Speeding is one of the leading causes of vehicle accidents, especially those that result in severe injuries or death. Generally, the faster a vehicle is traveling at impact, the greater the force to the body and risk for injury.
Speed is often an important factor when determining fault for the collision. Often times, there is not video or other clear evidence of speed. Law enforcement, insurance adjusters, or attorneys investigating a crash will look to other factors to assess the speeds of vehicles involved.
There are several ways your car accident lawyer can use different sources of evidence to build your case that the other driver was speeding and was at fault for the collision.
Witnesses of Speeding
Witnesses can provide evidence of the speed the vehicles were traveling before impact. An average person may not be able to tell if someone is going 5 or 10 miles over the speed limit. If, however, a vehicle involved in an accident is traveling 20 miles or more over the speed limit, most witnesses will be able to identify this as speeding. Even average people, i.e., lay witnesses, can offer this kind of testimony in court based on their own observations and experience.
Expert witnesses can also be helpful, and especially in closer cases or where the witnesses are not sure or there are inconsistent facts as to who was speeding. An accident reconstructionist can examine the physical and other evidence from an accident and provide an expert opinion on speed to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty. These types of witnesses are often law enforcement officers with special training and experience, forensic specialists, and those with experience reconstructing traffic accidents.
Horton & Mendez has excellent relationships with many expert witnesses in these fields. Having the right expert can often make or break a case.
While police may not always respond to every accident, ensuring they come to the scene and file a report can be extremely helpful. Police reports can be crucial in proving fault in many accident cases. A report will not only describe how the accident occurred but also describe the accident scene. The officer will also collect witness details and contact info if necessary. The report will also indicate if any citations were issued at the scene of the accident.
The fact that the other motorist received a speeding ticket is not always enough to prove liability when speed is an issue. The criminal or traffic citation is most often not admissible in a personal injury case. The Court may even prevent the law enforcement officers or other witnesses from testifying about who received the ticket.
Speeding May Be Indicated by Vehicle Damage
The vehicles involved in a crash often sustain damage. Usually the higher the speed, the more extensive the vehicle damage.
The posted speed limit in the location may have been relatively low compared to the vehicle damage. This would indicate one of the drivers was probably speeding.
Speeding may be difficult to prove if the collision occurred on an interstate where automobiles travel 55 miles per hour or more. An accident at 55 miles per hour can cause as much damage as an accident at 70 miles per hour depending on other factors.
Each vehicle manufacturer has a collision rating. These ratings gauge the amount of damage likely to occur depending on the speed. Mechanics will sometimes refer to these ratings when assessing vehicles to determine the extent of the damage.
Our lawyers can examine the mechanic’s repair assessment to resolve the collision rating and the speed of the cars involved in the crash.
Road Debris From Speeding Accidents
Additionally, your lawyer may consider the distance debris was thrown from the point of impact. The farther debris travels, the quicker the vehicles may have been moving. Therefore, those involved in a collision should take photographs of the damage caused by the collision. This should only be done if it is secure.
There have been national reports about measures to use GPS data to defend against speeding tickets. While GPS data may not instantly establish speeding in a personal injury case, if a GPS data logger indicates that a motorist could not have driven between two municipalities or waypoints without surpassing the speed limit, this could be some evidence of speeding.
Skid Marks From Speeding
Drivers can leave skid marks on the road when they stop suddenly. Drivers who speed are likely to leave longer skid marks than those who do not speed.
Speeding may, however, be indicated by small skid marks. The other motorist was going so fast that they had little time to brake, so skid marks weren’t visible.
A lack of skid marks could indicate a distracted driver did not recognize that they needed to stop to avoid a crash. High levels of vehicle damage and no significant skid marks often indicates speeding and distracted driving. This can be a deadly combination.
Video Footage of Speeding
In a car crash case, video footage can be valuable proof. Video footage may be available from a traffic camera, dash cam, or security camera. There will likely be some legal red tape involved in obtaining some of this footage, so you will need an attorney.
It is extremely important to act quickly to preserve any video footage. It can often require an attorney requesting video footage within 24, 48, or 72 hours of the wreck to make sure it does not get automatically deleted. Sometimes video footage can be obtained after 7, 10, or 30 days. But, the sooner an attorney acts to secure the footage, the more likely it is to be recovered and preserved for use in the case.
Is Your Car Accident Case Worth a Lawsuit? Contact a Wilmington, NC Car Accident Lawyer
Do you think another’s speed played a role in your car accident? An accident caused by speed can escalate moderate injuries to severe injuries. Contact us today if you’ve been in a car wreck and need help obtaining compensation or your injuries and vehicle damage.
Throughout the years, Horton & Mendez has helped car accident victims recover compensation. Our firm has assisted injured persons of many types of car accidents. We know how to collect evidence and make sure the at-fault party is held responsible.
You will not want to let time go by resulting in witnesses forgetting important details or video footage disappearing, or go through the complicated insurance filing process alone. Instead, let Horton & Mendez assist you to preserve and maximize the value of your claim.
Contact us as soon as you can to discuss your car accident and how we might be able to help you.
Car Accident FAQs
How much can I recover for a speeding accident claim?
Your recovery will depend on the total of your economic and non-economic losses, the insurance policies involved, and other factors.
Do I need to retain an attorney after an accident caused by a speeding driver?
It is appropriate to at least consult with a lawyer after any accident. At a minimum, you will want to make sure you understand your rights and what to expect. We can also help preserve important evidence to ensure a recovery for injuries.
How much does a car accident lawyer cost?
At Horton & Mendez, we take all of our personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis. That means you will only pay legal fees if we obtain compensation for you in your case.