Speed limits are set by municipal entities and enforced by law enforcement. They are designed and established through careful evaluation of the volume and flow of traffic, topography and weather, and other factors. The purpose of the speed limit is to regulate the flow of traffic and keep people on the road safe from harm.
When a driver exceeds the posted speed limit, they are not only breaking the law but are also putting themselves and others in danger. If a speeding driver in St. Louis hits and injures or kills another motorist, cyclist, or pedestrian, they should be held accountable for the harm they’ve caused and the financial losses the victim or their family incurs.
At Sumner Law Group, LLC, our St. Louis speeding car accident lawyers have extensive experience helping people who’ve been injured by speeding drivers seek justice and compensation after a crash. There’s no time to waste in a critical moment like this.
Contact our firm today for a free consultation and find out what we can do for you.
What Role Does Speeding Play in Car Accidents in St. Louis?
Excessive speed is one of the most common factors in fatal car accidents. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that speed contributed to roughly a third of all traffic fatalities over the last two decades.
Speeding not only causes car crashes, but it also makes the injuries worse when a collision occurs.
Any car accident has the potential to be devastating. However, the faster the vehicles were going just before the collision, the greater the forces involved, and the more likely people will be severely injured. Rear-end and side-swipe collisions can go from fender-benders to life-altering events based on the speeds involved, while head-on collisions can be instantly fatal.
Common Types of Injuries Caused by St. Louis Speeding Accidents
Some of the most common injuries that occur as the result of speeding-related car accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Limb loss and amputation
- Severe lacerations
- Knee, ankle, hip, and other joint injuries
- Fractured bones
- Spinal cord and back injuries
This list is not exhaustive. In some car accident cases, the injured victims may suffer temporary or permanent disability, leaving them unable to work or enjoy their lives as before.
Missouri Laws on Speeding and Car Crashes
In Missouri, it is a Class C misdemeanor for a driver to operate a motor vehicle at 5 to 20 mph over the posted speed limit and a Class B misdemeanor to do so at more than 20 mph over the posted speed limit. Speeding is a serious offense, and a speeding driver who causes a traffic collision will likely be responsible for any resulting injuries.
The following Missouri traffic laws may also be relevant in a given speed-related crash:
- On highways with two or more lanes, drivers must drive in the right-hand lane. Drivers can pass other vehicles if the passing lane is clear and using the other lane does not pose a risk to other drivers.
- Section 304.017 forbids drivers from following other drivers too closely. A driver who strikes another vehicle from behind is typically (although not always) primarily responsible for causing the accident.
- Section 304.019 mandates that drivers use turning signals or blinkers when passing other automobiles or switching lanes. A driver who suddenly moves into a lane without signaling and causes an accident is likely liable for any resulting injuries.
Dangers of Speeding Car Accidents
Speeding cars are dangerous to everyone on the road, including drivers, passengers, and unwary pedestrians. When a motor vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed, it can impart a tremendous amount of force onto whatever it strikes. It’s little wonder, then, that NHTSA found speeding is the single leading cause of fatal car accidents in the United States.
Driving too fast for conditions is dangerous because:
- The forces imparted in a crash are greater.
- Vehicles take longer to stop.
- High speeds give drivers less time to react.
- Rollovers are more likely.
Financial Recovery Following Speeding Accidents
When you are injured due to a speeding car accident, you can potentially claim compensation for both the financial and non-financial losses you have suffered. These losses can include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages or income
- Diminished earning potential
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
In certain rare circumstances, you might also be awarded punitive damages, which are not meant to compensate you for specific things you have lost, but instead to punish the person who caused the accident for their flagrantly dangerous behavior. However, the threshold for punitive damages is quite high and requires “clear and convincing” evidence of the defendant’s complete disregard for the welfare of others.
Can a Speeder Be at Fault Even If They Don’t Get a Ticket?
Yes, an individual can be found liable for civil damages even if the police did not cite them for speeding. Criminal law and civil law are entirely separate areas within the legal system. While criminal convictions require certainty “beyond a reasonable doubt,” civil liability requires only likelihood as established by a “preponderance of the evidence.”
Retaining a car accident lawyer is one of the best ways to ensure that you gather all the necessary evidence to establish that the driver was liable for your injuries.
Talk to Our Experienced Speeding Car Accident Attorney in St. Louis Today
If you were hurt in a car accident caused by a speeding driver, you deserve compensation for your injuries, your related expenses, and the impact they’ve had on your life.
At Sumner Law Group, LLC, we can help you demand the full and fair compensation you need, and we can do so in a timely fashion. Contact us today to discuss your case with an experienced St. Louis speeding car accident lawyer during a free, no-obligation consultation. At our firm, there are no up-front costs to finding out if you could be owed money at our firm.