According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 30,000 people suffered fatal injuries in car accidents last year. Approximately one-third of these fatal car accidents involved speeding. Speeding is one of the most preventable causes of car accident injuries and fatalities, and is often the direct result of negligence. Victims injured in speeding accidents can claim compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Proving Driver Negligence in a Car Accident
Drivers have a legal obligation to operate their motor vehicle in a safe manner. When a driver acts carelessly or without regard for the safety of other people on the road, they can be found liable for injuries that occur due to their negligence. A driver that was speeding can be held liable for injuries if the plaintiff can show that the driver’s carelessness and disregard for obeying the speed limit caused the wreck that resulted in their injuries.
The first component of proving negligence lies in establishing that the driver had a duty of reasonable care, meaning that they had a responsibility to operate their vehicle in a safe manner on the road. This is the easiest of all the areas of proof needed because state and local laws exist to ensure the safe operation of a vehicle. Violating this duty of care leads to breaching.
Breaching the duty of reasonable care can be proven by comparing the actions of the defendant with the actions expected by a reasonable person in a similar situation. Since a reasonable driver would obey the local speed limits, a speeding driver could have breached their duty of reasonable care by carelessly exceeding the speed limit. The driver can also be held liable if they operated their vehicle within the local speed limit, yet did so in conditions that were unreasonable, such as traveling 60 miles per hour on an icy highway.
The plaintiff must then prove that the driver’s negligent actions of speeding directly caused their injuries. For example, if the plaintiff suffered a shattered femur in the accident, they must prove that their leg was not already compromised, and that the femur fracture was the direct result of the car accident. The plaintiff must also prove that their injuries resulted in a coverable loss, such as lost wages, reduced or lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, or property damage. The plaintiff can sue the driver responsible for the accident, but only for the injuries and losses sustained because of the accident. A negligent lawsuit cannot happen if there were no physical, emotional, or property damages from the accident.
What To Do In a Speeding Accident
If you are involved in a speeding accident, it is important to gather evidence to support a claim of negligence. First and foremost, obtain medical attention for your injuries. Once you are stabilized, it is vital to collect documents that will prove driver negligence. Gather records of emergency room visits, hospital stays, doctor visits, medications, physical or cognitive therapies, and any physical damage to your car. Record all time missed from work due to your injuries, and seek professional services for any emotional or post traumatic stress issues that result from your accident.
It is very important to contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible if you are planning to bring a lawsuit for your injuries. A competent car accident lawyer will review the details of your accident to determine if you have the basis for a successful claim, and ensure that you have the evidence necessary to support your claim.
South Carolina Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Help Victims of Speeding Car Accidents Claim Compensation
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, call the South Carolina car accident lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden at 803-929-3600, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. We have six office locations in South Carolina that serve clients in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, as well as the towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.