If a speeding driver caused your car accident and the resulting injuries, the legal team from DeMayo Law Offices can help you seek the justice you deserve. We’ll work hard to ensure you receive the financial compensation you need to cover your expenses. The at-fault driver should be the one held liable for the crash. You shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences of their actions.
Speeding is a dangerous behavior. Anyone who chooses to drive over the posted speed limit puts themselves and those around them at risk of harm. Speeding increases the force of impact when a collision occurs, and these accidents often result in severe injuries and even fatalities. Drivers who exhibit other careless actions while they’re speeding, such as texting or ignoring traffic signs, increase the chance that an accident could happen.
Our North Carolina car accident lawyers know how to fight for our clients’ rights and help them move forward with their lives. Our uncompromising dedication to our clients has earned us membership in prestigious organizations, such as the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which is offered to less than one percent of lawyers in the U.S.
Call DeMayo Law Offices at (877) 333-1000 to schedule your free consultation and find out how we can assist you with your insurance claim or lawsuit.
The Dangers Speeding Could Cause
Many people think speeding only means driving above the speed limit; however, it also means driving too fast for conditions. If there are adverse weather or road hazards, drivers should adjust their speed so they can safely get to their destination. If they travel too quickly, they could hit a slippery patch of road or debris and lose control of their vehicle.
When you’re speeding, you can’t react quickly to an emergency or make split-second decisions to prevent an accident. It’s a reckless act that leads to countless injuries and deaths every year. Besides the sheer force of the impact of a car crash at a high rate of speed, other dangers of speeding include:
- The vehicle requires more distance to stop completely
- Increased risk of a collision for someone that merges in front of the speeding driver
- Less time to react to hazards
- Higher chance of losing control of the car
- More instances of road rage
- Decreased effectiveness of safety systems, such as the airbag and seatbelt
Two cars colliding at high speeds have a much higher force of impact than if they were traveling at or below the speed limit. A speeding accident can jolt drivers and passengers forward, backward, side-to-side, or even eject them from the vehicle. This kind of force often leads to debilitating injuries for everyone involved. Examples include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Ejection injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Crush injuries
Car Insurance Laws and the Fault System
North Carolina follows a traditional fault system. That means the person who causes a car crash becomes liable for the injured victim’s losses, such as medical bills and lost wages. Their auto insurance company typically pays a settlement based on the amount of coverage on their policy. If you choose to file an insurance claim, you can do so with the at-fault party’s liability insurance.
Liability auto insurance: This includes coverage for bodily injury and property damage up to the limit listed on the at-fault driver’s policy. The legal minimums are $30,000 for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage. So if the costs associated with your injury total $30,000, you could seek the full bodily injury limit to cover your medical treatment and other expenses.
Bodily injury and property damage are included in every liability policy to cover the accident victim’s damages. Damages are all the losses associated with an accident.
Bodily injury covers the damages from the actual injury, including the physical and emotional harm suffered. When you file a bodily injury claim, you could attempt to pursue the following:
- Medical bills
- Out of pocket expenses
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
Pain and suffering include various factors, such as:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of quality of life
- Impairment or disability
Property damage covers expenses related to the vehicle involved in the crash. Whether you have to repair or replace it, you can file a property damage claim and pursue up to the limit listed on the liability policy.
What to Do If a Speeding Driver Crashes Into You
The damage from a speeding car accident can be catastrophic, especially if there’s poor road conditions or bad weather. If you sustain injuries in this type of collision, you should follow the steps below.
- Call 911. All accidents that cause an injury, fatality, or at least $1,000 in property damage must get reported to law enforcement, according to NC Statute 20-4.01 33b. Wait at the scene for an officer to perform an investigation. They will write a crash report and advise when you’re allowed to leave.
- Take photos. If it’s safe to get up and walk around, take pictures of the crash site, vehicle damage, and other relevant evidence.
- Find witnesses. Speak to bystanders and other people involved in the accident to get their account of how it happened. Write down their names and phone numbers so they can provide witness statements to the insurance company.
- Auto insurance. Ask for the other driver’s contact, driver’s license, and auto insurance information.
- Seek treatment. Once you leave the accident scene, go to a nearby hospital for an evaluation of your injuries. If the doctor refers you for additional treatment, follow their orders, and attend regularly scheduled appointments until all providers release you from care.
- Keep records. Write detailed notes about everything you remember before, during, and after the crash. Include information that explains how it occurred and that you believe the other driver was at fault due to speeding. Also, be sure to maintain copies of all documents associated with your case.
- Hire a lawyer. Seek legal representation. You’ll have a better chance of receiving the maximum compensation with the help of a North Carolina speeding accident lawyer than if you choose to pursue your case alone.
What Not to Do After a Speeding Driver Causes an Accident
Insurance companies are never on the claimant’s side during insurance claims. They will try to find a reason to deny the claim, delay the procedure, or offer a low settlement. The fact that the other driver was speeding isn’t enough to prove they should pay for your damages. You have to provide adequate proof that the accident they caused resulted in your injuries and losses. Avoiding the actions below will help you protect your case and your right to compensation:
- Don’t admit any level of fault. If the insurance company discovers you’re partly to blame for the crash, you won’t be allowed to pursue compensation under the state’s contributory negligence rule.
- Don’t sign forms from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Let your North Carolina speeding accident lawyer review anything you receive first. Sometimes insurance companies try to trick injured victims into signing away their rights to the maximum settlement available.
- Don’t delay medical care or allow significant time to pass between doctor’s appointments. A gap in treatment is an excellent reason for the insurance company to deny a claim. They’ll assume the injury doesn’t exist, or it isn’t severe enough to require treatment.
- Don’t throw out evidence. Even something that seems insignificant, like torn clothing, could help prove the other driver’s actions caused your injuries.
- Don’t provide a recorded statement to the insurance company without consulting with your lawyer first. If you say the wrong thing, it could result in a denied claim or settlement much lower than you deserve.
Wrongful Death Laws in North Carolina
Wrongful death is the death of one person caused by another party’s neglect, wrongful act, or default. If your loved one died in a car crash, you could file a lawsuit against the driver whose speeding caused it. There’s a deadline you must follow called a statute of limitations. In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is two years. That means you have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to pursue legal action.
The only person allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit is the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. They must seek damages on behalf of any surviving family members and the estate. If your loved one doesn’t have an estate, the court can appoint someone to represent everyone’s interests. Typically, the named or court-appointment personal representative is a surviving spouse, child, or parent.
Common damages available in this type of case include:
- Lost income
- Medical expenses associated with the fatal injury
- Pain and suffering the deceased experienced before dying
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of companionship, society, guidance, advice, and comfort provided by the deceased
- Loss of protection, care, and other services the deceased provided to dependents
Why Choose DeMayo Law Offices?
Our North Carolina speeding accident lawyers know how hard it is to move past a traumatic experience like this. Someone was driving too fast and caused a devastating accident. You likely incurred various damages and faced financial strain as a result of your extensive medical bills.
It’s a stressful and overwhelming time in your life. You can depend on us to help you through it. We’ll guide you through the complicated legal process and advise you on the best options for recovering the compensation you deserve. We’ll fight hard to protect your rights and seek justice.