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How Is Speed Factored Into Car Accident Cases?

There's about a 99% chance you're going to encounter someone speeding every time you drive your car.


Speeding has become so common that we don't think twice about someone traveling above the speed limit. 


But, speeding is one of the most dangerous habits on the road. 


Nearly 17 percent of all traffic crashes and 26 percent of all traffic fatalities were caused by speeding in 2017. 


Knowing the dangers of speeding and why people speed can help keep you safe on the road.


We'll learn more in the article below.




Table of Contents


What Is Speeding?

The idea of speeding seems pretty straightforward, but there is more to speeding than simply driving above the speed limit. 


Even if you're driving the speed limit, driving too fast for road conditions can also be dangerous.


Changing weather conditions is just one of the reasons why a driver might need to adjust their speed. 


Driving 55 miles per hour may be appropriate on a bright, sunny day, but 55 miles per hour in the rain could lead to disaster. 


Every year fatal accidents are caused by drivers driving too fast for conditions. Other changes in conditions that may affect safe driving speeds are:

  • Fog or smog
  • Sun glare
  • Traffic congestion
  • Poorly maintained roads
  • Nearby pedestrians or animals
  • Debris in the roadway
Most state laws require all drivers to follow posted speed limits. The state uses absolute speed limits, meaning a driver cannot try to defend why their speed is considered a safe speed. 


In addition to posted speed limits, the law also states that drivers must drive at a speed that is "reasonable and prudent and having regard to potential hazards."


A driver caught speeding can face fines that are several hundred dollars. And if you're caught speeding in a school or construction zone, you're going to pay double the fine for the infraction. 


You are also likely to incur points on your driver's license and additional fines if their speeding resulted in bodily harm to someone else.



How is speed factored into car accident lawsuits?


Vehicle Speed and the Pedestrian

When a pedestrian is involved in a car accident, the speed of the vehicle has a lot to do with determining the severity of the pedestrian's injuries. 


The odds of a pedestrian being killed by a motorist traveling at 20 mph or slower are very low, at just about 5%.


The chances for fatality significantly increase from there. At 35 mph, a pedestrian has a 45% chance of being killed. 


At 60 mph, it is highly likely that a pedestrian will not survive.



Potential Injuries

Even low-speed crashes can lead to injuries. Over half of all speeding-related accidents occur at speeds under 55 miles per hour. 


Several factors affect the type and severity of potential injuries. Things like the type of vehicle, the speed, and the location of the accident will affect the accident outcome.


Common injuries in speeding accidents include:

  • Whiplash. Whiplash usually occurs when a driver's vehicle is hit from behind. The impact of the collision causes the head to suddenly whip backward and then forward, similar to the cracking of a whip. Minor whiplash can cause moderate pain and resolve on its own within a few days, but in more severe cases, the accident may cause damage to the spinal discs.

  • Traumatic brain injury. A traumatic brain injury is defined as a "blow to the head or a penetrating injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain." The severity of a TBI can range from a minor concussion to a persistent vegetative state. Motor vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of TBIs.

  • Soft tissue damage. Soft tissue damage can include cuts, sprains, strains, burns, and other abrasions. In minor cases, medical treatment is not necessary. In severe cases, these injuries can cause substantial pain and leave permanent scarring.


How Speeding Impacts The Value of a Personal Injury Case

Speeding is an essential element of a car accident case to show who was negligent and at fault. 


In at-fault states, like Georgia, fault and liability have to be determined for each accident. 


In some states, like Georgia, the kind of fault determined is proportional comparative fault, which means each driver is assigned a percentage of the blame. 


For example, one driver might be 100% responsible, or one driver may be 80% responsible while the other driver is 20% at fault.


For example, one driver could turn left and fails to yield, causing an accident. At the same time, the other driver could be excessively speeding. 


In this case, both parties would likely share fault. The party who is less at fault in the case can bring a suit, even if they were found to be somewhat at fault. 


However, the amount of fault assigned to them will reduce the amount they can recover.


Whether speeding is a contributing factor in a car accident case is important because it can make the difference between winning and losing and determine how much compensation you will be awarded.


How is fault determined in a car accident?


When to Bring in Legal Help

An accident can scare anyone. A high-speed accident can completely change your life. 


If you were involved in a car accident, look for a car accident lawyer who understands the emotional and financial burden an accident can have on you and your family.


If you or someone you know has recently been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may qualify for financial compensation. 


To learn more about your legal rights, contact the team at Helping The Hurt by clicking the button below.



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