Every driver knows that speeding is dangerous, but not everyone realizes the serious consequences it can have, especially when it comes to car accidents. If you ever find yourself in a collision because of speeding, it’s more than just the immediate damages and injuries you should be concerned about.
How fast you are going can affect your ability to get injury compensation. In fact, speeding-related accidents are unfortunately common in places like Florida, where roads can get particularly busy. After facing such incidents, many people turn to a trusted Port St Lucie car accident attorney to guide them through the complex process and help them understand their rights and potential compensation.
By understanding the risks and implications of speeding, you’re not just keeping the roads safer but also safeguarding your rights to compensation should the worst happen.
If you are involved in an accident where speeding was a contributing factor, our attorneys at Fetterman Law are ready to help. We can review the case and determine if you are owed compensation.
The Basics of Florida’s No-Fault Insurance System
Florida operates on a “no-fault” insurance system. But what does this mean for drivers?
Simply put, regardless of who is at fault in a car accident, each driver’s insurance will cover their medical bills and other personal losses. This means even if someone else caused the accident, you’d turn to your insurance for immediate help.
Personal Injury Protection, commonly known as PIP insurance, provides this coverage. Every driver in Florida is required to have PIP coverage. This insurance pays for your medical expenses, lost wages, and certain other losses up to a set limit, regardless of who caused the accident. So, even if you were at fault, PIP has your back, ensuring you’re not left high and dry after an unexpected incident on the road.
Comparative Negligence in Florida
Imagine two cars colliding at an intersection. One driver ran a red light, but the other was speeding. Who’s at fault? If you’re even slightly at fault, you might not receive any compensation in many places. However, Florida uses a system called “comparative negligence.” This means that fault can be shared among parties. Each party is assigned a percentage of the blame, determining how much compensation they can claim.
Speeding as Evidence of Negligence
Speeding might seem like a common habit for many drivers, but in the eyes of the law, it’s a big red flag. Going over the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions can be considered negligence or recklessness.
Why? By speeding, a driver knowingly puts others at risk, disregarding safety rules set to protect everyone on the road.
This can be used against the person who was speeding. It is best to speak to an attorney to know its impact.
How Speeding Can Impact Compensation
Compensation is often at the forefront of your mind when you’re involved in an accident. However, if you were speeding, it could significantly impact the amount you receive. Under Florida’s comparative negligence laws, if you’re found to be even slightly at fault due to speeding, your compensation can be reduced proportionally.
If an accident resulted in $100,000 worth of damages and you were found to be 30% at fault because you were speeding, you’d see a reduction of $30,000, leaving you with $70,000. The more your speeding contributed to the accident, the more your potential compensation could decrease.
Other Factors that Can Reduce Compensation
While speeding is a significant factor, it’s not the only behavior that can affect your compensation. Distracted driving, like texting or adjusting the radio, is a common issue. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is another big one. Both can be seen as negligent or reckless behaviors that contribute to accidents.
Understanding that all aspects of the event are examined in any accident is crucial. The court will look at every detail: Were you wearing a seatbelt? Were your headlights on? Did you signal?
The goal is to paint a full picture of what happened and determine responsibility. So, while speeding is a prominent factor, it’s just one of the many considerations to consider when deciding compensation.
Legal Considerations When Speeding is Involved
Navigating the aftermath of an accident can be complex, especially when speeding is a factor. Given Florida’s comparative negligence laws, it becomes crucial to hire an attorney who knows the ins and outs of this system.
An experienced attorney understands the laws and can advocate on your behalf, ensuring your rights are protected. Their expertise can play a pivotal role in presenting evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and maximizing your compensation so you get the fairest outcome possible.
Tips for Drivers
Accidents are jarring experiences, but taking a few vital steps can make a world of difference in your case:
- Document Everything: Ensure you have a record, from pictures of the scene to damages and injuries.
- Get Witnesses: If possible, gather contact details of those who saw the accident. Their testimonies can be invaluable.
- Stay Calm and Measured: It’s natural to be upset, but avoid admitting guilt or making statements that can be used against you later.
Understanding Your Rights to Compensation After a Car Accident
Car accidents, especially when speeding is involved, are multifaceted events with significant legal implications. Understanding Florida’s comparative negligence laws, the impact of speeding on compensation, and the role of an experienced attorney can be the difference between a fair settlement and a long road of frustration.
At the heart of it all is a simple truth: safe driving can prevent accidents and their complicated aftermath. But if the unfortunate does happen, having the right guidance and taking the proper steps ensures you’re in the best position to navigate the challenges ahead.
At Fetterman Law, our Florida injury lawyers can help you understand the law and your rights. The first step is to contact our office for a free consultation.