Speeding both significantly increases the likelihood of an auto accident and the severity of crashes that occur. Drivers are legally obligated to obey the speed limit and travel at a speed that is safe for current road conditions. If the weather is bad, visibility is obstructed or there are other adverse conditions, drivers are required to go slower than posted speed limits. If a driver violates the posted limit or goes too fast for existing conditions and causes an accident, then he or she can be held accountable for crash losses.
What Happens if Speeding Causes a Crash?
According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, speeding played a role in causing 29 percent of car accident deaths in 2013. Since 2004, speeding has consistently been a contributing factor in approximately 30 percent of all fatal collisions annually. The data on speeding related crashes includes all collisions in which a driver involved in the crash was issued a speeding ticket by police responding to the crash scene. It also includes all crashes in which speeding was indicated on a crash report as a contributing factor. Speeding is defined to include exceeding the posted speed limit, driving too fast based on current road conditions, or racing.
Speeding is a factor in a large number of crashes for many reasons. Drivers who are speeding have a longer stopping distance because a car going faster has more momentum. With a longer stopping distance, it is more likely a car will strike another vehicle, object, or person because the driver will not have time to react and hit the brakes in sufficient time to stop the vehicle before a crash occurs. Drivers who are speeding are also more likely to lose control of their vehicle, and are more likely to flip their car over, particularly around a curve.
If speeding causes a crash to occur, the victims who were hurt by the accident can pursue a claim to recover compensation through a negotiated out-of-court settlement or by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Because a speeding car has more momentum than a slower car, the force of the impact in a high-speed collision is greater than the force of the impact in a lower-speed collision. Since the body is forced to absorb more impact, there is a greater chance of serious injuries, permanent injuries, and fatalities. The more serious and costly the injury, the more important it is to receive compensation. If a crash was fatal, surviving family members can also seek compensation in a wrongful death case.
To make a successful wrongful death or personal injury case, victims will need to demonstrate the defendant motorist was negligent and the negligence was a proximate cause of the collision, meaning if the car wasn’t speeding the crash would not have occurred. If a driver has violated the law, this creates the presumption of negligence. Since speed limits laws are laws, violating the speed limit thus creates the presumption of negligence.
Crash victims can show that a driver violated the speed limit or was going too fast for road conditions by presenting many different kinds of evidence. Police who come to the scene of the crash will sometimes be able to determine that speeding was a factor and will include this detail in their accident report. Police may also issue a speeding ticket to the driver. The speeding ticket and the data from the accident report can be used as evidence to hold a speeding driver accountable.
Other evidence can also be used to prove a driver was speeding. For example, expert witnesses called accident reconstruction specialists can look at the vehicle damage, the skid marks, and other evidence from the crash scene to create an assessment of how the crash happened. These professionals can tell how fast a driver was going, and their testimony can help prove speeding was the cause of the accident.
How Can Long Beach Personal Injury Attorney Help?
Your Injuries are Personal to Me
When drivers speed and cause an accident to occur, they need to be held responsible. I help crash victims hold speeding motorists accountable for the collisions they caused. Your injuries are personal to me, so I handle every aspect of your case until your claim is resolved.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation to speak with a Long Beach personal injury attorney to learn how I can help you if you’ve suffered a car accident injury. You will be under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover compensation for your losses.
You can also download my convenient glove box checklist to keep in your car so you will know what to do if a crash occurs.
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