Speeding Car Accidents
Speeding is a primary cause of vehicle accidents in Illinois. A recent study utilizing data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ranked Illinois at number 7 out of 15 states with the most traffic deaths caused by speeding.
In the case of a traffic accident, speeding can be legally defined as driving faster than the posted speed limit, but also driving too fast for the conditions, such as bad weather.
Although speeding conjures up images of a car racing at breakneck speed down the highway, the majority of speeding-related traffic deaths occur on primary streets. Speeding is also a factor in many drunk driving accidents. When a driver is impaired, losing control of the vehicle’s speed is one of the primary behaviors leading to a crash.
What Damages Can I Claim if I am Involved in a Speeding Accident?
A speeding accident can cause serious injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Brain injuries
- Internal injuries
These types of injuries require emergency treatment, hospital stays and even surgery. A speeding accident victim can claim damages for medical costs, such as hospital bills, follow-up medical appointments, physical therapy, prescription medications, and assistive devices such as a wheelchair or crutches.
While recovering from their injuries, an accident victim will likely be unable to work, and when returning to work, may not be able to perform all of the required functions of their job. If injuries are severe enough, an employee may not be able to return to work at all. Whatever the level of lost income, a speeding accident victim can claim damages for the money they are unable to earn due to their injuries.
A speeding car crash will likely cause extensive property damage. The victim’s car may need extensive repairs or even be totaled. Personal items inside the car, such as a cell phone or sports equipment, may also need replacing.
Being hit by a speeding vehicle can be a traumatic experience. The accident victim may experience high levels of stress, post-traumatic stress syndrome, sleep problems, fear of driving, and depression. Injuries from a speeding accident can cause severe physical pain, robbing the victim of the enjoyment of everyday activities. These effects of a speeding accident are classified as non-economic damages, or pain and suffering.
What Happens in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In order to win their clients’ claim for damages, a personal injury lawyer will establish liability in a speeding car accident by proving the driver was going over the lawful limit and caused the accident. The legal team will request police records, consult police that responded to the accident scene, and interview witnesses.
A personal injury lawyer will also make a thorough account of economic and non-economic damages their client has incurred through careful documentation of medical expenses, lost income, and property damage. The lawyer will encourage the client to keep a “recovery journal” to account for experiences of pain and suffering so the client can claim the maximum amount of damages they are entitled to.
A legal team will negotiate with insurance companies. Insurance companies are large, profitable corporations with their own lawyers. They will likely try to offer an initial low settlement offer to the client, or dispute a portion of the client’s claim. An expert personal injury legal team will not accept a lowball offer. They will apply their knowledge of the legal system to prove their client’s eligibility for damages and negotiate for the maximum settlement under the law.
Many personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court, which is a shorter and less expensive process than a jury trial. However, if a personal injury case goes to trial, the lawyer can represent their client in court and present the case in the strongest way possible.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Cost?
Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means if they agree to a case, there is no money paid up front by the client. The lawyer takes their fee from a percentage of the settlement amount. Contingency fees means the legal team is motivated to win the highest possible settlement for their client, and the client does not have to worry about a retainer or hourly billing.
Speeding is a reckless driving behavior that can cause extensive injuries, property damage or even death. If you have been involved in a car accident caused by a driver who was speeding, call us today for a consultation.