Car Accidents and Speeding
Each year, thousands of speeding tickets are issued in Texas. There’s a reason law enforcement takes speeding so seriously. Speeding is not only one of the most common ways drivers break the law, it’s also one of the most dangerous. Speeding not only causes car accidents, it also increases the severity of crashes. When a driver is speeding and causes an accident that results in severe injury to another person, it’s considered negligence. According to the traffic laws in Texas, when a driver is negligent, anyone hurt by his or her carelessness can seek compensation.
The Most Common Excuses Drivers Use for Speeding
Although speeding is always considered negligence, drivers still regularly come up with a number of excuses when they are caught driving too fast. Some of the most common excuses for speeding include:
- The GPS told me that was the speed along this road.
- I was heading to an emergency.
- I wasn’t doing anything dangerous or risky.
- I had to go to the bathroom.
- There was something wrong with my car.
- I was keeping with the flow of traffic.
- I didn’t realize I was speeding.
- I didn’t know what the speed limit was.
While drivers might offer one or more of these excuses, there is never an excuse for putting people’s safety at risk on the roads. Those who cause accidents due to speeding should be held accountable.
What Kind of Compensation Could I Receive After an Accident?
Through a personal injury claim, injured individuals can seek compensation for their injuries when another person was at fault for the accident. This compensation can include:
- Property damages
- Current and future lost income
- Medical costs
- Rehabilitative costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Court fees
Damages that have an actual dollar value, such as medical expenses, are called economic damages. Damages that don’t have an actual dollar amount, such as pain and suffering, are called non-economic damages. A San Antonio personal injury lawyer can help you determine the full value of your economic and non-economic damages.
There is also a third type of damages known as punitive damages. These are meant to punish the defendants and deter others from behaving in a similar manner in the future. Punitive damages are not awarded in every case. The courts only award these damages when the defendant has shown gross, or extreme, negligence.
What Does It Mean When People Say Driving Too Fast for Conditions?
Drivers in Texas are expected to take into account conditions that could affect safety on the road. This means that when road conditions are hazardous, drivers are expected to slow down, regardless of what the speed limit is. Some conditions that may require drivers to slow down include:
- Wet roads
- Fog or mist that reduces visibility
- Uneven roads
- Loose paving, including gravel
- Sharp turns and curves
- Unusual traffic obstacles, such as construction work
- Increased traffic
When these conditions are present, it’s more challenging to stop a car. It’s also easier to lose control of a vehicle. As such, it is imperative that drivers slow down and drive according to the conditions. When they don’t, they can face high fines and be held liable for any accident they cause.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in a Crash Involving a Speeding Driver?
The actions you take in the moments, days, and weeks after a crash could either protect your claim or hurt it in the future. Some of the steps you can take to protect your rights after a wreck involving a speeding driver include:
- Get to safety. First, you have to pull over if you can and make sure everyone is OK. Check on the passengers in your vehicle and, if possible, anyone in the other vehicle. (However, do not discuss the crash or apologize.) Moving your vehicle will help prevent a secondary accident.
- Seek medical help. Even if you are not sure whether you are seriously hurt, call for medical attention. Some injuries aren’t apparent right away and a doctor will be able to determine if you’ve suffered injuries such as a concussion or whiplash. If you don’t see a doctor right away and discover later you are injured, you may face additional challenges in your personal injury claim.
- Call the police. As soon as you can, preferably while you’re still at the accident scene, you must notify the police. Under Texas law, you must report any accident that resulted in injuries or death. When the police arrive at the scene, tell them as much as you can about the incident. Do not, however, assign or accept blame, even if the other driver was speeding.
- Collect evidence. Exchange contact information, insurance information, license plate numbers, and driver’s license numbers with the other driver. Collect statements and contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident. Also, take pictures that indicate how the accident happened and the extent of your visible injuries at the scene.
- Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to seek legal advice after a crash involving a speeding driver. An attorney can manage communication with the insurance companies and the at-fault driver, as well as launch an immediate investigation into your accident.
Contact a Texas Car Accident Lawyer for Help Now
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you need to speak to a San Antonio car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Douglas D. Ketterman is the originator and founder of Ketterman, Rowland & Westlund where he currently serves as President and Managing Shareholder. Douglas has extensive experience in handling all types of civil litigation. He graduated with honors from St. Mary’s School of Law in 1989 and has been Board Certified as a Specialist in Personal Injury Trial Law since 1998 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.