Every year, thousands of Maryland residents are involved in high-speed traffic accidents. Speeding is one of the primary reasons why both minor and severe vehicle collisions occur, and hundreds of Maryland residents die every year because of speeding drivers. If you are injured in a high speed traffic accident, you may wonder whether you can file a claim against the speeding driver. Fortunately, the Maryland high speed accident lawyers at Zirkin & Schmerling are here to detail everything you need to know about high-speed traffic accidents and how you can recover compensation from the liable party.
High-Speed Car Accident Statistics
Speeding is one of the most common reasons why traffic accidents occur, and thousands are killed in speeding accidents every year in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that 9,400 people died because of speeding accidents in 2018, and although that number varies from year to year, you can expect thousands of people to lose their lives yearly because of speeders. The NHTSA also indicated that in the past 20 years, a third of traffic fatalities involved a speeding driver.
In addition to the high number of yearly fatalities, high-speed accidents also injure hundreds of thousands of people every year. In Maryland alone, around 13,000 high-speed traffic accidents occur each year. 16% of Maryland car accident personal injuries happen as a result of speeding drivers, and 21% of vehicle fatalities result from high-speed accidents.
Why Is Speeding So Dangerous?
You may wonder why speeding is dangerous. It often feels comfortable to drive over the speed limit, but in reality, the faster you drive over the speed limit, the higher the likelihood that you’ll cause a serious or fatal traffic accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted that the reasons why speeding is so dangerous and can result in deadly accidents are because of the following:
- It increases the likelihood that a driver loses control of their vehicle.
- Higher-speed collisions decrease the likelihood that your airbags and seat belt will protect you.
- Higher speeds increase the severity of car accidents, meaning that you’re more likely to suffer from more serious injuries.
- If you’re driving over the speed limit, you’ll have a harder time stopping if there’s another car or obstacle ahead of you.
Preventing Maryland High Speed Accidents
Drivers speed for a variety of reasons, and, unfortunately, it’s very difficult for law enforcement to curb the high number of speeders.
Some of the reasons why people speed include:
- Being unaware of how fast they’re going
- Failing to realize that speeding is dangerous
- Rushing to reach their destination
- Believing they can get away with it without getting pulled over
- Not knowing that their speeding can contribute to a fatal accident
It’s worth noting that speed deterrents often don’t work. Pew Research Center conducted a study where they asked drivers if they would maintain legal speeds in exchange for an auto insurance discount. Only 37% said that they would reduce their speed to save money. Even exorbitant speeding tickets rarely leave much of an impact. One study indicated that most speeders still didn’t change their behaviors after receiving $1,000 speeding tickets.
Although you can’t stop others from speeding on the road, you can monitor your driving behavior and take certain actions to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Consider taking the following precautions while on the road:
- Strictly monitor your speed
- Give yourself additional time for reaching your destination so that you don’t feel pressured to speed
- Know the speed limits on your route
- Consider the consequences of speeding, such as an expensive ticket or deadly car accident
- Utilize cruise control to maintain a consistent, safe speed
High-Speed Car Accident Injuries
As discussed above, higher speeds greatly enhance your likelihood of experiencing a serious or fatal car accident. Even increasing your speed by only 10 miles per hour can make you 24% more likely to suffer from a fatal accident.
Some injuries that occur because of high-speed accidents include:
- Internal bleeding
- Skull fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Organ damage
- Slipped or herniated discs
- Joint injuries
- Spinal cord injuries including paralysis
- Broken bones
- Facial injuries
If you suffer from any of these injuries because of a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for your medical bills. Any number of these injuries can lead to years of pricy doctor visits, surgeries, and rehabilitation. You need a personal injury attorney to assist you with your claim so that you can maximize the amount you can recover from the at-fault party.
What Should I Do After Suffering from a Car Accident in Maryland?
In the event that you’re involved in a speeding accident or another type of car accident in Maryland, you need to take the following actions to ensure your safety and support your personal injury claim:
- If you or someone else is injured in the wreck, call 911.
- Contact the police.
- If you’re physically able, document as much of the scene as possible with photographs and videos.
- Gather eyewitness testimonies and write down their contact information.
- Never admit fault or apologize.
- If you suffered from minor injuries that didn’t require emergency assistance, visit a doctor as quickly as possible after the accident.
- Continue receiving medical treatment for your injuries, keep track of your medical documents, and keep notes about your conversations with doctors.
- Avoid talking to the other driver’s insurance company, and if they request for you to make an official statement, decline.
- Keep a journal and record everything regarding your accident, claim, injuries, and recovery. You should detail your physical limitations as well as the physical, mental, and emotional pain caused by the accident.
Getting Compensation after a High-Speed Car Accident in Maryland
If you suffer from injuries because of a high-speed accident caused by another driver, you will want to contact the Maryland high speed accident lawyers of Zirkin & Schmerling so you can file a personal injury claim and recover different types of damages for medical bills, lost wages, and more. The damages you can recover for your injuries depend on your case, but you may be able to recover:
- Vehicle and property damage
- All past and future medical expenses, including emergency room, hospital, and doctor bills
- Past and future rehabilitation, such as physical or occupational therapy
- Medical supplies
- Any wages you lost because of your injury, including benefits, overtime, commissions, and bonuses
- Decrease in your earning potential
- Personal care
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Physical or mental impairments
- Decrease in quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Maryland?
Every state has different rules when it comes to how long you have to file a personal injury claim after a traffic accident. In Maryland, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is three years after the incident occurred. If you fail to file a personal injury within three years of the accident, you will be unable to collect damages from the at-fault party.
Although you likely have three years to file a personal injury claim, some factors could affect your case and the amount of time you have to file. If you’re injured in a car accident, you should consult with a personal injury attorney as quickly as you can so that you can learn more about the timing of your case.
Pure Contributory Negligence in Speeding Accidents
Although you have every right to pursue damages from an at-fault driver in a speeding accident, there are situations in which you cannot. Maryland is a pure contributory negligence state, meaning that you cannot recover damages if you were also at fault for the wreck.
Courts and insurance companies often contribute a percentage of blame to more than one driver after a wreck. For example, if a speeding driver struck your vehicle but you were also speeding at the time of the accident, you might both receive a percentage of the blame. The driver who was primarily at fault may receive 85% of the liability while you receive 15%. In most states, that would mean that the amount of damages you could recover would be reduced by 15%, but in Maryland, receiving any percentage of the blame means that you cannot recover compensation. Even receiving only 1% of the blame leaves you ineligible to seek damages.
Contact Maryland High Speed Traffic Accident Lawyers
Because Maryland is a pure contributory negligence state, the liable party’s legal representation and insurance company may try to make the case that you were partially to blame for the traffic accident even if you were abiding by traffic laws. You need legal support to help you with your personal injury claim to prove that the liable party was at fault and you don’t share the blame.
Additionally, a seasoned personal injury attorney can help you maximize your claim by helping you gather evidence and build your case.
For expert car accident legal support in Maryland, contact the Maryland high speed accident lawyers at Zirkin and Schmerling Law Office. We’ve helped numerous Maryland residents receive thousands and even millions of dollars in car accident and personal injury cases, and our lawyers will work tirelessly so that you receive the maximum compensation possible for your car accident. Call our office at 410-753-4611, or to schedule a free case consultation, click here.