The Detroit metro area is notorious for speeding — and it’s more than just a citywide problem. Crash statistics show that driving too fast was responsible for more than 31,000 accidents in Michigan in a single recent year, accounting for nearly 7,000 injuries and more than 180 deaths.
People who are hurt in accidents caused by speeding are entitled to compensation in Michigan. When the injuries are serious, Michiganders may file a claim through their no-fault insurer. They may also have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. The best way to learn your legal options is by talking to an experienced injury lawyer at Christensen Law.
Our Detroit car accident attorneys know that excessive speeding can cause catastrophic injuries that change lives forever. If you’ve been hurt by a speeding driver, call or contact us today for a free consultation.
What Can I Do if I was Hit By a Speeding Driver?
After being hit by a speeding driver, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. If possible, there are several steps you should take in the aftermath of the crash to protect your claim. These include:
- Call the police: You need to report a car accident in Michigan if the crash resulted in a death, injury, or property damage in excess of $1,000. When speeding caused the wreck, any (if not all) of these factors should apply. The police will investigate the scene and file an accident report, which you can use in the future when you file your claim.
- Seek medical treatment: Your health is most important after a crash. Seek medical attention for your injuries even if you feel fine. Many serious injuries go undetected right away. If you do not see a doctor, the insurance company could argue that you are not injured in an effort to deny your claim.
- Take photographs: Pictures that were taken at the scene of the accident moments after the crash will serve as very valuable evidence. Take pictures of any damage to vehicles, relevant information such as skid marks, and your injuries.
- Call your insurance company: Many insurance companies require drivers to notify the insurer of any crash promptly. Check your policy to determine the deadline. If possible, talk to a Detroit car accident lawyer before making the call. An attorney can handle all of the insurance communications for you.
Just as there are steps you should take after a car accident, there are also certain things you should never do. Never accept blame for the collision, and never accept a settlement offer from the insurance company without first speaking to a lawyer.
Speeding Accident Statistics
For more than 20 years, speeding has also accounted for approximately one-third of all motor vehicle deaths in the United States, according to the most current statistics available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Speeding claimed the lives of 9,378 people nationwide in a recent year, with 974 fatalities in Michigan alone. Those deaths accounted for 25 percent of the state’s total traffic fatalities that year.
Consider these other statistics:
- Young drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 are most likely to be in speed-related accidents.
- Drivers who are speeding at the time of a fatal crash tend to have been drinking — and drinking more — than drivers who are not speeding.
- Speeding played a role in 31 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes in a recent year, more than any other vehicle type.
- Unlicensed drivers make up one-quarter of the drivers involved in fatal speeding accidents.
While some crashes are inevitable, crashes caused by excessive speed are entirely preventable. If your injuries were caused by a speeding driver, you can hold them liable for their negligence.
How To Prove The Other Driver was Over the Speed Limit?
Even when it is clear that a motorist was speeding while on the road, many people worry that it’s impossible to prove because the vehicle has already come to a stop. Fortunately, that’s not true.
There are many ways to prove a driver was speeding, including:
- Witness statements: People that witnessed the accident may not be able to tell if a driver was traveling five or ten miles over the speed limit. However, when someone is driving more than 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, it’s usually obvious.
- Expert testimony: Unlike eyewitnesses, expert witnesses can reconstruct the accident and use technology to determine that a motorist was speeding at the time of the crash.
- Surveillance footage: Sometimes, nearby businesses or dash cams in vehicles can provide video footage that captured a crash. This footage will show each vehicle involved in the moments leading up to a crash and can clearly identify a speeding driver.
- Police reports: Law enforcement officers will investigate the accident scene. If they believe speed was a factor, it will be listed in the accident report. The at-fault driver may also receive a citation for speeding. Citations, along with the officer’s report, can help prove a certain degree of liability.
- Skid marks: To the average person, the presence of skid marks may not seem like an important detail. However, an expert will examine the depth and length of skid marks to determine when a driver applied the brakes and how long it took them to come to a full stop. When a driver was speeding at the time of an accident, the skid marks will be much longer.
- Road debris: Debris is often flung from a car during an accident and can be useful when determining if a driver was speeding. The further this debris flies during a crash, the faster one of the drivers was traveling.
- Vehicle damage: When a driver is speeding and hits an object, such as another vehicle, the more forceful the impact and the more damage that will result.
While accident victims can collect some evidence themselves while they are at the scene of a crash, a car accident lawyer can be a great asset afterward. As victims focus on their recovery, an attorney will collect the necessary evidence to hold speeding drivers liable.
Injuries Caused by Speeding Car Accidents
The faster a vehicle is traveling at the time of a crash, the more severe the resulting injuries tend to be. Examples include:
- Whiplash: The force of a car accident caused by speeding is immense. The impact can cause a person’s neck to snap back and forth in rapid succession, which results in whiplash. Many people think whiplash is a minor injury, but it is extremely painful and can take victims months to recover.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): A driver’s head is much more likely to hit the steering wheel, window, or dashboard when they are hit by a speeding motorist. This blunt force trauma is enough to cause a traumatic brain injury.
- Broken bones: The frame of a vehicle is often not strong enough to withstand the impact of a speeding car. As a result, the frame will bend inwards, crushing a person’s body and breaking bones as it does.
- Spinal cord injuries: The spinal cord is a delicate network of bones, soft tissues, and nerves. It often cannot withstand the impact of an accident caused by a speeding driver and can result in paralysis and other catastrophic injuries.
- Amputation: The crushing blow of a speeding car could sever a limb at the accident scene or require that a limb be removed to save a victim’s life.
- Internal bleeding: Vital organs can be compromised in a speed-related accident, leading to dangerous internal bleeding.
Any of these injuries can alter the course of a person’s life, permanently or for a substantial amount of time. When accident victims have to undergo surgery, wear a cast, or suffer from a permanent disability, a lawyer will work hard to recover the financial support they need.
Why is Speeding So Dangerous?
Speeding is hazardous for many reasons:
- Excessive speed places the speeding driver at greater risk of losing control of their vehicle.
- Protective equipment in a vehicle, such as seat belts, are less effective when a driver is speeding.
- Speeding increases the distance a driver needs to stop, which increases the chance of a fatal collision.
- Accidents that involve a speeding driver occur at a much greater impact, increasing the chance of death.
When a motorist is traveling at high speeds, even a small mistake can lead to a fatal accident. If someone you love was killed in a Detroit speeding accident, contact a lawyer to learn whether you could be entitled to wrongful death compensation.
How Can Christensen Law Help Me?
There’s no excuse for speeding. You have the right to hold the at-fault driver accountable if your life was changed due to their negligent decisions behind the wheel. Let Christensen Law help you on the path to justice.
Our accomplished car accident lawyers will investigate your case, determine who was liable, and seek maximum compensation for your losses while you focus on healing. Take comfort in knowing that you’re working with a team of compassionate advocates who have your best interests at heart.
Let’s get started today. Call or contact Christensen Law for your free consultation.