Speeding Accident Attorney in Austin
Exceeding the speed limit is one of the most common traffic violations on U.S. roads. But, just because “everybody speeds” doesn’t mean speeding is ok. While speeding doesn’t always directly cause an accident, it almost always makes traffic accidents more likely to result in severe injury or fatality. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), almost 900 of the 26,000 speed-related traffic crashes that happened on Texas roads in 2017 occurred in Travis County. This includes 18 fatalities and several hundred injuries that might have been avoided if not for speeding drivers.
If you, your child, or another that you love suffered an injury in an Austin-area traffic accident in which another driver was speeding, Texas law entitles you to compensation for your damages. Serious and catastrophic injuries inflict a huge financial, physical, and emotional burden on victims and their families. Contact The Offices of George Salinas in Austin at (512) 851-1004 to learn how we may help you recover the damages you deserve.
Ways that Speeding Leads to Traffic Accidents and Injuries
Driving over the speed limit is illegal because it makes traffic accidents more likely to occur. But, posted speed limits alone do not necessarily define what constitutes speeding. Driving too fast for conditions such as rain, fog, or heavy traffic can be considered “speeding” even if the driver obeys posted limits.
Whatever the circumstances, speeding leads to traffic accidents and injuries by making all of the following more likely to occur:
- Loss of vehicle control. As a matter of basic physics, the faster a vehicle travels, the more likely it is to lose contact with the road surface and go out of the driver’s control.
- Longer stopping distances and shorter window of opportunity to react. As speed increases, the distance to safely stop or avoid another car or hazard increases. As a corollary, the faster a car is going, the less time the driver has to in which to hit the brakes.
- Reduced effectiveness of safety equipment. When car manufacturers design seat belts, airbags, and other safety features in a vehicle, they crash test them at multiple speeds with a special focus on the maximum speed limit at which a vehicle is most likely to travel. Speeding tests the performance limits of these features.
- High crash severity. Traffic accidents that occur at high speeds result in more severe, often catastrophic injuries or fatalities. Victims who live might suffer permanent disabilities or remain in permanent vegetative states (PVS), as well as suffer from other long-term disabilities or complications.
Why Do Drivers Speed?
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) categorizes speeding as aggressive behavior behind the wheel that is most often associated with the following psychological factors:
- Frustration with traffic. Drivers get frustrated on congested roads and highways with heavy traffic. Some respond with aggressive driving behaviors that include speeding because they believe the cycle of speeding and slamming on the brakes during traffic offers more progress than going with the flow of traffic, even if it is slow.
- In a hurry. Some drivers who speed do so because they are late and in a hurry to get where they want to go.
- Anonymity. Drivers belong to their own little world inside a vehicle. The NHTSA argues that anonymity creates a sense of detachment that causes some to behave aggressively while driving because it is not likely they will see again those who witnessed speeding or other aggressive driving.
- Disregard for traffic regulations and the safety of others. The vast majority of motorists rarely drive aggressively, but some frequently speed and change lanes quickly. Those who regularly violate speed limits and driver aggressively have an outright disregard for the law and the safety of others. The NHTSA reports that these aggressive behaviors have become more common as more drivers take to the nation’s roads.
Seeking Compensation After a Speeding Accident in Austin
After sustaining injuries and property damage a speeding accident, most people file an insurance claim. When it is clear the other driver caused the crash by speeding, victims may file a claim with that driver’s insurance company.
Just because they file the claim, however, doesn’t mean the other driver’s insurer will pay it. That is why it can be very important to have an experienced car accident attorney on your side if you ever need to seek compensation from a driver whose speeding injured you. An attorney can negotiate directly with insurance companies and, if necessary, take legal action to enforce your rights to compensation. In Texas, victims of car accidents can usually expect to recover damages that include:
- Medical expenses such as ambulance and emergency services, hospitalization, X-rays, surgeries, and medication
- Future medical costs in the event an injury leads to permanent disabilities that require long-term care
- Rehabilitative expenses such as physical therapy and assistive devices like prosthetic limbs, canes, walkers, and wheelchairs
- Lost wages for time away from work because of an injury
- Future lost wages in the event a victim cannot return to work because of permanent disabilities
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Punitive damages in cases involving intentional misconduct or gross negligence
If a speeding accident causes a fatality, the victim’s surviving family members may be able to recover the damages above, and in addition, funeral and burial costs.
Contact an Experienced Austin Speeding Accident Attorney
Being involved in a serious traffic accident, like a speeding accident, brings not only physical pain, but additional mental and financial stress for victims and their families. If you or one that you love suffered an injury or lost a loved one in an Austin-area speeding accident, you deserve full and fair compensation. Let an experienced personal injury attorney worry about the details of your accident while you focus on rehabilitation and returning to daily life. Contact our legal team at the Law Offices of George Salinas in Austin at (512) 851-1004 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.
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