Street racing often leads to car accidents, which is negligence per se in the eyes of the law.
We get it: fast cars are fun and so is racing. But doing so on the street is a horrible idea for all of the obvious reasons. Texas lawmakers agree, and they have thusly passed legislation that makes street racing illegal.
Whenever someone does something that is unreasonable and dangerous, that constitutes negligence. When someone does something that is unreasonable and dangerous and a violation of a written law, that constitutes "negligence per se." Arguing that someone who hurt you is negligent serves as the basis of most injury claims. But when the courts allow you to submit some wrongful conduct to the jury as a matter of negligence per se, you have a much greater chance of willing since, if you prove the defendant did what they're accused of, with a negligence per se allegation, they're essentially liable by default.
In this article, we will explain how an why street racing resulting in an accident is an act of negligence per se, and we'll explain how our firm can help you seek compensation if you've been injured by someone who was street racing.
- Which laws are violated in Texas when participating in street racing?
- Why should I be compensated if injured by someone street racing?
- How does hiring an attorney help my case if I was injured by someone street racing?
How this works:
Like we mentioned above, negligence per se is when someone violates statute, causing harm to another party while doing so. As such, it's worth going through a case example of how a street racing negligence per se case would operate: from the violation to legal justice.
- Joe and Paul are engaging in street racing. They both are racing down a mostly unused farm road in Texas. However, another motorist, Susan, is also on the road that evening. As Joe and Paul speed toward her, she realizes she has no where to go, and she tuns into a ditch, narrowly escaping a head-on collision. When she crashes into the ditch, she suffers many serious injuries.
- The statute relevant to this scenario says:
Sec. 545.420. RACING ON HIGHWAY. (a) A person may not participate in any manner in:
(1) a race;
(2) a vehicle speed competition or contest;
(3) a drag race or acceleration contest;
(4) a test of physical endurance of the operator of a vehicle; or
(5) in connection with a drag race, an exhibition of vehicle speed or acceleration or to make a vehicle speed record.
- Under Texas law, Susan can file a negligence per se lawsuit against Joe and Paul for her injuries.
- The argument of negligence per se is much simpler than arguing traditional negligence. Think about it in context of the jury charge (which is the questionnaire that a jury fills out at the end of a trial upon which they render their verdict). If the allegation was just regular negligence, the jury charge might read: "Were Joe and Paul acting negligently?". That is clearly a vague question that is largely up to jury interpretation. However, when someone commits a specific type of wrongful act whereby Texas courts have established that it's acceptable to submit a negligence per se allegation instead of ordinary negligence, the charge would more likely be, "Were Joe and Paul violating the statute that says it is illegal to street race?". This question is much simply for the jury to answer, thus it is far more likely that Susan can win her case, all with the help of her tireless and experienced car accident attorney, of course.
The point to be made here is that Texas courts indeed do recognize the wrongful act of street racing to be of the variety that an injured person can sue on the grounds that an act of negligence per se caused their injuries. Again, this means that it's easier to win your case when someone hurts you through street racing.
Passengers Injured In Street Racing Accidents
Is it a bad idea for someone to ride along in a car while the driver is street racing? Sure, but that doesn't mean that the passenger forfeits their right to sue for injuries caused by street racing. Simply put, the driver is ultimately accountable to their passenger the same way that they are accountable for causing other motorists on the road to be injured. So, if someone is in the passenger seat and the driver decides to race someone, ending in tragedy, the passenger will be able to sue for their injuries, too.
Street Racing is a Crime and Our Attorneys Will Help You Sue the Person Who Hurt You
Our attorneys are here to help you when you're ready to talk. Our experience winning car accident cases has made us the team you need. We know Texas law, and we hold defendants responsible when they violate it. Call now for a free consultation: (855) 326-0000.
Related Examples of Negligence Per Se:
- Driving Under the Influence
- Negligently loaning of vehicle to unlicensed driver
- Someone was driving on the left side of the road
- Running a stop light