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More than 35,000 people died in car accidents in 2015, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Nearly 30 percent of those deaths, 9,557 to be exact, were in speeding-related accidents. This number is shockingly high, especially considering that speeding while driving is a choice that many drivers make on a daily basis.
Crashes where one or more of the drivers was speeding are extremely likely to result in injury or death. If you were injured in an accident where the driver at fault was speeding, you may be entitled to compensation. For help filing a claim, contact a speeding accident lawyer in Dallas from Lovins Trosclair, PLLC.
What are the speeding laws in Texas?
The speed limits in Texas are similar to those in other states. Most highways have maximum speeds of 75 miles per hour, though some roads in Texas do go as high as 85 miles per hour.
Of course, speed limits are much lower on residential or city roads. Although many states have adopted the use of automated traffic cameras to catch and ticket speeders, Texas does not allow such cameras.
It is important to note that Texas has “prima facie” speed limits. This means that, in the absence of speed limit signs, a driver can operate a vehicle at another set limit.
For example, Texas Transportation Code § 545.352, sets the following prima facie speed limits:
- 30 mph in an urban district
- 70 mph on a numbered highway
- 60 mph on an unnumbered highway outside an urban district
A driver might not be breaking a law if s/he can prove that her speed was not unreasonable or dangerous for the area or weather conditions.
In addition, Texas’ reckless driving law [TTC § 545.401] prohibits drivers from operating a vehicle “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”
In many cases, excessive speeding constitutes a disregard for safety.
Is the speeding driver automatically at fault for the car crash?
Not necessarily. If a driver was speeding when the accident occurred, that alone does not establish that s/he was at fault for the crash.
However, proving that the other driver was speeding can go a long way towards building your case that the other driver should compensate you for your injuries.
In order to prove that the other driver was at fault for your accident, you and your attorney will need to argue that s/he was negligent. Essentially, you need to prove that the other driver owed you a duty; that s/he breached that duty; and, as a result, you suffered real and measurable injuries.
Duty: All drivers owe each other certain duties. Essentially, that duty is an agreement to drive safely and obey all traffic laws. For example, a driver has a duty to follow the posted speed limit.
Breach: Determining whether a driver has breached his/her duty to other drivers can be somewhat subjective and depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident.
For example, going 30 miles over the posted speed limit will almost certainly be a breach of duty because this kind of behavior constitutes reckless driving.
Remember, even if the other driver was traveling within the speed limit, s/he may still have breached his/her duty by traveling too fast for the weather conditions.
Injury: Finally, your injuries must be a direct result of the other driver’s breach of duty. If you suffer whiplash because a speeding driver lost control of his/her car and rear-ended you, then you may be entitled to compensation.
How can I prove the driver was speeding if the police officer did not issue a ticket?
If the responding police officer did not issue a speeding ticket or note speed as a factor on the police report, it can be difficult to prove that s/he was actually speeding. There are several ways that you can prove the driver was going too fast, including:
- Eyewitnesses can testify that they saw the driver speeding just before the accident occurred.
- An expert can reconstruct the scene of the accident and establish that certain damage to the vehicles or injuries to the occupants could not have happened unless the driver had been speeding.
- You may be able to pull surveillance footage or photographs from red light or store security cameras.
Your attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to prove that the other driver was speeding and responsible for your accident.
How much compensation can I get if I win my case?
The exact amount of your potential compensation award will, of course, vary based on the severity of the accident, your degree of fault, and the nature of your injuries. However, you can expect to receive compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical: The negligent driver will have to pay for both your past due and current due medical expenses, such as doctor’s office or emergency room visits, ambulance rides, medications, surgery, and other treatments.
- Future Medical Expenses: If your injury is likely to last long-term, you can receive additional compensation to cover the likely costs of that treatment. We work with medical experts to get an accurate and fair total for the compensation you deserve for future medical bills.
- Lost Wages: If you have to take time off of work or if you must take a lower paying job while you heal, the negligent driver will be responsible for compensating you accordingly.
- Property Damage: The negligent driver will be responsible for the damage to your vehicle, home, or any other major pieces of property damaged in the crash.
- Noneconomic Damages: If the accident caused you pain and suffering, mental anguish, depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder, you might be entitled to noneconomic damages.
You might also be entitled to punitive, or exemplary, damages if the driver was acting especially recklessly at the time of the collision.
Lovins Trosclair, PLLC Can Help with Your Case
The speeding accident lawyers of Lovins Trosclair, PLLC help the victims of speeding accidents. We investigate your accident, interview eyewitnesses, and negotiate with insurers to help you get the compensation you deserve.