Each year, numerous victims suffer fatal injuries in speed-related accidents caused by negligent drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 18 percent of auto crashes and 27 percent of car accident fatalities are caused by speeding drivers.
Speeding is dangerous because the driver has less control over the vehicle. There is also a higher degree of crash severity, which causes more significant injuries and fatalities. Poor road conditions, low light, and bad weather make speeding even more hazardous. Speed-related accidents happen fast, so proving liability can be difficult. There are ways to gather evidence and build a case. A car accident lawyer will be able to assist a victim with a personal injury claim.
Can Onboard Electronic Systems Provide Evidence?
Most modern vehicles have an electronic data recorder (EDR), which functions in similar ways to airplane black boxes. A car’s EDR may include information about its speed before and during the time of the impact, steering input, acceleration, and brake pedal data. It can also show if and when the driver applied the brakes. EDR data can be downloaded by employing the vehicle’s diagnostic link detector.
Dashboard cameras can also provide useful information about crashes, but the majority of privately-owned vehicles are not normally equipped with them. Trucking companies and commercial vehicles have dashboard cameras, so if a truck was speeding, it may be possible to obtain video. Satellite information from navigational devices may also be useful since they have data loggers that show if someone was driving too fast.
Accident Scene Evidence
It is not uncommon for an at-fault driver to deny that they were driving over the speed limit, and their claim may be backed up by their insurance company. However, there may be a significant amount of physical evidence at the accident site that can help prove that a driver was speeding. One of the most common is skid marks. Depending on how long and deep they are, an expert may be able to establish how fast the vehicle was going, when they tried to hit the brakes, and how long it took the vehicle to stop.
Damaged vehicles can also reveal clues about liability. Car and truck manufacturers provide collision ratings for all vehicles, which show how much damage occurs at different speeds. In other words, these ratings determine how much damage will be done when the vehicles are hit at different speeds. Road debris can also be used to measure traveling speeds. By measuring how far debris is flung, experts can calculate the speed that a vehicle was traveling when it made impact. It is important to take pictures of evidence as soon as possible; otherwise, it could be moved by the wind or people at the scene.
Are There Other Types of Evidence?
Some speeding accident victims employ expert witness testimonies to help with their lawsuits. In these cases, professionals with traffic accident reconstruction experience, traffic forensic experts, and law enforcement officers may be able to offer their trusted opinions.
It is also good to have a police report, which offers documentation about how the accident occurred, specifics about the accident scene and the drivers. Police officers who respond to these scenes can record contact information about the drivers and whether any speeding tickets were issued. This proof can be essential tools for establishing fault in speeding accidents.
What Should I Do After a Speeding Crash?
Remaining calm after any auto accident can be challenging but doing so can make things easier. All parties are required to remain at the scene. As soon as it is safe to do so, the vehicles should be moved. Now is the time to call for emergency services, even if no one is hurt. Police officers and an ambulance may be needed. Even if there are no apparent injuries, it is best to be evaluated by medical professionals; some injuries are hidden and can worsen over time.
The accident should not be discussed in detail with the other driver or the police since any comments may be recorded and used later. Making accusations or admitting any kind of fault is never recommended. It is a better idea to objectively take photographs of injuries, license plates, property damages, and the accident scene from different angles. Also, a motorist should collect facts from the other driver, such as contact and driver’s license information.
It may be possible to ask for EDR information from the driver or their insurance company, but this request may not be granted early in the investigation. If there is a dashboard recorder, this can also be asked about. Police reports can take several days or more to be completed, so it is important to ask how to obtain a copy and how long it generally takes. The auto insurance providers should also be contacted right away.
How Does Auto Insurance Work in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania laws stipulate that no matter who was at-fault in an auto accident, an insured party’s coverage will pay. This gives vehicle owners two options for purchasing their no-fault auto insurance. The first is full tort coverage, which allows injured policy holders to recover all economic and non-economic damages. Limited tort coverage policy holders cannot recover non-economic damages. Non-economic generally refers to pain and suffering, which can be devastating. Limited tort policy holders may have harder times settling accident claims as the right to recover may be limited or denied.
Insurance companies may offer settlements after speeding crashes, but the amount may not always offer adequate compensation. Agreeing without consulting with an experienced car accident lawyer could be detrimental, especially if there are significant injuries and damages. Insurance companies may try to save money with lower offers that do not account for long-term medical bills, other costs, and pain and suffering.
What Else Should I Know About Pennsylvania Auto Insurance?
State laws require minimum vehicle insurance coverage for drivers. Under the no-fault coverage, the minimum limit for medical benefits is $5,000 in coverage. This gets paid out to anyone covered on the policy, no matter who was at-fault. The minimum limit for bodily injury liability is $15,000 to $30,000. This compensates up to $15,000 per person injured or up to $30,000 for the entire accident. Bodily injury liability pays for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and damages paid out by the liable party’s insurance coverage. Property damage is also paid out by the liable party’s policy with a minimum limit of $5,000. Since car accidents are often costly, it is important for a victim to contact a lawyer to collect the maximum amount of compensation that is available.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Hold Negligent Drivers Responsible for Speed-Related Car Accidents
If you suffered serious injuries because of a speed-related car accident, contact our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. We understand that car accidents lead to costly medical expenses and property damage, and we will protect your rights. Complete our online form or call us at 215-569-8488 for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.