Speeding is not an accident—rather, speeding is the epitome of negligence. Any drivers who willfully ignore traffic laws or drive too fast for roadway conditions endanger not only their own lives, but the lives and property of others.
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety recently released their annual report, which shows Florida as one of only 11 states marked with the lowest safety ratings in the country. Speeding is considered a major contributing factor in traffic crashes. It reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around curves or to avoid objects in the road. Speeding increases the amount of roadway a car needs to stop and increases the distance a car travels while a driver is reacting to a dangerous situation. Speeding is not solely defined as exceeding a posted speed limit but also driving faster than is safe given the current road conditions. Many speeding-related accidents occur because a driver failed to adapt his or her driving speed when traveling on wet, slippery roads, or during weather-related conditions such as high winds, heavy rain, or fog.
For almost a decade our Doral Speeding Accident Lawyers at Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP, have been helping our friends and neighbors in Doral, and the surrounding areas, hold speeding drivers legally as well as financially accountable for their actions. Even in a “no-fault” state like Florida, an experienced lawyer can help an injured victim negotiate a better settlement for injuries suffered in an accident.
When it t comes to traffic accidents, the statistics of our state are approaching critical proportions. Florida’s integrated Report Exchange System’s analytics tell us that in the first 56 days of 2019:
- 52,649 accidents were reported in Florida
- Miami-Dade County claims 7,971 of these accidents
- As of February 25, 2019, 32 of Miami-Dade county’s citizens have lost their lives on our highways
Data from the National Safety Council reveals that Florida’s 2018 fatalities are a whopping 5.8 percent higher than the previous year. On a national level, the economic impact of motor vehicle injuries in 2018 was estimated at $433.8 billion. These costs included:
- Lost wages
- Medical costs
- Administrative expenses
- Property damage
- Employer productivity
Driver Attitudes About Speeding
Two years ago, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a research study concerning American’s behavior while operating a motor vehicle. A full 50 percent of those polled admitted to speeding on a regular basis, and twenty-five percent reported exceeding posted speed limits by at least 15 miles per hour as acceptable.
Why Urban Freeways See so Many Speed-Related Accidents
High-speed collisions are frequent occurrences on freeways. Florida was the first East Coast state to allow speeds greater than 55 miles per hour on two-lane roads. Currently, county roads and interstates have speed limits of 55 to 60 miles per hour, with speeds of up to 75 miles per hour allowed on rural four-lane expressways. Only 16 states have higher maximum speed limits than Florida.
Speeding often leads to other unsafe driving habits such as tailgating, and usually points to significant driver error such as inattentiveness, for example. No matter how this plays out, it reduces the margin for error due to the higher speed at which the vehicle is moving. Most freeways happen to be state highways where the speed limits are between 45 and 65 mph, which means a lot of people see them as a chance to let loose when moving between urban areas.
Factors Contributing to High-Speed Car Accidents
Speeding is a major factor in automobile accidents, and it is a dangerous, destructive, and often deadly oversight. Unfortunately, it would seem that in the eyes of the general public, perception has become more important than evidence. From the sheer numbers of speed-related accidents we see on a daily basis, violating posted speed limits seems to have become a national habit. The reason? Findings to date suggest that, by and large, our present speed limits are thought of as being too low to be accepted as reasonable. A survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows three out of four drivers admit to speeding.
There are numerous other reasons that induce drivers to speed, including:
- Impaired judgment
- Assuming they will not be caught
- Showing off for friends
- Keeping pace with traffic
- Road rage
- The thrill of speeding
“The amount of time the average driver spends behind the wheel each year is equivalent to seven 40-hour weeks at the office.”—(AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety)
Types of Damages for Victims of Speeding Accidents
There are two primary forms of compensable damages in a speeding auto accident case: property damages, and personal injury damages.
Property damages may include:
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Loss of personal belongings
- Towing costs
- Vehicle storage fees
- Appraisals or estimate fees
- Car rentals
Personal injury damages can be:
- Charges for ambulance services
- Emergency room fees
- Adaptive devices
- Physical therapy
- Physicians services
- Cost of medication
- Loss of Wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and Suffering
- Psychological counseling
- Permanent Injury or Disability
Non-economic damages are about compensating victims for the loss of:
- The joy of life
- Personal dignity
These damages are not easy to quantify, and may be easiest to prove when the accident left a victim with:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
At Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP, we understand that when families face the devastating aftermath of a high-speed car accident, the recovery process ahead of them can be exhausting and frustrating. If you or a loved one are overwhelmed by the complexities of an unexpected car accident, contact our Doral office for guidance and direction. We offer a no cost, no obligation consultation in order to review the circumstances of your accident and determine if you may have valid grounds for a claim against the negligent driver.
