Speeding Motorists and the Concept of Negligence

Earlier this week the New York City Department of Transportation released data showing a dramatic increase in the number of fatal car accidents involving drivers who were speeding. In 2012 there were 81 speeding-related fatalities, up from 49 such fatalities in 2011. Of all traffic deaths in the City last year, nearly 1/3 of them involved speeding.

The dramatic increase has encouraged policymakers to introduce new safety measures, including the use of speed enforcement cameras on City streets. This week, the State Assembly passed a budget proposal that includes a test program to install speed cameras in school zones. If approved, the camera system will automatically issue citations to drivers exceeding the speed limit by 10 miles per hour or more.

As professionals dedicated to helping injured drivers, we are constantly reminded of the dangerous consequences of drivers exceeding the speed limits on the streets of New York City. When a vehicle is traveling at high speeds, it is more difficult to control and it requires a longer distance to stop. Speeding makes crash barriers and other safety devices on the roadways less effective. And when a crash does occur, the car's speed is a crucial factor affecting whether injuries or death will result.

From a legal standpoint, driving a car in excess of the speed limit directly factors into the concept of negligence. Negligence is the legal theory at the center of most personal injury lawsuits. To understand negligence, it helps to think of society as a group of individuals free to act reasonably. Because certain actions (such as speeding) would not be considered acting reasonably by any standard, such a person would be acting negligently.

Every driver in New York has a legal duty to control his or her vehicle speed. When a driver breaches this duty, and another person is injured or killed as a result, the driver is liable for negligence. Our legal system will then hold the driver financially responsible for the harm caused. As personal injury attorneys, we represent victims of auto accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and all other types of accidents caused by speeding or other negligent driving on our City's roadways.

Our attorneys are highly skilled at proving negligence. If you have been injured by a speeding driver, there may be no doubt in your mind that the other car was traveling too fast. Unfortunately, that is not enough to ensure you will receive compensation. We will gather the evidence, reconstruct what happened, and present your case to the insurance company or a jury in a way that will maximize your recovery. Contact us today at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to schedule a free consultation to learn your rights.

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