Even the most cautious and safety-minded drivers put themselves at an increased risk every time they get behind the wheel of a car. Using safe driving practices can lower the risk of a crash or injury, but it is impossible to account for other drivers on the road.
Drivers are responsible for driving both carefully and lawfully to protect themselves and other drivers. One way to greatly reduce the risk of an accident is to always obey the speed limit.
The National Safety Council reported in 2020 that speeding was a factor in 29 percent of all driving-related fatalities.
One of the reasons that speeding increases the fatality rates of car accidents so greatly is that speeding can significantly increase the riskiness of other poor driving decisions. For instance, driving while texting is incredibly dangerous but speeding while texting is even more deadly.
Speeding not only greatly increases your likelihood of being in a potentially fatal car accident, but it also increases that same likelihood for every other driver on the road.
Reckless driving that puts the lives of other drivers at risk is unethical and illegal. In every state, those injured by speeding drivers may seek financial compensation for their damages.
The Physical Dangers of Driving Too Fast
Driving at speeds greater than the speed limit is inadvisable for many reasons. Not only is it illegal, but it is also dangerous. The physical risks associated with speeding should be enough to discourage anyone from breaking the speed limit.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, speeding drivers are three times more likely to crash. Traffic accidents can become much more frequent for those who speed regularly. Frequent accidents can result in rising insurance premiums, repair costs, and an increased risk of injury.
Not only does speeding make accidents more likely to occur, but it also makes them much, much deadlier. A different report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that higher speeds result in more severe injuries.
The study found that car accidents at 40 miles per hour gave drivers a 15 percent chance of risk of serious injury or death. In crashes of 50 miles per hour, the risk of serious injury leaps up to 59 percent. If a car crashes at 55 miles per hour, the risk of serious injury stands at 78 percent.
Speeding makes these serious injuries more likely:
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones
- Loss of limb
It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that the faster a car is going when it crashes, the worse the crash will be. However simple that logic may seem, it bears a lot of truth. Increasing your speed at all even legally increases the danger of driving.
This makes driving at speeds above the speed limit even more dangerous. Going 65 miles per hour is already dangerous enough; going 85 miles per hour could be a near-death sentence in some cases. So before getting into your car, understand the dangers of speeding.
The Legal Repercussions of Speeding
Speeding is not just a bad idea; it is a crime. General speeding is a ticketable offense that can in many states appear on your driving record. Too many speeding tickets can result in the suspension or even revocation of your driver's license.
Speeding as legally defined can bring legal punishments. While traffic laws tend to differ greatly from state to state, a few nationwide commonalities hold true.
For instance, most states have a threshold to differentiate between speeding and reckless driving. Driving significantly over the speed limit around 26 miles over in most states can result in a reckless driving charge.
Speeding tickets carry with them a court appearance date and a fine. If you do not go to your court appearance or pay the fine by the court date, the court may issue a warrant for your arrest. Cases of exceptionally high-speed driving can result in endangerment charges, meaning an immediate arrest and potential further jail time.
If someone's actions while speeding inflicted damage on you or your property, you may hold them liable for compensating them. You may also face jail time in this scenario, depending on the severity of the injury.
Speeding carries strict punishments and steep fines. Bankrate finds that the average ticket in the United States costs about $150. However, that doesn't include court and other costs. Plus, speeding tickets can increase your car insurance rates.
The law sets strict punishments and high penalties for drivers who speed because speeding greatly increases both the frequency and severity of car accidents.
We can discourage speeding by helping new generations of drivers avoid picking up the bad habit and teaching previous generations how to stop. This will help eradicate speeding from everyday travel, making the roads a safer place for everyone.
Pursuing Legal Compensation for a Speeding-Related Accident
Speeding is clearly no laughing matter. The shortening of a trip often comes at a high cost physically, financially, and legally speaking. Because speeding is so heavily discouraged by the legal system and so often discussed in driving lessons the moments when speeding results in a serious injury or fatality are even more egregious.
For victims and the family of victims of speeding-related accidents, there are paths to receiving compensation for the damages incurred.
Under the law, drivers are responsible for obeying the speed limit to protect themselves, other drivers, and pedestrians. When drivers fail to demonstrate responsible driving practices and injure you, you can hold them liable for their actions.
A responsible driver injured by a reckless, speeding driver should not need to pay for their recovery.
How Much Compensation Might I Recover?
While victims of speeding-related accidents have the legal right to pursue compensation, they are not guaranteed success or even any specific amount of money should they be proven right.
This is because calculating exactly how much compensation a victim will receive involves an incredibly complex and involved process. It is impossible to even estimate a specific number without knowing details about the case.
Compensation figures are calculated based on factors that differ from state to state, making matters even more complicated. Something as simple as having a different judge could even affect the amount a victim in a speeding-related injury case recovers.
The process is too unpredictable to offer up even a range of figures which might somewhat reliably represent your potential compensation. In fact, if you ever encounter a car accident lawyer who claims they can win you a specific amount in court, this is a red flag. Find help elsewhere.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Speeding-Related Accident?
In speeding-related accidents, you can recoup the costs of damages in court, including some damages you might not expect.
Some damages commonly compensated in speeding-related injury cases include:
- Medical bills
- Insurance payments
- Legal fees
- Property damage (automobile totaled, home destroyed, etc.)
- Emotional distress
While these mounting bills might overwhelm many car accident victims, the good news is that each of these damages has the potential to be paid for by another party if the compensation case succeeds in court.
This potential result is why you must give yourself the highest odds of success. A good car accident attorney can set you up with the best possible chances of success and help you win the maximum amount of your potential compensation.
Should I Pursue Compensation Without a Car Accident Attorney?
No. There is a reason that it takes a lot of time and a lot of education to earn a law degree. The legal system is complex and uninviting to those without extreme familiarity with its processes and policies. Therefore, it is not uncommon to misunderstand your rights and what you deserve.
Many insurance providers will offer quick cash settlements following an accident. It is often tempting to take the money, especially in the face of mounting bills. However, these insurance adjusters do not have your best interests at heart and will often make lowball offers just to take care of the situation quickly.
To get the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering, always contact a car accident lawyer. They will be able to offer you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are making the right decisions.
Their experience and expertise with injury cases ensure that they can put together a stronger case than you could on your own. Travel Market Report found that clients who represented themselves in court saw significantly lower success rates.
The cost of a lawyer may be hard for some to accept, but it is almost impossible to win without an attorney.
Finding the Right Attorney for a Speeding Incident
The right representation from the right law firm or attorney in your car accident case can secure full compensation for your damages. The right firm or attorney can bring an innovative approach or point of view that frames the case in your favor.
It can feel overwhelming to choose an attorney in such a stressful time. With so much else fighting for your attention, you may not feel confident in your choice. There are, however, a few steps you can take to find the right lawyer for you.
Firstly, because traffic laws differ from state to state, it is best to find a car accident lawyer who works specifically in the state where your accident occurred. The site of the accident, not the victim's place of residence, determines the location of the potential suit or trial.
Always look for best attorneys who specialize in an area relevant to your case.
In the case of speeding-related accidents, numerous car accident attorneys are likely to have significant experience dealing with speeding-related injury cases. That additional expertise and experience might help you in building the case with the highest chance of success.