what would constitute negligence, it would be considered reckless. Finally, an action could be considered reckless if an action constitutes unreasonable risk.
The reckless behavior of another person could lead to serious car accident injuries. Injured victims may decide to seek a lawyer who might be able to help them recover lost wages. The reckless individual may be ordered to pay punitive damages. The level of financial compensation owed to an injured victim may be determined through settlement talks or through a formal court trial.