All drivers in California are expected to drive safely under the conditions. This includes obeying the speed limit and sometimes driving under the speed limit in circumstances such as rain, fog, heavy traffic, or animals in the road. Excessive speed may make a driver lose control of the vehicle or make them unable to react in time to avoid colliding with another vehicle, an object, or a pedestrian. Unfortunately, speeding accidents are relatively common. At The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC, our Folsom car accident attorneys can help you seek damages if you were hurt due to a careless driver. Obtaining counsel from a car accident attorney is an important step to take in pursuing compensation from a defendant or an insurance company.
Taking Legal Action After Speeding Accidents
There are a number of California Vehicle Code sections that cover speeding. For example, under CVC 22350, nobody is supposed to drive on the highway at a speed that is higher than what a reasonable person would drive, given the weather, visibility, traffic, and the surface of the highway and the width of it, and nobody is supposed to drive so fast that they endanger other people or property. Under CVC 22356, you may be cited for driving on a highway in excess of 70 miles per hour if the posted speed limit is 70 miles per hour.
It may be harder for cars to come to a complete stop once they start speeding. Speeding makes it more likely that a driver will get into an accident. If you are hit by a speeding driver and suffer injuries, you should call the police to the scene. It may be helpful if the officer cites the other driver for a speeding violation. You may be able to use the citation to build a case for negligence per se, or negligence as a matter of law. This applies when a defendant’s violation of a safety law or regulation causes injuries to the type of person whom the safety law or regulation was designed to protect. It may be helpful to a plaintiff to be able to use negligence per se because when used successfully, this theory shifts the focus of the case from liability to the extent of the damages.
Sometimes multiple people are speeding, and together their excessive speed combines to cause a serious collision. California follows a rule of joint and several liability only when it comes to evaluating economic damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. This means that when there are multiple parties found to be at fault, you may recover 100% of your economic damages from any one of them. If one of three at-fault drivers is uninsured, for example, you may recover the full range of your economic damages from the other at-fault insured drivers, even if they were less at fault. However, each party at fault for an accident is only severally responsible for noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, or mental anguish, in an amount equal to their degree of fault.