Speeding is a common cause of car accidents. Speeding accidents happen because a driver is traveling too fast for conditions. Crashes also occur because a driver exceeds safe speed limits.
In either case, if a driver causes an accident because he or she is speeding, the driver can be held liable for damages caused by the crash. Proving that the accident was speed-related and that the other driver was speeding can be challenging. It helps to have the assistance of an experienced Oklahoma City speeding accident lawyer.
The McGuire Law Firm fights to protect the rights of accident victims. Contact our law firm for a free consultation with an OKC car accident attorney.
Speeding Accident Statistics for Oklahoma City
In 2018, 9,378 people died in speeding-related traffic accidents in the United States. Additionally, speeding accidents injure thousands of people each year.
In Oklahoma during 2018, there were 8,581 speed-related crashes, which resulted in 123 fatalities. Oklahoma City reported 1,217 speed-related accidents that year, which resulted in 24 fatalities.
Most of Oklahoma City is in Oklahoma. However, a portion of the city limits falls into one of three other counties. The speeding accident statistics for those counties were:
- Oklahoma County reported 1,367 speed-related crashes resulting in 25 deaths.
- Canadian County reported 159 speed-related crashes resulting in three deaths.
- Pottawatomie County reported 124 speed-related crashes resulting in three deaths.
- Cleveland County reported 231 speed-related crashes resulting in three deaths.
Speeding increases the risk of a traffic accident. This dangerous driving behavior can result in the driver losing control of the vehicle. Speeding increases stopping distance, which makes it more difficult to avoid some collisions.
When a driver speeds, it also reduces the effectiveness of safety features, such as airbags and seat belts. Speeding can also increase the severity of crash injuries for occupants of all vehicles.
Why Do People Exceed the Speed Limit?
Given the increased risk of causing an accident that could result in traumatic injuries, why do people take the risk and speed? According to the NHTSA, speeding is a form of aggressive driving. Several factors can lead to aggressive driving, including:
- Being in a hurry;
- Traffic congestion;
- Disregard for traffic laws;
- A sense of anonymity which can create detachment and lead to less constraint of certain behaviors,
- Being familiar with the route;
- Road rage;
- Social pressure;
- Overconfidence; and,
- Disregard for the safety of others.
Regardless of why someone might choose to exceed a safe speed, the consequence is the same. A driver who is speeding places everyone on the road at risk. Unfortunately, innocent victims often sustain traumatic and life-threatening injuries because of a speeding driver.
Injuries Caused by Speeding Accidents in Oklahoma City
Speeding accidents tend to cause catastrophic injuries for the occupants, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The injuries caused by a speeding accident can result in surgeries, hospitalizations, and months of physical therapy. In some cases, a person never recovers fully from the accident injuries.
Although speeding accident injuries vary and depend on numerous factors, some of the common injuries sustained in speed-related accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Other head trauma, including skull fractures, contusions, and hematomas
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Neck and back injuries
- Multiple broken bones and complex fractures
- Internal bleeding
- Damage to internal organs
- Severe burns and scarring
Because of the severity of the injuries, many victims of speeding accidents require counseling and therapy to help them deal with the changes to their daily lives. Victims of catastrophic accidents may develop PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other emotional disorders. These emotional injuries can be just as debilitating as a physical injury.
What Damages are Common in a Speeding Accident Claim?
The damages available for a speeding accident claim depend on the facts of the case. The severity of the injuries, financial losses, and permanent disabilities are significant factors in how much claims for speeding accidents are worth.
Financial damages common in speeding accident claims include:
- Ambulance bills, doctor’s bills, hospital charges, medication, medical equipment, therapy, and other costs of medical treatment.
- The cost of personal care, including help with dressing, bathing, and other activities of daily living.
- The loss of income, including loss of bonuses, commissions, benefits, opportunities, and earning potential.
- Physical suffering and pain.
- Mental and emotional distress and suffering.
- Scarring, disabilities, impairments, and disfigurement.
- Loss of enjoyment of life and diminished quality of life.
- Attorneys’ fees and the cost of the claim.
It is impossible to place a value on a person’s pain and suffering, but a monetary award is the only way the courts have of compensating a person after a speed-related traffic accident.
Why is the Insurance Company Blaming Me for the Speeding Accident?
The insurance company for the speeding driver wants to pay as little as possible for your injury claim. If possible, the insurance company wants to deny your claim. If it cannot find a reason to deny your claim, it will try to undervalue the claim.
A tactic used by many insurance providers is to blame the victim for the cause of the accident. Under Oklahoma’s modified comparative fault laws, compensation for an injury claim can be reduced if the victim is partially at fault for the cause of the crash.
Therefore, if the insurance company can prove or just convince a jury that you were partially to blame, the value of your claim decreases by the percentage of blame assigned to you. For example, if the jury finds that you were 40 percent at fault, your compensation is reduced by 40 percent.
However, if you are judged to be 51 percent or more at fault for the cause of the accident, you cannot recover any money for your injury claim.
Therefore, it is best to avoid talking to the insurance claims adjuster until after you talk to an Oklahoma City speeding accidents attorney. An adjuster can twist what you say to allege fault. Remember, most telephone calls are recorded, so be careful what you say.
Do not agree to provide a statement or sign any releases or documents until after you talk to an attorney about your case.
Why Should You Hire an Attorney?
Handling a personal injury claim can be challenging, especially if you are recovering from injuries. Some claim adjusters contact accident victims before they have completed treatment to try to pressure the victims to settle the claim. Unless you have an attorney handling your claim, you are forced to deal with the adjusters.
You are not required to consult an Oklahoma speeding accidents attorney, but you have the right to do so. It benefits you to talk with an attorney as soon as possible after the accident.
The insurance company prefers you represent yourself. It does not want you to know the actual value of your claim or understand all your legal rights. The claims adjuster does not represent you and is not required to explain your rights or tell you if the settlement offer is fair.
Hiring an attorney offers numerous benefits in a speeding accident case. You have someone on your side who:
- Explains your legal rights;
- Protects your best interests;
- Investigates the accident;
- Identifies all liable parties;
- Researches insurance coverage;
- Gathers evidence and documents damages;
- Calculates the correct value of your injury claim;
- Protects you from aggressive insurance tactics;
- Files your insurance claim;
- Researches applicable laws;
- Monitors applicable deadlines;
- Prepares a detailed demand settlement package;
- Negotiates a settlement with the insurance company; and,
- Prepares and files a personal injury lawsuit, if necessary.
In addition to providing legal advice regarding your accident claim, an attorney provides guidance and support throughout the case. Your OKC personal injury attorney handles all of the aspects of your injury claim.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Speeding Accident Lawsuit in Oklahoma?
Yes, you have a deadline for filing a speeding accident lawsuit in Oklahoma. Generally, traffic accident victims have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, you lose your legal right to pursue a claim against the driver who caused the crash.
In some cases, your deadline to file a claim may be shorter. If the case involves a government entity, you may be required to file a notice of claim in just a few months after the accident. Talking to a speeding accidents attorney in Oklahoma City as soon as possible can protect your legal rights after being injured in a speeding accident.
Contact an Experienced Speeding Accidents Attorney in Oklahoma City
Did a speeding driver cause your traffic accident? If so, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for a personal injury claim. Our legal team wants to help you hold a negligent, reckless driver accountable for his or her poor driving choices.
Contact the McGuire Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with an Oklahoma City speeding accidents attorney. Our lawyers have experience handling these types of traffic accident cases. Let us help you recover the compensation you deserve after a car accident.