Proving Fault if Speed is a Contributing Factor in Your Crash

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on September 9, 2022 in Car Accidents
Updated on April 24, 2024

proof speed caused a crashMany drivers make a habit of driving over the speed limit without thinking twice. Do they intend to cause a crash that injures another person? Probably not, but it is still negligent behavior and makes them liable for the damages.

The challenge for victims of these crashes is, what evidence proves a speed-related crash?

At PKSD, we have spent decades handling all types of injury claims. This experience includes crashes where speeding was a contributing factor. Our firm is more than prepared to protect your rights and build a strong case on your behalf.

Contact our firm today to discuss your situation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys. There is no cost or obligation for this meeting.

Request your FREE case review today.  414-333-3333

How Often is Speed a Factor in U.S. Crashes?

Pretty often. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 26 percent of all fatal traffic accidents in 2019 were speed-related. More recently, the National Safety Council (NSC) reported that speeding contributes to 29 percent of all fatal traffic accidents. In numbers, this is about 11,258 fatalities, or approximately 30 deaths, per day.

These figures are significant, especially since they indicate the number of speeding-related crashes have increased.

How Does Speeding Contribute to a Crash?

Speeding contributes to the severity of a crash and increases the likelihood of catastrophic injuries.

According to the NHTSA, speeding significantly contributes to a crash occurring because it:

  • Greatly increases the risk of losing vehicle control, especially in inclement weather
  • Reduces a driver’s ability to react to an unexpected hazard
  • Diminishes the ability to safely steer around curves or other obstacles
  • Reduces the effectiveness of safety features, like airbags or seatbelts
  • Increases the stopping distance when drivers must respond to an emergency

If speeding leads to a crash, however, the ability to prove it may seem difficult or even impossible. As with all injury claims, the burden of proof is on the injured victim.

In this situation, the injured victim must prove the other driver was speeding and how that negligent behavior led to the crash. However, what type of evidence can prove this?

What Evidence Helps to Prove Speed Contributed to a Crash?

There are several pieces of evidence that may support how another driver’s speeding led to your crash. Some of the most useful evidence in a car crash claim may include:

Police Report

Responding officers are typically the first to investigate vehicle damage and other crash scene evidence. Their findings are documented in a police report. This is one of several reasons why it is important to call 9-1-1 after a traffic accident.

If the officer determines the at-fault driver was speeding and issues a traffic citation, it will be documented in the police report. It is harder for the liable insurer to dispute fault if their policyholder has been cited.

Police reports and tickets for traffic violations carry more weight with insurance companies. That said, speeding is a traffic violation, but it may not always be enough to prove the other driver was 100 percent at fault for your crash.

Traffic or Dash Cam Video Footage

If there is any video footage of the incident, it could go a long way in helping to show a collision was speed-related. It may also support your claim that the other driver was fully responsible. Dash cam footage is not admissible everywhere, but it is allowed in a Wisconsin court of law.

Damages to Both Vehicles

If you are working with an attorney, he or she may consult with an expert witness to help prove your case. In this situation, an accident reconstruction specialist may be able to:

  • Gain more insight into how a crash happened
  • Assess the amount of damage your car sustained in the crash. The more damage there is, the more likely it is the other driver was speeding.
  • Look for skid marks and other indicators the other driver was speeding

Credible Witness Accounts

Often there may be eyewitness accounts that can help to support your claim that the other driver was speeding. Depending on the credibility of the witness and how much they saw, their statement could help to prove your claim. While witnesses obviously cannot say exactly how fast the other driver was going, what they do see may help to corroborate other evidence.

An example of this might be if the witness saw the at-fault driver approaching an intersection at a speed that seemed very fast. An indication of speeding might be if the driver slammed on the brakes and swerved to try to avoid impact with your vehicle.

Data From the At-Fault Driver’s On-Board Electronic Device

Many newer model cars have on-board tracking devices that record details about a person’s driving habits. If available, this data could reveal not just whether the driver was speeding, but also the exact speed at impact.

How Can an Attorney Benefit My Claim in a Speed-Related Crash?

If you sustained serious injuries in your crash with a speeding driver, you may be unable to gather any evidence on your own. However, we know how to properly gather the evidence needed to support your claim.

Establishing the other driver was fully to blame for your crash is no easy task. However, crash victims often recover more compensation when a knowledgeable and experienced attorney represents them and handles their claim.

Call Our Firm to Discuss Your Legal Options Today

Our firm is deeply committed to holding negligent drivers accountable for the damages they cause. Our goal for our clients is to always seek maximum compensation. Our knowledgeable Milwaukee-area auto accident lawyers work hard to protect your rights, giving you more time to focus on your health.

After a crash that caused you to suffer injuries, contact our firm to learn whether you may have a case. We offer initial consultations at no cost or obligation to you. If we represent you, there are no upfront costs to pay. Additionally, since we take injury cases on contingency, our fees are only paid if we win your case.

Call today to learn more. 414-333-3333

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