Reckless Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Reckless, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Reckless?

(Adj) An action is said to be reckless when it is done knowingly disregarding the consequences. For example speeding the vehicle near school compounds where kids are expected to cross road etc.

History and Meaning of Reckless

The term "reckless" has its origins in the Middle English word "rekkeles", which means "careless" or "thoughtless". In legal terms, an action is said to be reckless when someone knowingly disregards the potential consequences of their behavior. This can involve taking risks that are likely to result in harm to others, as well as to oneself.

Examples of Reckless

Here are some examples of reckless behavior:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Texting while driving
  • Discharging a firearm in a crowded area
  • Ignoring warning signs in dangerous locations, like cliffs or construction sites

Legal Terms Similar to Reckless

Here are a few legal terms that are similar to "reckless":

  • Negligence: Actions that can be considered negligent are those where someone should have known the risks involved and taken steps to prevent harm, but didn't.
  • Intentional misconduct: This is behavior that is deliberately done with the intent to cause harm.
  • Gross negligence: This is a higher degree of negligence where a person's actions show a complete lack of concern for the safety of others.