According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding is one of the most common factors in causing car crashes. The annual economic cost to our country is $40.4 billion for crashes related to speeding. A crash is related to speeding when the driver is charged with a speeding violation, or the officer reports that racing or exceeding the posted speed contributed to the crash. Young males are the most likely group of people to speed, and alcohol is often involved. If you have been hurt or lost a loved one because of a speeding driver in the Atlanta area, you can discuss your situation with car accident lawyer Stephen M. Ozcomert.Pursuing Damages from a Speeding Driver
The consequences of a speeding accident can be devastating, since the force of an impact is even greater at high speeds. In most cases, someone who is speeding will be considered to be driving negligently. In order to establish negligence in a personal injury lawsuit, you would need to show that the speeding driver owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, actually and proximately caused your injury, and forced you to endure actual damages as a result. It can be helpful to have a police report that specifies the defendant was speeding.
In some cases, a speeding driver will claim that the victim was negligent as well. In Georgia, your damages may be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of responsibility for the accident. The burden is on the speeding driver to prove that you were actually negligent. If a jury finds that a victim is 50% or more responsible for the crash, he or she will be barred from recovery.
Suppose, for example, you were tuning your radio when the cars in front of you suddenly stopped due to another accident. You swerved out of your lane into an adjacent lane, which seemed empty. However, someone else may have been approaching in the adjacent lane while driving 100 mph, and he could not stop in time and rear-ended you. The jury might find that the damages were $500,000, but it might also find that you were 25% responsible because you suddenly moved into another lane that was not clear. If that happens, you would be able to recover up to $375,000 from the defendant.
Damages that may be recovered often include medical expenses, lost income, lost earning capacity, out-of-pocket costs, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. The latter two items are noneconomic damages that may vary widely depending on the jury’s sympathy for your case and the pain you have suffered. Insurers know this, which means it is crucial to retain an attorney with an excellent reputation when negotiating with them.
If the driver who is speeding is drunk, it may be possible to recover punitive damages. These are intended to punish wrongdoing and deter future similar conduct. Punitive damages are not routinely awarded in personal injury cases, but they may be a possibility in particularly egregious situations such as crashes involving drunk driving.Explore Your Options with an Atlanta Lawyer after a Motor Vehicle Collision
Residents of Atlanta who have been struck by a speeding driver may need a motor vehicle collision attorney to help them seek the damages that they deserve. Call the Law Offices of Stephen M. Ozcomert at (404) 370-1000 or set up a free consultation via our online form. We also represent accident victims in Decatur as well as other communities in DeKalb and Fulton Counties.