We often use the terms car “accident.” However, in reality, the term crash would probably be more appropriate. The reason for this is because when we think of an accident in the non-legal sense, we tend to think of something that just happens and can’t be avoided – something that is nobody’s fault.
However, we know most car accidents are someone’s fault, and the accident occurred due to negligence of the at-fault driver, and, had the driver been more careful, the accident could probably have been avoided. As our Palm Beach car accident lawyers can explain, the term accident is defined in the Florida statutes as including the event that resulted in the injury as well as the events and actions that related to the cause of the accident. This basically means that, in a legal sense, an accident is what happened and why it happened. The why means who was responsible. This is an important distinction, because a defendant is only liable for negligent conduct or intentional conduct that results in personal injury. If something was truly an accident that was nobody’s fault, the victim would not have a valid claim, but that rarely happens and is not usually what happens in real life.
As for the basis of liability, when discussing a car accident or crash, it could be caused by a distracted driver, a drunk driver, or for any number of reasons. However, one of the major reasons for car accidents is that the at-fault driver was speeding, as noted in a recent report of Traffic Safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This agency falls under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and is usually referred to as NHTSA.
As noted in the most recent data, which is from 2015, there were nearly 50,000 drivers involved in traffic accidents that resulted in just over 32,000 traffic fatalities. This is an enormous number, and included in this data set is the fact that in around 27 percent of these fatal traffic accidents, at least one of the drivers involved was speeding.
Every driver has the ability and the responsibility to drive at or below the posted speed limit. Many people think that the speed limit is merely a suggestion, and it is okay to go around 10 miles over that speed limit. Some people will drive much faster than the legal limit to the point where they are legally considered to be driving recklessly. There are also a variety of reasons people speed.
In some cases, the driver might not be paying attention to the posted limit. In other cases, a drive might be in a rush to get home. Some drivers just enjoy driving fast, and others think the speed limit is just stupid and unnecessary. While these reasons may not be the same, they do have one thing in common, and that is that they are all examples of negligent or reckless driving, and that is why speeding can be used to prove negligence in a car accident lawsuit.
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Traffic Safety Facts, 2015 Data, NHTSA
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Employers Urged to Crack Down on Driver Distraction, April 24, 2017, Orlando Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Blog