No matter how it happens – failing to notice a change in speed limit, drag racing, driving too quickly for the weather conditions or time of day – speeding is a dangerous practice that results in car accidents, injuries, and fatalities on a daily basis. According to the CHP, it’s the second most common cause of serious and fatal accidents. The NHTSA reported speeding killed 9,378 people in 2018 and contributed to 26% of the nation’s fatal traffic accidents. Though speed limits are in place to protect people, far too many people regularly disregard and disobey these laws. Negligent behavior like speeding endangers everyone on the road, so harm from a speed-related crash may allow victims to recover from the irresponsible driver. If you were hurt in a car accident involving excessive speed, consult with an experienced Hemet Speeding Collision Lawyer to see if you may be entitled to compensation.
Speeding and the Risk of Collisions
Whether it’s done in an attempt to escape traffic congestion, running late, or just a bold disregard for the law and others’ safety, speeding impacts how safely a driver can operate a vehicle and factors in to a large portion of motor vehicle accidents that occur each year. Drivers who increase the speed of their vehicles:
- Lose reaction time,
- Are less able to benefit from protective equipment in their vehicles,
- Need more time to stop a vehicle when they begin braking,
- Have a higher risk of losing control of their vehicle, and
- Have less time to spot hazards on the road and begin evasive or defensive tactics.
Studies have also shown that speeding increases the severity of crash severity due to increased impact and greater force generated by crashes. Even a 5 mile an hour increase in the speed limit correlates to an 8 percent increase in fatalities when crashes do occur. This results in greater fatal injury potential and more injuries when an accident occurs.
Hemet Speeding Collision Risks
Hemet, a commuter city of 87,000, is close to many urban areas as well as the massive 10, 15, and 215 freeways. Traffic is heavy, aggressive driving is often a common tactic to reaching one’s destination more quickly, and often drivers decide to multitask and use their phones at the expense of paying attention to the road. These behaviors all have dangerous consequences – failing to notice speed limits, disregarding the safety of others, and ultimately causing speeding collisions and tragic consequences. The Office of Traffic Safety reported that in 2016, 125 people were injured or killed in Hemet due to speed-related collisions. In 2017, two people died and another was injured at the intersection of Buena Vista Street and Whittier avenue when one vehicle, traveling between 90 and 100 miles an hour, failed to stop at an intersection and broadsided another vehicle.
How Do I Win My Case?
In Hemet, like the rest of California, most victims will seek redress for their harms by filing a lawsuit claiming someone owes them damages for negligently causing their injuries. Generally, the most common way to prove someone’s negligence is to show:
- They owed you a legal duty of care,
- They breached that duty through either an act or omission, and
- Their breach resulted in your injuries.
If you can establish these elements, a defendant is presumed negligent and will be liable for your damages unless a valid defense for their actions exists.
Sometimes – more often in cases involving car accidents – victims may also establish a defendant’s negligence by proving they caused injury while breaking a law, rule, or regulation designed to promote safety. This includes traffic laws such as speed limits and prohibitions on texting while driving. Under negligence per se, violating one of these and causing injury creates the presumption the defendant was negligent. Evidence such as traffic camera footage, eyewitness accounts, and on-scene clues such as skid marks may all help establish if a driver broke a traffic law and behaved negligently.
What Damages Can I Recover for My Injuries?
Once a victim establishes that someone’s negligence was the cause of their injuries, they may be eligible for an award of damages by the court for proven damages. Some of these are meant to help make a victim whole for harms they’ve suffered, even though they’ll never undo the trauma of the accident and resulting injuries. It’s possible for victims to receive compensatory damages for physical, mental, emotional, psychological, and financial harms that may include:
- Medical bills and future medical expenses,
- Property damage,
- Lost wages and lost future income earning capacity,
- Funeral expenses or burial costs,
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Permanent disability, scarring, and/or disfigurement, and
- Loss of consortium (companionship).
In some cases, courts may award victims additional damages to punish a defendant’s vile, reprehensible conduct and deter them and others from repeating similar behavior. Because these punitive damages are discretionary and awards can be large, victims must satisfy a high burden of proof. The tricky nature of these damages makes it advisable to work with an experienced Hemet speeding collision attorney to avoid costly legal pitfalls in your case.
Contact an Attorney
If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident where excessive speed contributed to the crash, you know firsthand how drastically your health and financial future can change for years in the blink of an eye. To make sure you protect your rights and take the right first steps in seeking recovery for your injuries, speak with the experienced Hemet speeding collision attorneys at Walton Law, APC today. Our attorneys have years of experience providing comprehensive, dedicated representation to victims just like you and delivering results; we’ve recovered millions of dollars in damages on their behalf to help them recover their injuries. Contact us today to schedule your no risk, no obligation initial case consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866)-338-7079 or through our online Contact Page. Your initial case evaluation is free, and you pay nothing until we win your case. Let our skilled team of attorneys your case and use our knowledge and resources to help you get the compensation you deserve.