Today it seems commonplace to see drivers whipping past you in the fast lane, sometimes so fast you can’t even figure out how fast they’re going. Even getting pulled over by police and being ticketed typically only slows them down long enough for the patrol car to leave their rearview mirror – until they cause a serious auto accident. There’s just no getting around physics. The faster someone is moving when they hit a solid object, the more carnage they’ll cause, whether it’s to themselves or others.
Proving the other driver was speeding
Establishing that excessive speed caused a car accident goes a long way in showing a driver’s negligence, which is important when it comes to who’s responsible for your vehicle damage and the injuries you sustained. If you were fortunate enough to have a traffic officer clocking both vehicles just before the collision, it’s your lucky day. Short of that, your options for proving how fast the at-fault vehicle was going are going to be a little more difficult to prove. But, it can be done, using evidence from the crash scene.
- Vehicle damage and injuries. Vehicle manufacturers all have collision ratings for every model they produce. Vehicles are built to withstand certain damage at a certain impact speeds, so the amount of damage to your vehicle can help determine how fast the other driver was traveling when they hit you. Additionally, researchers conduct crash tests to assess injuries to the driver at certain speeds and on different sides of the vehicle. Any injuries you suffer can help in pinpointing the speed at the time of the crash.
- Accident debris. Accident reconstructionists can measure data like speed and force from pieces of your vehicles and where they landed in comparison to where your vehicles came to a stop. They can even gather data from damage to roadside structures such as guardrails and light poles, based on the bend and type of material used in their production. These experts take numerous photos of the scene and its surroundings from every angle to recreate what happened in very serious crashes.
- Skid marks. Skid marks provide their own brand of evidence. Like road debris, experts can measure skid marks to find out if and when a driver applied the brakes. Their absence would signify that a driver either didn’t apply their brakes, or that the brakes failed. The length of any skid marks can also signify how fast someone was traveling based upon the length and depth of the marks.
- Police reports. Officers on the accident scene serve as witnesses as well as historians of sorts who catalog everything – from statements about what happened from the drivers and witnesses to the crash, to whether ambulances or fire trucks were required. They are the first to arrive and observe the condition of the drivers and any passengers, where the vehicles are positioned, and where debris is scattered, all of which goes into their accident report.
Get medical attention
Odds are that if you’re hit by a speeding vehicle, whether in your car, on a bike, or as a pedestrian, you’ll have serious injuries. If you somehow are able to walk away, you still need to seek medical attention to get yourself checked out. Often times internal injuries may not be immediately obvious, but can turn deadly if left ignored. Severe strains or traumatic brain injuries may also take hours or days to set in and cause physical symptoms.
Hire a personal injury lawyer
Once you have recovered enough to do so, the first thing you’ll want to do is find an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you pick up the pieces by:
- Handling the insurance company to get your vehicle repaired or replaced
- Securing rental car coverage
- Obtaining the official accident report, EMS run report, medical records and bills
- Collecting all available evidence
- Monitoring your recovery progress
- Cataloging your damages such as lost time from work
- Helping to keep medical providers satisfied until payment can be made
- Negotiating a fair settlement or, when necessary, taking your case to trial
A good personal injury attorney will be able to determine whether your case has any weak spots and whether you would benefit from utilizing expert witnesses who can strengthen your case.
Car accidents are one of the biggest inconveniences in life and can cause victims long-term or permanent pain. At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, our aggressive Nashville car accident attorneys understand the long road of frustration for clients whose lives have been unfairly interrupted and thrown off track after severe injuries. We want to make the burden easier for you.
To schedule your free case evaluation with one of our trusted personal injury lawyers in any of our offices conveniently located in Nashville, Hendersonville, and Knoxville, simply call 615-425-2500, or reach out to us through our contact page.