In Omaha, reckless driving is classified in two different ways. According to the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles, there is reckless driving and willful reckless driving. What is the difference between the two? Reckless driving is defined as driving that is rash, heedless, and careless, whereas willful reckless driving is described as deliberate and intentional recklessness. Generally the difference between reckless driving and willful reckless driving is the degree to which the driver should have been aware that his or her actions could potentially endanger other people. Reckless driving of any kind is a misdemeanor crime, punishable by jail time. When it comes to personal injury law and negligence, if another driver involved in your accident was found guilty of engaging in reckless driving before your crash, you may be entitled to seek damages from the driver for your medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses.

What are some examples of reckless driving? While context matters, tailgating, exceeding the speed limit by 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, willfully ignoring the rules of the road, or drag racing on public streets can all be considered reckless driving violations. Actions that are the result of road rage could also be classified as reckless driving. In some cases, drunk drivers take a plea deal, getting their drunk driving charges reduced to reckless driving or willful reckless driving charges. Reckless driving is not to be confused with careless driving. Careless driving is negligent driving, and it is not considered a criminal violation.

If you or a loved one were hurt due to the reckless actions of another driver, you may have the right to seek damages and compensation from the reckless party. Furthermore, if you were injured, you may also have the ability to access money available to crime victims’ funds. What are the next steps you can take if you’ve been hurt due to a reckless driver? Contact your insurance company, seek medical attention, and, if you have questions about your rights, consider reaching out to Rensch & Rensch Law, car accident lawyers in Omaha, Nebraska. Our firm may be able to help you get the settlement you may deserve under the law from drivers who have been found guilty of reckless driving.

Reckless Driving vs. Careless Driving: What’s the Difference?

Sometimes individuals use the terms “reckless driving” and “careless driving” interchangeably. However, under the law, these two acts are not the same. Reckless driving is a criminal offense, while careless driving is not considered a criminal offense, but rather will result in a traffic ticket. But what really differentiates careless driving from reckless driving? Largely, this will be at the discretion of the police officer issuing the citation. But generally, careless driving is negligent driving, while reckless driving is labeled such because an officer determined that the driver was aware of what he or she was doing. Excessive speeding and drag racing might be reckless driving while not all speeding violations will be considered reckless driving offenses. For example, if a driver was speeding 25 miles above the speed limit, but wasn’t aware of a change in speed limit, then the driver might not always be charged with reckless driving. However, this would be at the discretion of the police officer.

At the end of the day, the tickets and citations police officers give each driver after an accident can make an immense difference in how a personal injury claim after the accident might proceed. A personal injury claim for careless driving might differ from a personal injury claim for reckless driving, because with reckless driving there is a willful disregard for safety which could potentially warrant punitive damage claims. Because the police report can play such an important role in your case, it is always important to report all crashes to the police.

At the end of the day, if you’ve been hurt in a car accident in Omaha, Nebraska, Rensch & Rensch Law are accident lawyers who can evaluate the police reports and the circumstances of your case. Our firm can identify negligent or criminally reckless parties, and pursue damages either through insurance claims or through claims against parties that wronged or harmed you. Contact Rensch & Rensch Law, personal injury lawyers in Omaha, Nebraska today to learn more.

Seeking Justice

If another driver’s road rage, drag racing, drinking, or other reckless acts resulted in injuries to either yourself or your family, you may have the right to seek damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, you may only have a limited amount of time to make a claim under the law. Contact Rensch & Rensch Law, personal injury attorneys in Omaha, Nebraska today to learn more about how we may be able to assist you with your insurance claims and personal injury claim. We fight for the rights of injured parties in Omaha.

Need assistance? We’re here to help!

Free Case Evaluation

WE ARE READY TO BE YOUR VOICE · Dedicated to Improving the Well-Being of Injured Nebraskans

Case Results

Over the years, Rensch & Rensch Law attorneys have worked with many great clients. Due to our dedication and understanding of the law, our attorneys have been able to achieve results we’re proud to share.

  • $1.2 Million

    Rensch & Rensch Law member earned client a $1.2 million judgment in a wrongful death trial.

  • $6+ Million

    Rensch & Rensch Law member earned client a $6+ million settlement during litigation in a complex federal court case.

  • $3.18 Million

    Rensch & Rensch Law earned their client a $3.18 million settlement of a complex negligence claim just before trial was to begin.

  • $575 Thousand

    Rensch & Rensch Law earned their client a $575,000 result during trial of a slip and fall claim against a prominent Omaha landmark.

  • $500 Thousand

    Rensch & Rensch Law earned their client a $500,000 settlement of a case that was filed in Sarpy County District Court.


Rensch & Rensch Law serves clients in Nebraska cities such as Omaha, Lincoln, Columbus, Bellevue, La Vista, Papillion, Grand Island, Fremont, Blair, Beatrice and others throughout Douglas County, Sarpy County, Saunders County and Lancaster County.

States: Nebraska, Iowa

Read More


Contact Us

Toll Free: 800-471-4100
Fax: 402-498-0339

Omaha Law Office

7602 Pacific St #102, Omaha, NE 68114

Located in the John D. Wear Building

Columbus Law Office

1470 25th Ave, Columbus, NE 68601