Always Call a Car Accident Lawyer After a Speeding Accident
There will be times when every driver exceeds the speed limit. Speeding is a habit for many people. It becomes more difficult to control and stop a vehicle as its speed increases. Almost a third of car accidents are due to speeding or a driver’s failure to control their vehicle’s speed.
The danger of speeding extends to everyone on the road: in one recent year, speeding led to the death of 11,258 people nationwide. Although we all have busy schedules and know the frustration of modern life, speed limits protect everyone on the road.
Last year saw the highest number of speeding-related deaths in over ten years. Currently, 29 percent of traffic fatalities happen due to speeding, up from 26 percent the previous year.
Accidents like these are preventable. Victims and their families must seek compensation for the losses they sustained in car accidents due to a driver’s failure to abide by the speed limit. Always do so with help from an experienced car accident attorney.
There is more to speeding than just breaking the law. Speeding can also entail driving too fast for road or weather conditions, even if someone didn’t violate the speed limit.
Many consequences can result:
- Drivers may lose vehicle control more easily.
- Equipment used to protect occupants, like seatbelts and airbags, is less effective.
- Drivers who perceive a danger must increase their stopping distance.
- More severe injuries as a result of increased crash severity.
- A crash caused by speed has economic implications.
- Cost/consumption of fuel increases.
Why Do People Speed?
A driver who speeds is engaging in aggressive driving behavior. Aggressive driving can stem from several factors:
Aggressive driving, including speeding, often happens due to traffic congestion. Some drivers become angry at anyone who impedes their progress and speed excessively to get ahead.
In a Hurry
Drivers may drive aggressively and speed because they have too much to do and are “running late” for work, school, meetings, lessons, soccer games, or other events.
The driver of a motor vehicle might feel insulated from the outside world. When they feel anonymous in the car, they are more likely to engage in dangerous conduct. However, when these drivers cause accidents and injuries, you can identify them and hold them liable for their carelessness.
A Guide to Dealing With Speeding Drivers
Other drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists can also be affected by speeding behavior and aggressive driving.
If you encounter a speeder on the road:
- Move over if someone wants to pass you in the left lane.
- Allow plenty of space for speeding drivers. Vehicle control may be more difficult for speeding drivers.
- Don’t drive too fast. Aggressive driving is associated with speeding. Use your judgment to safely steer your vehicle away from a speeding vehicle tailgating you or engaging you in risky driving.
- Report a driver who follows or harasses you to the police.
Violations Related to Speeding
Speeding laws vary depending on where you are traveling. The majority of states, however, have two different categories of speeding laws – or one law that covers both.
Speeding laws generally cover:
- Speeding or exceeding the posted speed limit
- Excessive speed in adverse conditions
These speeding laws demonstrate the discretion police have to issue a citation irrespective of the posted speed limit in any given situation. A car accident victim may also have more difficulty proving another driver was driving too fast for the conditions if they were within the speed limit. Your car accident lawyer can offer evidence that they were still speeding despite the posted speed limit.
Drivers should slow down in the following situations, even though some state laws are more explicit than others:
- A crossroads is approaching
- Crossing a railroad track
- On the way to the top of a hill
- On a narrow, winding road
- In the presence of pedestrians
- During periods of heavy traffic
- Unusual road conditions or weather
Law enforcement may issue various speeding-related citations. In many states, speeding in construction zones is punishable by double fines. Speeders may also receive a careless or reckless driving citation if they exceed the posted speed limit by 20 miles or more, especially if they committed other traffic violations.
When speeding damages property or people, penalties, and fines typically increase. Criminal vehicular manslaughter might also apply when negligent drivers speed and kill another driver or passenger.
Criminal charges are not the same as the legal relief you need. If a speeding driver receives a conviction in a criminal case, they may receive a sentence of fines, probation, or even jail time. As an injured accident victim, this criminal case provides little assistance. Rather, you should seek compensation in civil court with the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer.
Among All Car Crash Causes, Speeding Leads to the Most Fatalities
Higher speeds often lead to more severe injuries when a crash occurs. Traffic collisions involving large mass and high acceleration are the most dangerous and regularly fatal. Heavy trucks, which can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, are especially dangerous. Their huge mass and speed make them extremely dangerous during truck accidents.
A driver’s speed may cause a more severe accident, which often causes catastrophic and even fatal injuries. Motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists in speed-related accidents are more likely to die. Despite surviving the initial impact, victims might still later succumb to critical injuries. Surviving families need to consult a car accident attorney about their options after these tragic accidents.
Here are some examples of injuries that can be life-threatening.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
Jolts, blows, or direct, blunt force trauma to the head in a car accident can cause TBIs. Victims may mistake their symptoms for confusion or disorientation. Even initially mild brain injuries, however, can leave long-term debilitating effects on the victim.
