The Missouri State Highway Patrol is claiming that it has seen an increase in the number of speeding vehicles since the coronavirus shutdown began in March. Needless to say, excessive speed can make a difference in the odds of a car accident as well as in the severity of the crash.
What many people do not know, though, is that speeding can impact their ability to recover compensation in a personal injury lawsuit after a crash.
Missouri Police Report Rise in Speeding Incidents
All month now, the Missouri State Highway Patrol has been claiming that they have seen a sharp rise in the number of people speeding on the roads of the state. Many of those incidents have involved speeds of over 100 miles per hour.
Excessive Speed Makes a Crash Worse
One of the most important factors in the severity of a car accident is how fast the vehicles were going. The faster the vehicles go, the more force they bring to the collision, the worse the damage and the injuries are likely to be.
This is far from a hidden side effect of excessive speed. Everyone knows that highway accidents are almost always more severe than those that happen in residential areas when the cars are going slowly.
Speed Also Makes the Odds of a Crash Increase
What is less apparent is that excessive speed makes it more difficult for a driver to avoid a crash – increasing the odds that an accident happens.
When a car goes faster, the driver is less able to see and react to hazards on the road ahead of them. Even if they do react, the excessive speed can make them lose control of their vehicle if their reaction is not precise or fine-tuned for their speed: Jerking the steering wheel to avoid a crash is far more likely to send a speeding car into a spin than one that is going the speed limit.
Excessive Speed Impacts Recovery in a Personal Injury Case
When there is a car accident and someone gets hurt, they can file a personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused the crash. However, the conduct of the person filing the lawsuit – the plaintiff – matters in Missouri because our state uses the rule of comparative negligence. Under this rule, the jury in a personal injury trial has to assign a percentage of responsibility for a crash to the plaintiff and to the person or people they are suing.
The plaintiff’s recovery is then reduced by the percentage of fault they brought to the crash.
This matters when the plaintiff was speeding. Even if the crash was caused by someone else, the victim can lose some of the compensation they deserve because they were speeding.
Car Accident Lawyers at the Smith Law Office Serve Victims in St. Joseph
The car accident and personal injury lawyers at the Smith Law Office legally represent victims in St. Joseph, Kansas City, and Springfield, Missouri. Contact them online or call their law office at (816) 875-9373.