According to national data, speeding is responsible for more than 9,000 deaths each year in car crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that excessive speed is a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all crashes.
The consequences of speeding are many. Not only does a driver who operates his or her vehicle at high speeds face harsh penalties and potential loss of license, but they also put their lives and the lives of other commuters at serious risk. Some of these consequences include:
- Higher risk of losing control of the vehicle
- Reduces the effectiveness of the vehicle’s occupant protection and safety equipment
- Requires the need for increased stopping distance once the driver realizes a hazard
- The higher speed increases the impact and degree of severity of the crash, resulting in more severe injuries
When a driver is speeding and causes a crash, they can face both criminal and civil penalties under Virginia law. Not only can they be cited or charged criminally and face whatever penalties are appropriate under the law if found guilty, but they can also be held legally liable for the losses and expenses victims who were injured in the crash suffer.
In addition to any medical expenses victims have, the speeding driver can also be ordered to reimburse the victim for loss of income they had while recovering, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, permanent disability, and much more. A Virginia car accident attorney can evaluate a victim’s case and determine what financial compensation they may be entitled to.
In Virginia, a person who was driving at more than 20 mph over the speed limit or over 85 mph regardless of how many mph over the speed limit they were driving can be charged with reckless driving. When a driver is charged with reckless driving, it is much more serious than just a traffic violation. Reckless driving is a criminal charge and is usually classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Keep in mind, however, that even if a person is charged criminally, any civil case brought forward by victims is entirely separate from the criminal case.
Because of the force of impact in most crashes that are caused by speeding, the injuries suffered are usually much more severe than other types of accidents. Many victims of high-speed crashes suffer traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and severe whiplash. Victims are often left with permanent disabilities and face long and difficult recoveries.
Contact a Virginia Injury Attorney
Unfortunately, no matter how many precautions we take, there is always the risk of a speeding driver crashing into us. If you have been injured in a crash caused by a driver who was speeding, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to see what type of financial damages you may be entitled to. The legal team from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn has been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled Virginia car accident attorneys to find out how we can help, call us today at 800-752-0042 for a free case evaluation.
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