In a survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, sixty percent (60%) of drivers said exceeding the posted speed limit by 15 mph was “not acceptable.” Yet, fifty one percent (51%) of those opposed to such excessive speeds admitted they had done it recently.
In other words, even though people know speeding is dangerous, they still place themselves and others in harm’s way.
Recent figures provided by the Arizona Department of Transportation show that excessive speeding has resulted in:
- 35,334 total traffic accidents
- 11,880 crashes that cause injuries
- 189 fatalities
Even the safest among us can be the victim of a driver who carelessly or recklessly speeds and causes an accident. If this has happened to you or a loved one, the personal injury lawyers of Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC can help you to recover the compensation you deserve.
We serve clients throughout the Phoenix area, including Sun City, Scottsdale, Glendale, Surprise, and Peoria. Contact us today for a free consultation. We can review your case, discuss your legal rights and options, and explain our team approach to serving clients.
How Does Speeding Affect Crash Injuries?
Speeding occurs when a driver violates the posted speed limit or drives too fast for the road conditions. Road conditions such as rain, fog, traffic, curves, or even sun glare, may sometimes require a driver to adjust their speed below the posted speed limit.
A driver’s excessive speed can be dangerous because it may:
- Reduce reaction time and opportunities to avoid a crash
- Increase the distance a driver needs to stop
- Possibly cause a driver to lose control of his or her vehicle (especially in a curve)
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Multiple fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Soft tissue injury
As the Governor’s Highway Safety Association reports, speeding accidents cause one-third of the country’s traffic fatalities each year.
The faster a vehicle is traveling, the more forceful the impact at the point of collision. A vehicle’s safety systems may be unable to properly absorb the energy, which increases the likelihood of serious injuries.
How Can I Hold a Speeding Driver Accountable for an Accident?
To hold another party legally responsible or liable, for the losses you suffer due to an accident, you must establish that the party was negligent.
Negligence is the failure of a person to act as an ordinary, reasonable person would act in the same or similar circumstances. Speeding in and of itself may constitute unreasonable conduct given the risks associated with it. In this sense, speeding can be a form of negligence.
A driver’s speeding may be a matter of negligence per se. In other words, the driver’s negligence can be presumed based on his or her violation of a law that was enacted to protect people from harm.
For example, speed limits such as 75 mph on an interstate route or 25 mph in a residential area reflect what government authorities deem to be a reasonable and prudent speed. If a driver exceeds the speed limit and causes a crash, one may presume that the crash resulted from the driver’s failure to act in a reasonable and prudent manner.
How Can a Sun City Traffic Accident Lawyer Help with My Claim?
Establishing whether a driver’s speeding caused your accident can be crucial to the pursuit of financial compensation for your losses.
At our Sun City and Scottsdale law firm, we will conduct a thorough investigation into your vehicular incident in order to determine whether the other vehicle’s speeding contributed to the injuries you suffered.
Our investigation can involve gathering many different types of evidence. We can also consult with accident reconstruction experts who will analyze the evidence and determine the role that speeding played in your crash. This evidence can include:
- Crash scene evidence – An investigation of the accident scene (or photos of the scene) can reveal tire marks. Experts can use this evidence to determine how fast the other driver was going at the time of impact.
- Vehicle damage – Examining the damage to all vehicles involved in your crash can reveal the severity of the collision and tell a great deal about a driver’s speed.
- Witness statements – A witness can provide a sworn oral or written statement about what they saw at the time of the crash. For instance, the witness may have seen the driver going faster than the flow of traffic or racing to beat a red light.
- Electronic data recorder information – Most cars today are equipped with “black boxes” that record data such as speed and brake use. An expert can download and analyze this information.
- Photo radar camera footage – Although these cameras are no longer found on state-maintained roads, many communities throughout Arizona still use them to enforce traffic laws. Video footage can provide compelling evidence.
Our goal will be to collect and present this information in a formal demand for compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If the insurer refuses to agree to a full and fair settlement, we will pursue a formal lawsuit through the Court system.
As the victim of a speeding-related accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your past and future medical expenses, non-medical expenses related to the accident, loss of past and future earnings, and your pain and suffering. Injury settlements are complex and vary greatly based on an individual’s unique circumstances.
In addition to these compensatory damages, punitive damages may also be pursued depending on the facts of your case. These damages would require “clear and convincing evidence” that the speeding driver acted with “willful or wanton disregard” for the safety of others.