- Rear-end accidents, and T-bone accidents, are usually caused because someone is speeding.
- Atlanta highways have cars traveling at excessive speeds almost all of the time. Georgia lawmakers have worked hard to reduce these accidents.
- If the at-fault driver was speeding at the time of the accident, it could result in more compensation because of punitive damages.
- There are several ways to prove that an at-fault driver was speeding during a car accident.
- A car accident attorney can help you collect the required evidence to demonstrate that the at-fault driver’s speeding caused the crash.
The faster a car moves during a collision, the higher the odds of a severe injury. Cars driving at slow speeds are less likely to injure.
If injured by a fast-moving vehicle, the legal question is, “was the at-fault driver going over the speed limit?” If so, by how much?
Speed limits can be high on highways. Because a car is going fast, it does not mean it’s driving over the speed limit. With higher speed limits, this does not mean the at-fault driver was negligent by moving too fast.
What It Means if a Driver Was Speeding
A Traffic Ticket With an Additional Fine
Georgia’s “Super Speeder Law” adds $200 to fines imposed on drivers convicted of speeding at a rate that exceeds 75 mph on any two-lane road or faster than 85 mph on a multiple-lane highway anywhere in the state.
Still, Georgia drivers continue to choose to speed.
A Possible Reckless Driving Charge
If a driver is going above 100 mph, which does happen, it will be declared reckless driving. Reckless driving would mean punitive damages are now in play. Reckless driving would substantially increase the settlement amount. Unfortunately, if someone is driving above 100 mph at the time of an accident, the injuries are either fatal or catastrophic, so the payout will already be reasonably high.
Potentially Considered At-Fault or Liable for the Accident
If it’s clear that speeding resulted in the accident, the driver will be liable or at fault for some of the accident.
Speeding doesn’t necessarily mean the person caused the accident. For example, a car could be running a red light while obeying the speed limit while the other vehicle is driving above the speed limit through that intersection on a green light. Therefore, the car that ran the red light would carry most of the fault.
Speeding is a common cause of rear-end accidents. Speeding is also a common cause of T-bone accidents, where someone might have been pulling out.
Drivers who are speeding at the time of an accident will see their insurance rates go up.
How To Prove Speeding in a Car Accident
Drivers who were speeding at the time of an accident will not confess their speed. Many will say they don’t even know how fast they were going, and they might not be lying.
Speeding is not a simple science. The human eye can’t see a car moving at a fast rate, and can then know the exact speed.
So, how do you prove that the at-fault driver was speeding?
You need evidence.
Certain pieces of evidence can help verify the speed of the driver and prove that it was a cause of the collision.
Here are several ways to establish that an at-fault driver was, in fact, speeding immediately before an accident:
Data From Onboard Electronic Devices
Most moderns cars come equipped with electronic devices that record at all times while a vehicle is in operation. This data can help prove that the other driver was speeding at the time of the collision.
After a severe crash, it may be wise to ask the other driver and their insurance company or lawyer to preserve the data recorded by a vehicle’s electronic data recorder (EDR), often known as the “black box.” Downloading black box data is usually accomplished using special tools from the car’s diagnostic link detector (DLC).
Data that is frequently contained in the EDR includes speed before and at the time of impact, whether the driver hit the brakes, accelerator and brake pedal use, steering input, and even seat belt use. This can be valuable information that can help prove your case.
Note that as of 2019, some states have enacted laws prohibiting (with certain exceptions) the download of data from EDRs without the permission of the vehicle owner.
Onboard Video from Dash Cameras
Some drivers use dashcam recorders that may show the speed of the vehicle at the time of the crash. This is still somewhat rare with private individuals, but more and more commercial vehicles and trucking companies are using dash cameras. Uber and Lyft drivers will often have them on their cars to protect them from losing their job.
It’s not a bad idea to buy a dash camera.
After a crash with a commercial vehicle or a private person you suspect was using a dash camera recorder, it may be a good idea to send a request to the at-fault driver and their insurance company to preserve any video recordings.
Video From Businesses Nearby
Don’t have a dashboard camera? If you’re driving near businesses, sometimes our attorneys have been able to retrieve that video footage, proving with the best possible evidence that the driver was going fast. Not all businesses are filming the road, but some are.
There have been some reports around the country about efforts to use GPS data to defend speeding tickets. While GPS data may not directly prove speeding, if a GPS data logger shows that a driver could not have driven between two cities or waypoints without exceeding the speed limit, this could be evidence of speeding.
The Georgia Court of Appeals in Brown v. Dekalb County recently ruled that a lay witness may not give an opinion about speed based solely on the However, it has long been the rule in Georgia that an eyewitness can give an opinion that a car or truck was speeding, provided a proper foundation is laid.
For example, in Rentz v. Collins, the Court held that because the speed estimate was based on the witness’ familiarity with the speed of vehicles when moving, and given the way his car was dragged, he was allowed to provide an opinion that the defendant was speeding.
Frequently Asked Questions About Speeding Accident Settlements
What is Considered Speeding?
On every public road in Georgia there’s a speed limit. And if a vehicle is going above that speed limit, it is considered speeding. For accident cases, if a person is barely going above that speed limit, chances are speeding is not the cause of the accident, and speeding will not be a focus of the accident investigation. Car accident lawyers are trying to identify if the vehicle was going 10-15 mph over the speed limit. Anything less, there was likely another negligent factor that caused the accident.
What if the Driver Was Driving at the Speed of the Flow of Traffic?
The flow of traffic is often anywhere from 5 to 15 mph above the speed limit. This excuse does not work.
If the police report reports that the driver was going above the speed limit, this can be used to bolster the assertion that the driver was negligent in their violation of law, and this negligent act caused the collision.
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If The Not At-Fault Driver Was Speeding, Can This Change the Accident Settlement?
With Georgia being a comparative negligence state – meaning both drivers can own a percentage of fault – it can actually reduce a settlement if the not-at-fault driver was speeding. It likely will not eliminate the compensation, but it can reduce it. If the defense can prove that if the driver as not speeding it could have prevented the accident, they could reduce the fault on behalf of their driver, reducing the settlement.
Compensation for Georgia Speeding Accident Victims
The cost of the accident will fall upon the driver who made the negligent decision that caused the accident. Their insurance company will have to pay up.
Here’s what can be rewarded to the accident victims:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost work income
- Car damage expenses
- Any life changes
Hiring a car accident lawyer can help you achieve the most out of a speeding settlement.