In addition to pursuing financial compensation for injuries sustained in a high-speed accident, some of the many other things a legal representative can assist a victim with are:
- Assisting with property damage repairs
- Negotiation for the diminished value of a damaged vehicle
- Coordination of PIP benefits
- Resolving liens from Medicare, Medicaid, Medpay, and any other collateral sources
- Issuing a letter of protection to medical providers
- Completing an accident investigation
- Providing legal advice on your options and settlement offers
High-Speed Accidents Increase Risk to Victims
High-speed collisions have the potential to cause catastrophic injuries. Whether a speeding driver hits another vehicle, pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcycle, a higher speed increases the probability of an accident. As a rule, the higher the speed, the greater the accident risk and the more severe the injuries. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling 39 mph is twice as likely to suffer severe injury and twice more likely to die than if they were struck at a speed of 31 mph. Florida has recently become known as the worst state for pedestrian safety.
Deadly Car Accidents
Under Florida law, when the negligent behavior of a speeding driver results in the death of an innocent victim, the decedent’s heirs and/or other beneficiaries may seek compensation by filing a wrongful death claim.
Depending on the individual circumstances of the case:
- The surviving spouse may receive compensation for loss of companionship and mental pain and suffering
- Minor children may receive financial compensation for loss of parental companionship and guidance
- Surviving parents of a minor child may also recover for mental pain and suffering
- Medical and/or funeral expenses
Personal injury law is diverse and complicated. When you or a family member is facing personal property losses and injuries, you need a team of lawyers with the knowledge and empathy to help ensure that your case will have a positive outcome. At Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP, we are a collaborative community of client-centered litigators with an impressive history of results. Our firm offers each client quality representation when they need it the most.
What Happens During a Speed-Related Car Crash
The kinetic energy of a car crash is determined by the mass of the vehicle and the speed at which it is traveling. The more energy, or speed, a car has the harder it is to slow down or to stop in time to avoid a crash, and the more damage it will do to innocent victims. Newton’s First Law of Physics tells us that “an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” This is never more evident than in a high-speed crash. While riding in a moving vehicle, your body is also traveling at the same speed as the vehicle, however, upon impact, the car stops forward momentum, but the body inside remains in motion. To put this in perspective, a victim traveling 65 miles per hour when he or she is hit from behind by a speeding driver, will be thrust into the windshield or dashboard at 65 miles per hour.
In a forward-impact crash, it only takes a few seconds for the chest strap of a seatbelt to fracture the collar bone or shatter ribs, while the lower lap strap damages internal organs. Airbags may prevent facial injuries, but the violent, jerking motion of the head can result in torn neck muscles and traumatic brain injuries.
Although automobile manufacturers design their vehicles to absorb energy from a crash, in a high-speed collision it is more than likely the victim will be hurt on impact. When the external force of an impact is too great, the victim’s injuries can be fatal.
Injuries Resulting From Speeding Accidents
The injuries resulting from a high-speed collision can be wide-ranging. The severity of these injuries can depend on certain variables such as the victim’s position in the car, where was the point of impact on the automobile, and whether or not the victim was restrained. Some of the most common physical injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Neck and back injury
- Broken or fractured bones
- Bruises and lacerations
- Internal organ injuries
While many physical injuries are immediately noticeable, the emotional issues that stem from an accident are just as important, and can be just as serious. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress following a catastrophic accident should not be ignored.
Timing Is Everything
In Florida, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is four years from the date of injury. The exception to this rule would be in the case of a wrongful death claim. In this instance, a victim’s family only has two years to initiate a suit. If you or a loved one feel you have a viable personal injury claim against a negligent driver, contact a personal injury specialist as soon as possible after the incident. The passage of time blurs witnesses’ memories and make accident scene investigation much more difficult.
Recovery Is Possible—Call Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP, Today
Victims of a high-speed auto accident are entitled to full compensation for property damage and physical injuries. No family should have to suffer needlessly at the fault of another, but it does happen. At Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP, we will fight to maximize your compensation after a speed related car crash. We understand the costs of an accident can be life-changing. Insurance carriers representing the at-fault driver are singularly focused on limiting the amount of money they will have to pay in damages. Our litigators are highly experienced when it comes to winning the battle of divergent opinions. More often than not insurance companies refuse to cover the total costs of car accidents, and in some cases, they reject the claim altogether. Don’t fight car insurance companies alone.
Protect your rights in the event you need to take legal action against the responsible party. A personal injury lawyer can help prove that the other driver in the accident was at fault. Do not risk limiting your financial compensation. If you are the victim of a speeding driver’s negligence, don’t let things get out of hand. Contact Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP, online or our Doral office at (305) 930-7688 for the help you need putting your life back in order.
Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP
8400 NW 36th St Suite 450
Doral, FL 33166
What Our Clients Have to Say:
“My experience with this law firm has been extremely pleasant. After being involved in an accident where I was injured, I was able to seek treatment from the best doctors in the area. I was lucky to have a team that assisted in scheduling my appointments that worked around both my full time work schedule and my demanding grad school schedule. Even with a move out of state to New York, I was able to remain with this law firm and continue treatment in south Florida while remaining under the care of the doctors that I felt most comfortable with. Even though I suffered injuries and experienced difficulties in that aspect, the team here was able to make sure that I was able to continue work and stay on track with grad school all while I moved to a new state.”
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