Speeding is a common cause of motor vehicle collisions. Every individual is expected to drive at the posted speed limit or slower, but even people who are obeying the posted speed limit may be considered to be speeding in view of traffic, road conditions, and the weather. When there is significant traffic and heavy rain, for example, drivers are expected to drive much slower than the posted speed limit. A person who speeds endangers others on the road. If you are injured in the Los Angeles region because of a careless driver, the car accident attorneys at the Sharifi Firm may be able to represent you in a claim for compensation.Speeding in Southern California
Generally, you have two years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury lawsuit under Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. section 335.1. However, it is usually a good idea to file a claim with the at-fault driver's insurer before the deadline, so that there is time to negotiate before filing the lawsuit and a chance for your attorney to collect pertinent evidence, including any statements from witnesses who saw the other driver speeding. In general, the other party's insurer is not on your side, and you will want to retain an attorney to negotiate on your behalf.
When filing a civil lawsuit for damages, most plaintiffs must prove negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that the plaintiff will have to show the other driver's duty, a breach of that duty, causation, and damages. A driver who is speeding above the posted speed limit or driving too fast for the conditions is likely breaching the duty that all drivers in California owe to other drivers and pedestrians. This consists of operating their vehicles with reasonable care to avoid posing foreseeable risks to others.
The speeding must also be the proximate or legal cause of the accident. For example, if a driver is speeding and rear-ends your car when you come to a sudden stop in a line of traffic because he is going too fast to stop quickly, the speeding is the cause of the accident because it is a direct and foreseeable result. However, if a driver is speeding, later comes to a complete stop, and then starts driving safely and rear-ends your car, the speeding is probably not the cause of the accident. The driver may have breached his or her duty in some other way, however.
After an accident resulting from someone else's speeding, it is important to contact the police to write up a police report. The police can interview witnesses, and the report may be helpful to prove a breach of duty by a preponderance of the evidence.
What if you were partially to blame? The defendant may argue that the doctrine of comparative negligence applies. In that case, the jury will determine the total damages and also assign percentages of liability to everyone who is alleged to be at fault. If the jury determines your total damages are $50,000, but you are 20% at fault, you can potentially recover up to $40,000 from the other driver but must cover $10,000 of your own damages.Consult a San Bernardino Attorney after a Motor Vehicle Collision
If you are hurt in a motor vehicle collision in the San Bernardino area, the lawyers at Sharifi Firm can help you sue the driver responsible to pursue compensation for your injuries. You can contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation. We also represent clients in cities such as Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula, and Riverside.