Second-leading cause of car crashes in Florida
You know the drill because you’re part of it every time you get in the car and merge onto I-95 during morning or evening rush hour. Traffic slows substantially in both directions as motorists clog the exists, seeking the quickest way to or from work. Most drivers understand that they are expected to be extra careful when more cars are on the road. Unfortunately, there’s usually someone who believes his or her schedule is more important than everyone else’s, and you’ll often find this driver erratically switching lanes in a futile attempt to leapfrog other cars and pass through the jam quicker. More unfortunate is that these drivers endanger the lives of all other drivers, as the chance of a car accident increases exponentially.
At all times of the day, many of the collisions that occur on I-95 are the result of drivers operating their vehicles at unsafe speeds, often in excess of the posted speed limit. In addition, weather, road conditions, or traffic patterns can create unsafe traffic conditions. For example, if the maximum speed limit is 55 but heavy rain has substantially limited visibility, the responsible motorist is expected to adjust by slowing down. If that doesn’t happen, and it can be determined that the driver’s speed caused the accident, a Melbourne car accident lawyer can best advise you on how to file a lawsuit against the party or parties whose negligence caused the auto wreck.
Speed can kill anywhere
Although speeding accidents are frequently associated with highways, they can happen on anywhere in Melbourne or Titusville:
- Intersections: Careless drivers who accelerate to try to beat a red light frequently cause serious wrecks in intersections. Because of the acceleration, drivers who do this will find it much harder to avoid hitting a car that chooses to suddenly stop for the light, a turning car or a pedestrian who already began crossing the road.
- Roads: Speeding-related auto wrecks on Melbourne roads often occur when drivers attempt to pass slower-moving vehicles. If the road is a two-lane road, a tiny miscalculation can easily lead to a catastrophic head-on collisions are possible. Unlike on highways, parked cars often occupy streets and roads, and speeding drivers run the risk of hitting them, causing massive injuries to themselves and others.
- Parking lots: Cars and pedestrians abound here, and while extra caution is supposed to be exercised in parking lots, drivers often speed up to beat other drivers to a prime parking spot. This is especially true between Thanksgiving and Christmas, as shoppers scramble to get last-minute gifts. Low-speed accidents in parking lots can be just as deadly as other types of accidents, given a larger-than-normal number of pedestrians.
Broward County drivers under 25 with limited experience behind the wheel sometimes make very poor decisions while driving. When their competitiveness supersedes their common sense, the results could be tragic. This type of racing endangers everyone else on the road, and the chances of a car accident skyrocket when young adults make bad choices. Adults do it, too, especially when alcohol is involved. This type of speeding accident could lead to criminal charges being filed against the driver, in addition to any negligence claims you are planning. Such charges range from DUI to reckless driving to vehicular homicide.
If you are injured in speeding accident due to someone else’s reckless actions in Titusville or Melbourne, speak with a car accident attorney as soon as possible after the car accident. According to the 2017 Florida Statutes, Title XXXVII Chapter 627, the plaintiff must satisfy a relatively modest burden of proof in four steps according to the preponderance of the evidence:
- Step 1 requires the plaintiff to prove that the defendant owed a duty of care. In speeding accidents, the defendant is required to show that he or she took the necessary precautions of a reasonable individual in a similar situation. If he or she was speeding at the time of the accident, this fact may violate the duty: a reasonable individual wouldn’t engage in a risky behavior like speeding.
- Step 2 involves identifying the defendant’s breach of care. If the defendant received a speeding violation at the accident scene from the police (or if the accident reconstruction specialist identifies skin marks at the accident site), the defendant’s breach of care may be demonstrated.
- Step 3 requires the plaintiff or personal injury counsel to demonstrate how the speeding accident resulted from excessive speeding. That is, the plaintiff must show that harm wouldn’t have occurred if the driver-defendant used reasonable care and complied with traffic laws and rules.
- Step 4 involves the defendant’s response. The defendant may argue that the plaintiff was also negligent in the accident.
Let’s say that both drivers in a speeding accident were driving above the posted speed limit of 55 mph. Jill recalls driving down a small decline at about 57 mph. Jack was using a handheld device. He calls driving above 65 mph. Jack was ticketed at the accident scene but argues that Jill bears some responsibility for the accident. If Jack’s argument is accepted, a jury may reduce damages awarded to Jill for brain injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Under Florida law, comparative fault doesn’t bar the plaintiff-victim from recovering damages unless he or she was entirely responsible for the accident. If Jill was 10 percent responsible for the accident, she may be entitled to receive 90 percent of the award.
Florida is a “no-fault” state, meaning that drivers are required by law to carry bodily injury insurance in exchange for a guarantee that their own insurance company will pay for damages up to their policy’s maximum. Speeding accidents; however, could be catastrophic, leading to expenses that far surpass the policy max. In such cases – especially where negligence is determined to have been a factor – additional lawsuits may be filed by your car wreck lawyer. Damage awards in Brevard County speeding crashes consider objective and subjective harms suffered by the victim. Typically, speeding accident victims seek compensation for lost wages or income, the capacity to earn money in the future, past-current-future medical expenses and treatments, vehicle-property damage, scarring or disfigurement, or pain and suffering.
Find out if you have a case today. Call the car accident attorneys at Couture Law P.A. to schedule a free consultation at our Melbourne or Titusville offices.