One of the most common factors contributing to a car accident is speeding or excessive speed. This is because high speed collisions on highways, interstates, and other fast moving roads can result in devastating and debilitating injuries including wrongful death. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, last year fatalities caused by speeding increased three percent (3%). What makes this trend worse is that speeding is also one of the most preventable causes of a motor vehicle crash. This generally means that victims of Colorado car crashes caused by speeding may be entitled to compensation for their injuries against the other negligent driver.
There are two main parts to these types of personal injury lawsuits. The first is damages, or your injuries. The second is liability, or how another party is at fault for your damages. Even if you have catastrophic damages, if you cannot prove liability you will not be able to recover any compensation. This is why it is important to retain a knowledgeable Colorado Springs car accident lawyer to represent you.
Proving Liability in a Car Crash Caused by Speeding
In order to be successful in a Colorado car accident case, you will need to establish that the other party was negligent for causing your personal injuries. In cases where another driver causes your injuries in a car crash due to excessive speed, you may be able to use the violation of a statute to prove his or her negligence. This is known as the doctrine of negligence per se, and it permits an automatic finding of negligence if a defendant violates a statute that is meant to protect a victim from harm.
Driving Above the Speed Limit: Under Colorado Law, CRS section 42-4-1101 governs “speed limits” on Colorado roads and sets out many of the standard speed limits for the certain types of roads. If a driver is operating his or her vehicle above this speed limit and causes a car crash, any resulting injuries to another person may be compensable because the doctrine of negligence per se may automatically hold the defendant negligent.
Driving Too Fast for the Conditions or Traffic: In addition, CRS section 42-4-1101 also contains several subdivisions, and provides under subdivision (1) that “[n]o person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing.” Further, subdivision (3) provides that “[n]o driver of a vehicle shall fail to decrease the speed of such vehicle from an otherwise lawful speed to a reasonable and prudent speed when a special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.”
These two subdivisions are very flexible for both law enforcement and a plaintiff in a personal injury action. Anytime a driver collides with another vehicle due to speed or losing control because of speed, it is very likely that one of these sections will be violated because they require a driver to slow down to avoid other traffic. Think of this as a sliding scale; the more hazardous conditions, the slower a motorist must drive.
Crashes Even Below the Speed Limit Could be Caused by Excessive Speed: Section 42-4-1101 requires a “reasonable and prudent” speed at all times, whether or not a driver is operating his or her vehicle above the posted speed limit. This means even if a defendant-driver is operating his or her vehicle below the speed limit at the time of a crash, he or she may still be liable for driving with excessive speed.
Victims of Colorado Springs Car Accidents Should Call the Springs Law Group
If a speeding driver hit or your a loved one and caused serious personal injuries, contact our lawyers at the Springs Law Group to learn how we can protect your rights to compensation. Call us by dialing (719) 421-7141 or use the convenient and easy to use “Get Help Now” submission box available here. We can help walk you through the process, together, and help you get on the road to recovery. Call today to schedule for FREE consultation.