Lawyer’s Help for Speeding Car Accidents
When drivers violate roadway speed limits, the chances that they will cause an accident significantly increase. Speeding drivers have trouble controlling and stopping their vehicles in an emergency.
If traffic slows down quickly on a roadway and a driver is speeding, they might be unable to stop in time to avoid a crash. Moreover, drivers in a hurry might cut off other vehicles while merging onto a highway; or accidentally strike a vehicle while overzealously weaving in and out of traffic.
Driving too fast during rainy or icy weather is even more likely to cause an accident.
You have legal options if you suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident involving a speeding driver. A car accident lawyer can investigate your accident, file a claim with the appropriate insurance company, and, if necessary, file a lawsuit and litigate your claim to a prompt conclusion in court.
Common Injuries in High-Speed Accidents
Victims of high-speed auto crashes often find themselves severely injured. The force of a high-speed impact may cause an accident victim’s body to move around violently inside their vehicle.
For example, the impact might thrust the accident victim’s body forward and immediately backward or from side to side, causing severe injuries. Sometimes, the impact force is so great that it causes a part of the accident victim’s body to hit the headrest, steering wheel, console, dashboard, or door frame, leading to an injury.
When an accident victim’s body part strikes something in the vehicle with enough force, a hairline fracture or broken bone can result. Car accident victims’ other common injuries include traumatic head injuries, internal organ damage, cuts, bruises, traumatic head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis.
In some instances, the impact force is so great that it ejects the accident victim from their vehicle. In the worst high-speed car accident cases, an accident victim might suffer a fatal injury that leads to premature death.
If you suffered any of these injuries in your high-speed accident, seek same-day medical treatment. You should follow up at a local urgent care center or hospital emergency room where the on-duty healthcare provider can examine you thoroughly. In addition, the provider can order the necessary x-rays, MRIs, and CAT scans to determine the severity of your injuries.
Seeking same-day medical treatment is extremely important since many injury symptoms do not manifest immediately. In the case of traumatic head and brain injuries, for example, symptoms may not appear for days or weeks after the accident happens. Therefore, you want a healthcare provider to formally diagnose you and render any emergency treatment, if necessary.
In addition, an emergency room healthcare provider can make recommendations for any follow-up care you might need. Depending upon your injuries, the provider might recommend that you follow up with a medical specialist, such as an orthopedic doctor, or that you make an appointment with your family doctor.
Same-day medical treatment benefits your car accident case. If you fail to seek medical treatment on the same date as your accident, the insurance company will likely become skeptical and assume that your injuries were not all that serious.
Furthermore, suppose you do not regularly treat your injuries and have significant gaps in your treatment records. In that case, the insurance company will believe that you did not take your medical treatment seriously enough. The insurance company will likely undervalue your claim and refuse to offer your case’s actual value.
While you complete your medical treatment, your lawyer can begin handling the legal components of your case. First, your lawyer can gather the police report, eyewitness statements, medical records, photographs of your injuries, property damage photographs, and lost wage statements and begin assembling your settlement demand package for the insurance company adjuster’s review.
After you complete your medical treatment, your lawyer can submit the demand package, and if the insurance company accepts fault for your accident, settlement negotiations can start. Your lawyer will aggressively fight for your right to recover the monetary compensation you deserve for all of your accident-related injuries.
Duty of Care that Drivers Owe Others
Drivers owe other drivers a duty of reasonable care. Specifically, they must follow all laws and regulations, including posted speed limits. When drivers break the speed limit and violate other road rules, they can cause accidents that bring about life-altering injuries.
When filing a car accident claim, the accident victim has the legal burden of proof. Therefore, they must demonstrate that the at-fault driver acted unreasonably under the circumstances; such as by violating the posted speed limit; causing the accident. They must also show that they suffered at least one injury in their accident and that the accident directly caused their damages.
Expert testimony is often necessary when it comes time to prove the legal elements of your car accident claim. Your lawyer can help you retain the required experts to help prove your claim.
First, your lawyer may need to retain an accident reconstructionist who can identify exactly how the accident happened. By reviewing the police and investigation reports and talking with eyewitnesses, an accident reconstructionist can make an opinion about who is at fault. Eyewitnesses can also testify about the respective speeds of the vehicles they observed in a crash.
In addition to being an accident reconstructionist, your lawyer can retain a medical expert to testify in your case. A medical expert, such as a treating medical provider, can testify at a discovery deposition or in court; to a reasonable degree of medical certainty; that your claimed injuries directly resulted from your accident. A medical expert can also prove that you suffered a permanent injury in your accident. A permanent injury will not get better over time and may cause continued pain and symptoms.
