When drivers engage in speeding, they endanger their lives and the lives of others on the road. Speeding is consistently a factor in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), in 2018, speeding killed 9,378 people and injured many more.
What Constitutes Speeding?
Speeding is defined as not only exceeding the posted speed limit, but also driving too fast for conditions. Therefore, even when drivers are going the speed limit, they may be speeding if the roads are icy, rainy, or if there is poor visibility.
The NHTSA classifies speeding as a type of aggressive driving behavior, along with tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and running red lights. The NHTSA cites several reasons for aggressive driving behavior, including traffic congestion, running late, and a general disregard for others and the law.
Consequences of Speeding
High-speed crashes typically involve more serious injuries than low-speed car wrecks since speeding reduces the amount of time drivers have to stop or react to dangerous situations. While someone may suffer these types of injuries in nearly any type of car accident, catastrophic injuries in speeding-related crashes are more frequent. Common injuries in speeding accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Chest injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
Although the percentage of speeding-related deaths has decreased slightly in recent years, the National Safety Council reports that in 2018, speeding was a factor in 26 percent of all traffic fatalities, killing an average of more than 25 people each day.
Wrongful Death Claims
Washington, D.C. is a no-fault state, meaning that those injured in a car accident must file a claim with their own insurance company and generally cannot sue the negligent party who caused the car accident in a personal injury suit. However, in some cases, such as those involving significant permanent scarring, disfigurement, or impairment, drivers may be able to step outside the no-fault system and sue the negligent party directly for damages.
When someone is killed due to the negligence of another person, the family members of the decedent may be able to collect damages for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, and future loss of income in a wrongful death suit.
In Washington, D.C., the personal representative of the decedent’s estate must file the wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent’s surviving spouse or next of kin, including children, parents, or siblings. Damages in a wrongful death suit may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Medical bills related to the decedent’s injury.
- Lost wages and benefits due to the death.
- Loss of other contributions the decedent would have made to their family.
Wrongful death claims must be filed within two years from the date of the decedent’s death to be viable. There is no cap on the amount of damages surviving family members may claim; the amount a plaintiff recovers depends on several factors, including the age, education, salary, and family situation of the decedent.
Washington, D.C. Car Accident Attorneys at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Advocate for the Families of Those Killed in Speeding-Related Accidents
If you were injured in a speeding accident or someone you love was killed in a speeding-related crash, contact one of our Washington, D.C. car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Duane O. King. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 202-331-1963.
Located in Washington, D.C., we serve clients in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, and Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.