Speeding is a common traffic violation that we have all probably been guilty of at some point. Even so, speeding is incredibly dangerous in an accident, as it often makes everything much worse.
Claims of speeding may come up in an insurance claim or a lawsuit, whichever path you choose to pursue. In an insurance claim, you might need proof of speeding to prove the other driver’s fault for the accident. In a lawsuit, you might need the same evidence to hold the other driver liable. If you were the one speeding, your own damages in a lawsuit or insurance claim might be reduced. Evidence of speeding might include traffic tickets, police radar, witness testimony, traffic cameras, and more. Not only does speeding influence the determination of fault, but it also influences damages. Generally, the higher the rate of speed, the worse your injuries might be, and the higher your potential compensation should be.
If a negligent, speeding driver hits you, contact our Georgia car accident lawyers at Howe Law for a free, private case evaluation by calling (844) 876-4357.
Effects of Speeding on a Georgia Car Accident Claim
Speed can change an accident entirely. Whether you are filing an insurance claim or an injury lawsuit, the other driver’s speed is a crucial piece of the puzzle. If you suspect the other driver was speeding when they caused the accident, talk to your lawyer about getting evidence and how to use that evidence to get compensation.
In Georgia, insurance claims are based on fault. This is contrary to no-fault states, where drivers are often covered by their own liability insurance rather than the other drivers. Unlike in no-fault states, drivers in Georgia must file third-party claims against the other driver’s insurance and prove to the insurance company the other driver is at fault.
If your accident is based on speed, speed might be the basis of your fault claims. The faster the other driver was going when they hit you, the more likely the insurance company will be convinced of their fault. If the other driver was speeding only a few miles per hour over the limit, the insurance company might be more skeptical and demand additional proof. If they were going 20 or 30 miles per hour over the limit, their speed kind of speaks for itself, and fault is more obvious.
Lawsuits are somewhat similar to insurance claims. You file a claim against the person you believe caused your accident, and you need to present evidence that supports your claims. The key difference is that courts have much higher evidentiary standards than insurance companies.
An insurance company will likely accept a copy of the police report about your accident stating that the other driver was speeding dangerously. In many cases, insurance companies demand copies of police reports at a minimum. In a lawsuit, police reports are often inadmissible hearsay.
Lawsuits are based on negligence. If speed is the basis of your claims, you must present evidence showing that the defendant’s higher rate of speed was negligent under the circumstances. You must also show that the defendant’s speed is the direct cause of your injuries. The mere fact that the defendant was speeding is not enough to definitively prove negligence.
Evidence of Speeding in a Car Accident Claim in Georgia
Finding evidence of speed can be tricky. Speed does not always leave behind physical traces that can be held up in front of a jury or shown to an insurance adjuster. Your attorney can review your accident with you and help you determine where evidence of the other driver’s speed might come from.
One possibility is that the other driver was ticketed for speeding by the police shortly after the accident. A speeding ticket may be particularly useful if the defendant paid the fine and did not challenge the citation.
If the other driver was issued a citation for speed, our Macon car accident lawyers can talk to the police to see if they issued the ticket based on radar readings. You have probably seen police officers positioned along the road with odd looking devices pointed toward traffic. These are radar devices that can almost immediately determine the speed of a moving vehicle. Manby speeding tickets are based on police radar readings. If the radar device was in good working order and had been recently calibrated, it may be very important in your case.
Even if we cannot obtain actual measurements of the other driver’s speed, we can rely on witnesses who were present for the accident. While they might not know the exact number, an eyewitness can testify that the defendant was driving way too fast. For example, suppose the speed limit was 60 mph, you were going 65 mph, and the witness says the other driver came at you so fast they barely had time to react. This might indicate to a jury that the other driver was going far faster than 65 mph, which is a high rate of speed as it is.
Traffic cameras or dashcams may also be useful if they record the defendant speeding. Whether this kind of evidence is useful might depend on the angle of the camera and how long it recorded the defendant driving before the accident.
How Speeding Influences Damages in Car Accident Claims in Georgia
Speed has a significant effect on your damages and potential compensation. High rates of speed tend to come with greater damages. Generally, the faster the other driver was going, the more severe your injuries and damages are likely to be, and the higher your damages and compensation should be.
If you are struck by a vehicle traveling at 20 mph, your injuries might be painful. If you are hit by a car traveling at 50 or 75 mph, your injuries might be far more devastating. In such cases, your medical bills will likely be far greater. You might lose income because you cannot return to work while recovering. Your car might be utterly destroyed. And the accident might have been very traumatic. In short, your damages will likely be much higher the faster the other driver went when they caused the accident.
Speak to Our Georgia Car Accident Lawyers About How Speeding Affects Your Claims
Contact our Newnan car accident lawyers at Howe Law If you were hit by a speeding driver and set up a free, confidential case assessment by calling (844) 876-4357.