A severe TBI can permanently impair or kill a victim. Sometimes, complications following an accident result in death or reduce a victim’s life expectancy. TBIs can cause dangerous brain bleeding or blood clots.
When a person suffers a head injury in a car accident, the following symptoms may indicate life-threatening conditions:
- Headache that is getting worse
- Vomiting repeatedly
- Slurred voice
- Trouble waking up
- Pupils with abnormal or uneven sizes
- Loss of consciousness
If you suffered a traumatic brain injury, seek legal assistance from a car accident lawyer who understands the severity of all forms of brain injuries.
Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs)
Sufferers of motor vehicle wrecks at high speeds are in danger of an acute spinal cord injury, which can be deadly. Bruises, tears, or spinal cord severance can cause varying degrees of damage. In general, the higher the spinal column injury, the more severe the symptoms and the higher the risk of death.
Injuries to the spinal cord affecting the first five cervical vertebrae of the neck, for example, affect respiratory muscles. It is common for victims of such injuries to die or need a ventilator for the rest of their lives. Knowing that a more careful driver could have prevented your injury by slowing down may compound the physical and emotional pain.
Injuries to the spinal cord can cause lifelong losses. For these complex and high-value claims, victims should seek the assistance of the right car accident attorney.
Bleeding Inside the Body and Organ Damage
Speed-related traffic crashes and other serious impacts can lead to internal bleeding and organ damage. Vehicle occupants can suffer severe and potentially fatal injuries from forceful impacts, which can pin, contort, or toss them about. Broken ribs can puncture organs, or pieces of debris from the accident may impale victims and cause punctures. As a result of a crash, punctured lungs can fill up with fluid, requiring emergency trauma treatment.
Aortic aneurysms are another common internal injury caused by high-impact traffic accidents. When the stomach gets crushed in a wreck, the aorta, the main blood vessel to the heart, ruptures.
Additionally, traffic accidents can cause kidney damage, liver damage, ruptured spleens, and other potentially fatal internal injuries. If car accident victims don’t receive immediate medical attention after suffering internal injuries, they often die. They don’t always appear right after an accident, so always go to the doctor for a medical examination.
Insurance companies and juries may have difficulty understanding the full effects of your life-threatening organ damage since you cannot see them with your eyes. Your car accident lawyer can demonstrate everything you have been through and recover all of the compensation you deserve.
Traffic accidents often result in traumatic amputations when a body part is severed due to the impact. Sometimes, traumatic accidents result in complete amputations, and if emergency crews act quickly, they can surgically reattach a limb. There is also a risk of infection and excessive bleeding with amputation.
An accident victim who receives immediate and skilled medical treatment has an excellent chance of surviving. Other situations may result in death when uncontrolled bleeding, shock, and infection occurs. There is a possibility that even survivors may not regain full mobility and use of a reattached limb for a lifetime.
The loss of a limb following an amputation is catastrophic. After such traumatizing injuries, a car accident law firm can protect your rights.
Why Speed Kills in Car Accidents
Everybody knows that things are harder to control when they move fast. The same thing happens when a vehicle speeds.
Several factors contribute to speed-related crashes and injuries, according to the IIHS:
- When a driver recognizes an emergency, the speeding vehicle travels a longer distance before reacting.
- When the driver starts braking to slow their speeding vehicle, the distance to stop a vehicle is longer.
- The impact of a crash exponentially increases because of higher speed, often leading to more severe injuries.
How to Recover Compensation After a Speeding Accident
Survivors of a fatal accident often suffer emotional and financial devastation due to injuries or losing a loved one. After your injury or loss, contact an attorney who knows how to handle a car accident or wrongful death lawsuit. You can determine if a case has merit by contacting an attorney for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Wrongful Death Compensation
There may be multiple types of damages you can collect if the insurance company or court rules in your favor in a wrongful death suit.
After a fatal accident caused by speeding, surviving family members may be awarded the following damages by a court:
- Dependents of the deceased lose support and assistance.
- A spouse’s loss of companionship.
- Pain and suffering for spouses, children, and parents who have lost a child of any age.
- A lack of parental guidance, instruction, and companionship for minors.
- Survivors who pay for medical expenses incurred during the traffic accident and up until death can claim them as a reimbursement. These expenses include hospitalization, ambulance services, surgery, radiology, and medications.
- Costs of burial and funerals for survivors who covered these expenses.
The speeding driver should not escape responsibility, especially if someone dies in an accident. Following a car accident, family members should discuss their options with a compassionate lawyer.
The consequences of speed-related accidents can cause serious injuries or death. Going through emotional and financial pain when another driver caused the accident shouldn’t be necessary.
When you hire an experienced car accident attorney, you can trust they will fight for the compensation you deserve while you cope with your injuries and losses. Your lawyer will work to hold speeding drivers civilly liable for your losses while you focus on your physical recovery.