Auto Accident Claims: Can You Recover Damages If You Were Speeding?

Driver hurt from car accidentGot into a car accident recently because you were speeding? While it’s common to assume that you don’t stand a chance at winning your claim because you broke a traffic law, this isn’t necessarily true. Depending on where the accident happened, you could recover damages in a car accident claim even if you violated the speed limit.

“Negligence Per Se”

In general, drivers think that they won’t recover anything from a car accident claim if they violated the speed limit because of the legal principle “negligence per se”. For a party to win the case, it’s necessary to show proof that another party’s recklessness or negligence caused the accident. In case you were speeding prior to the accident, you’d be considered “negligent per se” since the speeding law was made to promote safety and prevent injuries.

On the other hand, if you were speeding due to a non-traffic related cause, such as a pedestrian shooting rounds nearby or your brakes suddenly failed while you’re attempting to reduce speed, then the court might not consider you negligent, explains a top auto accident lawyer in Kent. A trusted law firm such as Feldman & Lee PS can help you file a claim for the damages.

What If Both Drivers Were Negligent?

In case you have been proven to be “negligent per se” due to speeding, you might still have a chance to recover damages. Majority of states follow the comparative fault principle for personal injury cases in which a party is liable for damages relative to his or her fault in an accident. For example, if the court finds you 45% at fault because you were speeding, you might still recover 55% of damages.

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On the other hand, a handful of states, including Washington D.C., Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland, follow the pure contributory negligence principle. This means if you get into an auto accident while you were speeding, you might not recover a dime if the court finds you even 1% at fault for the accident.

As you could see from above, there are plenty of “ifs” and “buts” regarding car accidents that involve speeding. To that end, it’s important that you seek legal counsel, especially if the accident occurred in a state that follows the pure contributory negligence law.

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