What Types of Car Accidents Result from Speeding Drivers?
When drivers violate speed limits, they can cause car crashes.
Some of the most common include:
- Rear-End Crashes – A rear-end crash happens when the front end of one vehicle strikes the back of another vehicle. Often, these accidents happen because the rear driver is traveling too fast or because they don’t leave enough stopping distance between themselves and the vehicle in front. When a driver speeds, especially when approaching a traffic intersection, they might be unable to stop their vehicle in time to avoid a rear-end impact.
- T-bone Accidents – A T-bone accident, or broadside collision, happens when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of a vehicle traveling on an adjacent road. These accidents typically occur at traffic intersections where a driver speeds through a yellow or red traffic light. In those instances, the speeding driver might misjudge the time/distance and fail to get through the intersection before striking an oncoming vehicle with the green light. When broadside collisions happen at high speeds, the impacted vehicle may flip over or spin around rapidly in the intersection, causing the vehicle occupants to sustain severe and sometimes deadly injuries.
- Head-on Crashes – A head-on car crash happens when the fronts of two vehicles strike one another. These accidents are common on roadways, with one travel lane going in each direction. Although head-on collision drivers are sometimes distracted or intoxicated, they might also be speeding. A high-speed, head-on crash can cause severe property damage, debilitating injuries, and fatalities.
If you suffered injuries in one of these high-speed accidents, you should speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can investigate your crash and determine if you can file a car accident claim for damages. If you are, your lawyer can begin the claims-filing process on your behalf and work to obtain a favourable settlement for your injuries.
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Filing a Claim with the Responsible Driver’s Insurance Company
In most instances, your lawyer will file a car accident claim with the insurance company for the at-fault driver.
The claims-filing process typically includes:
- Submitting a settlement demand letter to the insurance company adjuster
- Sending the adjuster a complete demand package with copies of your medical treatment records, lost wage documents, injury photographs, and victim impact statement.
- Negotiating a settlement offer from the adjuster
Litigating a Claim in Court
During settlement negotiations, the parties go back and forth, seeing if they can arrive at a settlement number to compensate the accident victim plaintiff. However, despite their advertisements, insurance companies are not interested in offering accident victims favourable monetary compensation. Instead, they want to save as much money as possible. Therefore, get a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your corner who can aggressively negotiate for you.
If the parties do not settle the case, the accident victim’s lawyer can file a lawsuit in court. However, this does not mean that settlement negotiations must stop. In fact, the parties may continue their talks, and many car accident claims settle long before the trial date.
During litigation, the parties will engage in written and oral discovery. During written discovery, the parties will exchange documents and answer written questions, called interrogatories. In addition, the parties may take one another’s depositions. Your lawyer will ensure you are well prepared to testify at your deposition and make the most convincing case possible.
Sometimes, after litigation, the parties resolve the case. Otherwise, they will take their case to a jury trial, at which time the jury will decide the outcome of all disputed issues. Alternatively, the parties may consider mediation or binding arbitration.
A pre-appointed, neutral mediator at mediation will help the parties facilitate their settlement discussions and work towards settling the case. During binding arbitration, an arbitrator will carefully listen to the evidence that the parties present and decide on damages.
What Damages Can I Recover for My Injuries in a High-speed Car Accident Case?
If you suffered injuries in a high-speed car accident, you might be eligible to recover various damages. The purpose of damages is to make you whole again, to the greatest extent possible. Although money is frequently a poor substitute for past and future pain, suffering, or the inability to use a body part, it is the only legal means of compensating accident victim plaintiffs.
The damages that a car crash victim can recover will vary depending upon the force of the impact, the injuries sustained, the medical treatment received, and the amount of pain and suffering the accident victim endured.
Some of the most common damages that car crash victims recover include:
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Loss of the ability to use a body part
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Loss of spousal companionship and consortium
Your lawyer can help you determine which of these damages you can pursue and recover in your car accident case and will work hard to maximize your total recovery.
Call a Skilled Car Accident Lawyer Today
When a car accident hurts you, the last thing you want on your mind is anything involving complex legal issues. The most important thing is for you to focus on recovering from your injuries.
Retaining experienced legal counsel is one of the most important steps following your car accident. Your lawyer can help you decide whether you should accept a settlement offer from the insurance company or whether you should pursue litigation in the court system.
If you choose the latter, your lawyer can assist you throughout every stage of the proceedings and can represent you at all court appearances.
Your lawyer will aggressively advocate for your legal interests and work to pursue the monetary compensation you deserve to receive for your injuries.