Car accidents have many causes, but the majority of them are brought about by operator error. This is when at least one of the drivers involved has violated a traffic law. And one of the most common traffic infractions is speeding. In New York, about 17% of all traffic citations are issued for speeding violations. Tragically, crashes in which this is a factor account for nearly 30% of all vehicle accident fatalities in the state. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a crash caused by someone who was driving at an unsafe speed, you can consult the car accident lawyers at The Cassisi Law Firm. We have assisted individuals in Queens and elsewhere in New York, including in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties.Speeding Poses a Significant Threat to Highway Safety
Almost every driver has been guilty at one time or another of speeding. There are many reasons people may speed, and they may even be unaware of how fast they are driving. But traveling at an excessive speed reduces an individual’s ability to negotiate turns and curves, and to maneuver to avoid objects in the roadway. Every increase in miles-per-hour also increases the distance needed by any vehicle to come to a full stop. Speeding gives a driver less time to observe surroundings, and therefore less time to react to dangers or hazards. A speeding vehicle, particularly if it is weaving in and out of traffic, distracts other drivers and can cause them to react in dangerous ways to the situation, since the behavior is unpredictable and dangerous.Pursuing Compensation from a Reckless Driver
Someone who has been hurt in a crash caused by a speeding motorist may be able to pursue a negligence claim. In the context of car accidents, a negligent driver is someone who owes a duty to other drivers to operate his or her motor vehicle safely, breaches this duty, and thereby causes an accident that results in one or more victims incurring costs and losses, known as damages.
The duty element is generally straightforward to establish, since everyone on the road is responsible for driving in a way that avoids posing foreseeable risks to others around them. Excessive speeding not only breaks the law but likely breaches this duty. Even traveling around the speed limit may be considered reckless and therefore a breach if it happens during bad weather or in poor road conditions, such as a construction zone. This is because a reasonable person would be expected to reduce speed in this type of situation. Once duty and breach have been established, the accident victim must try to draw a direct link from the defendant’s breach to the collision. It is critical to show that the injuries would not have happened if the defendant had met the appropriate standard of care.
A person who causes an accident by being legally negligent may be held liable not only for the medical costs associated with the injuries, but for any other damages suffered by a victim. These may include economic losses, like lost income, loss of future income, or damage to a vehicle. However, they also can extend to non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of consortium or companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life. Even if you believe you may bear some fault for an accident, you may still be able to recover a reduced amount of compensation under New York’s comparative fault rule. This allows an injured individual to pursue a damages award that is proportionate to the defendant’s degree of responsibility for the accident.Seek Legal Guidance in Queens after a Motor Vehicle Collision
When you are trying to hold a careless driver accountable for causing an accident, it is important to consult a knowledgeable lawyer. At The Cassisi Law Firm, we have helped many Queens residents pursue personal injury or wrongful death claims. Our attorneys can explore the details of your situation and advise you on your options. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation regarding an accident, call The Cassisi Law Firm at (718) 441-5050, or use our online form.