How Do I Prove My Car Accident was Caused by a Speeding Driver?October 5, 2020
Speeding is one of the most common causes of car accidents in the United States. Speeding-related accidents often result in significant property damage and serious injuries as a result of the extreme force of the impact. The faster the motorist is driving, the more severe the property damage and injuries are likely to be. When a motorist is injured in a car accident that was caused by a driver who was speeding, it is crucial that the victim can collect compensation for his or her injuries. Proving that the accident was caused by speeding can be challenging, but by no means it is impossible. There are a number of ways that a car accident victim can prove that the at-fault driver was speeding at the time of the accident. An experienced Baltimore accident lawyer can also assist car accident victims with the claims process and ensure that they obtain the necessary evidence to have a successful claim.
How Common are Speeding-Related Accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017, speeding was responsible for 26 percent of all traffic fatalities. In 2018, 9,378 motorists lost their lives in speeding-related car accidents. Research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that close to 37,000 people were fatally injured between 1993 and 2017 in speeding-related accidents, which the IIHS believes is related to the rising speed limits over the past 25 years. As of this year, 42 states have speed limits of 70 mph or higher, 11 states have a maximum speed limit of 75 mph, eight states have a speed limit of 80 mph, and in Texas, motorists may drive 85 mph in certain areas. Oftentimes, motorists drive five, 10, or more miles per hour faster than the posted speed limit, which means motorists driving in an 80-mph zone are likely to be driving dangerously fast. A car accident involving a vehicle that is travelling 70 to 85 mph can have devastating consequences.
Why is Speeding Dangerous?
The NHTSA considers speeding to be a form of aggressive driving, which is defined as committing a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property. The following are examples of aggressive driving that, when combined with speeding, can be extremely dangerous and lead to severe injuries as well as fatalities:
- Exceeding the speed limit
- Swerving in and out of lanes in a reckless or erratic way
- Failing to use turn signals
- Not obeying posted traffic signs, traffic signals, or traffic control devices
What Evidence Proves Speeding Caused a Car Accident?
- Witness testimonies: If other motorists or pedestrians in the vicinity saw the accident happen, they can attest to the fact that the other motorist was driving too fast, particularly if the vehicle was driving significantly faster than the speed limit. Expert witnesses can also be used to provide their professional opinion about what happened after they have reviewed all the evidence. Expert witnesses are often law enforcement officials, forensic experts, or individuals who have training in traffic accident reconstruction.
- Police reports: When police arrive at an accident scene, they will fill out an accident report, which will include detailed information about the accident, as well as the officer’s opinion about who caused the accident. One of the most important pieces of information in the report is whether the officer issued any citations. If a speeding ticket was issued to the other driver, this will likely be enough to prove liability.
- Physical evidence: If there were no witnesses, people may think that it will be difficult to prove that another motorist was speeding. However, accidents caused by speeding often leave behind evidence that the victim can use to prove fault. The following are examples of evidence that can prove speed was a factor:
- Skid marks on the road: A forensic expert can determine whether speed caused an accident by examining the length and depth of a skid mark. Skid marks will be longer if the motorist was speeding. The faster the car is travelling, the longer the skid mark is going to be.
- Debris in the road: The amount of debris that comes off the vehicles, and how far away from the car it ends up, can be an indication of speed. Forensic experts will measure the proximity of the debris from the vehicle and calculate the speed at which the car was travelling when it hit the other car. Motorists should take pictures of the accident scene before picking up or moving any debris.
- Damage to the vehicle: The severity of the property damage can indicate how fast a car was travelling at the time of the collision. Even if the motorist was not able to take a picture of skid marks or road debris, the damage to the vehicle can offer valuable information about the cause of the accident.
- Surveillance footage: Depending on where the accident occurred, there may be surveillance footage available. For example, if the accident happened near homes or businesses that have security cameras or other surveillance systems, the accident may have been recorded. An accident lawyer can contact the owner of the security system and request a copy of the footage.
- Photos from the scene of the accident: In addition to skid marks and debris, it is highly recommended that motorists take pictures of every angle of the vehicle, including close-up shots of the damage to the car. If a bumper was damaged in the crash, a forensic expert can determine that the motorist who hit the damaged vehicle was exceeding the speed limit.
- Data from onboard electronic devices: These are not widely used in passenger vehicles, but an increasing number of large trucks and other commercial vehicles are using dash cameras. These can record the speed of the vehicle at the time of the accident.
- GPS data: There have been instances of motorists using GPS data to defend speeding tickets. It can also be used to prove that a motorist could not have driven from one point to another without speeding. For example, if the GPS shows that it should take 30 minutes to get from point A to Point B, but the motorists made the trip in 15 minutes, it is likely that he or she was speeding.
What Should I Do After an Accident Involving a Speeding Driver?
If a motorist is injured in a car accident, it is important that he or she remain calm and take the following steps as soon as possible:
- Stop the vehicle and remain at the scene until police arrive. Drivers should never leave the scene of an accident, particularly if there are injuries involved.
- Motorists involved in the accident should move to a safe spot and wait for police and emergency medical technicians to arrive. Drivers should not refuse treatment, as some injuries may not appear right away. Head injuries and internal injuries may not be obvious immediately following the accident, owing to the adrenaline that is coursing through the body after a stressful event.
- Immediate medical attention should be sought. Even if a motorist does not appear to be injured, it is important to seek medical care. This will ensure that any underlying injuries are diagnosed and treated. In addition, seeking prompt medical treatment is an important step in an injury claim.
- A driver should never admit fault or apologize for the accident, as this can be considered an admission of fault. Drivers should not speak to the other driver’s insurance company or sign any waivers.
- Drivers involved in an accident should cooperate with police officers at the scene, but not offer more information than necessary.
- Motorists should collect as much information about the accident as possible, including pictures of the vehicles, the road, the exact location, weather conditions, road conditions, and anything else that could provide information about the cause of the accident.
- Drivers should hire an experienced accident lawyer. A skilled accident lawyer will thoroughly investigate the details of the accident, help collect valuable evidence, and ensure that all the client’s questions and concerns are addressed.
Can I Collect Compensation for a Speeding-Related Car Accident?
The motorist who was hit by a speeding driver must prove the following three key points to collect compensation:
- The negligent motorist caused the accident by failing to follow the speed limit.
- The motorist who was hit suffered injuries as a result of the accident.
- The speeding driver was at fault for the accident, and the victim’s actions did not contribute to the accident at all.
Baltimore Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Assist Victims of Speeding-Related Car Accidents
If you were injured in a car accident, and the other motorist was speeding at the time of the crash, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will thoroughly review the details of the accident and obtain key evidence to prove that the other driver was responsible for causing the accident. In addition, we will walk you through every step of the claims process and secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are conveniently located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, where we represent victims throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.