Speeding is consistently one of the top causes of car crashes, particularly crashes that result in severe injury or death. The faster a vehicle is traveling, the harder the force of impact if it hits another vehicle.
While it may seem clear when speeding causes a crash, the insurance company will want proof. Short of having something like video footage or a picture of the readout on a radar gun that was trained on the speeding vehicle, you may be wondering how an attorney can establish speeding as a cause of the crash.
While your attorney may use a few different pieces of evidence to build a case for speeding, one source of evidence you may not have considered is damage to the vehicles involved in the crash.
Below, learn more about what your Harrisburg-based car crash attorney can learn about the cause of a crash from studying the damage to the vehicles involved.
How Vehicle Damage May Indicate Speeding
Typically, when one or both vehicles involved in a crash sustain severe damage, one or both were traveling at a high rate of speed. If the posted limit in the area was relatively low, that may indicate one of the drivers was traveling well above that limit. For example, if a parking lot crash results in serious damage, it is likely the at-fault driver was speeding.
However, if the crash happened on an interstate where vehicles were traveling at least 55 miles per hour, it may be difficult to prove speeding. The amount of damage caused by a crash that happens at 55 miles per hour is not that much different from the amount of damage that may result from a crash that happens at 70 miles per hour.
If one or both of the vehicles were totaled in the crash, it may indicate speeding. However, you would need additional evidence to back up this claim.
Vehicle manufacturers have collision ratings for their vehicles. These ratings estimate how much damage is likely to occur at different speeds. That means when the vehicles are assessed by mechanics, they will refer to these ratings to help determine all the damage that was done.
Your lawyer can review the repair assessment by the mechanic to determine the collision rating and consequently, how fast the vehicles involved in the crash were traveling.
Your attorney may also look at the distance debris was flung from the point of impact. The farther debris travels, the faster the involved vehicles may have ben traveling. That is why it is important for victims to take pictures of the damage caused by the crash when at the scene. However, you should only do this if it is safe.
When drivers must stop suddenly, they may leave skid marks on the pavement. If the driver was speeding, it is likely the skid marks will be longer than if the driver was not speeding.
However, sometimes small skid marks may indicate speeding. Think of it this way: the other driver was going so fast he or she had little time to stop so there was little room for skid marks.
A lack of skid marks may indicate distracted driving, as the distracted driver did not realize he or she needed to stop to avoid a collision.
Other Evidence That May Prove Speeding
Video footage can be damning evidence in a car crash claim. There may be video footage from a dash cam, traffic camera or security camera. You likely need an attorney to obtain some of this footage, as there is likely to be some legal red tape to get through.
The police report may also indicate if the other driver was speeding. Police officers have seen a lot of car crashes and they can use their experience to help them determine if speeding likely contributed to the crash.
Sometimes the police officer who responds to the scene will issue a traffic citation for speeding. It would be very difficult for the insurance company to dispute this evidence.
Unsure if You May Have a Case? Set Up a Free Consultation
The attorneys at Schmidt Kramer have been helping car crash victims secure compensation for decades. We have helped victims of a wide variety of car crashes that had a wide variety of causes. We have detailed knowledge about how to gather evidence of the cause of the crash.
Call us as soon as possible to discuss what happened and learn how we may be able to assist you in pursuing the compensation you need.
Schmidt Kramer. No Upfront Fees or Obligations. (717) 510-1770