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The Dangers of Speeding Car Accidents in Indianapolis

Offered by Vaughan & Vaughan

Indianapolis may be the speed capital of the U.S. due to the city’s long racing history, but professional racing arenas like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are not the only places in and around the city where driving fast is normal. Unfortunately, the number of serious and fatal car accidents involving high speeds has skyrocketed here and across the U.S.

From 2019 to 2020, speeding car accidents increased by almost 18 percent in the state, according to federal data. In 2020, more than 230 people died in speed-related accidents in Indiana, including 40 in Marion County.

Speed is a choice

Speeding crashes are avoidable, and the negligent drivers who cause them must be held accountable for the damage and pain they create.

No matter how careful you are, sometimes there is no getting out of the way of a speeding driver. Whether they’re distracted, drunk, joy riding, being aggressive, or have some other excuse, awareness is the best defense a good driver has against a bad one.

If the worst should happen and you become the victim of a speeding accident, put yourself in the best position to recover the compensation you deserve by calling an experienced car accident lawyer in your area.

Here is what you should know about speeding and Indianapolis car accidents.

Why is speeding a problem?

Speed is a serious crash factor for two reasons. First, speed increases the chances that a driver will lose control of their vehicle. Going too fast for the conditions or traveling faster than the speed limit is most likely to end in a crash during a turn, an attempt to stop, or if the driver can’t react to something on the road.

Speeding also increases the severity of injuries. The faster a vehicle is traveling at impact, the more likely the crash is to be fatal. That is especially true in pedestrian accidents, as the risk of a pedestrian dying doubles for every 10 mph of increased speed by the vehicle.

Where do speed-related car accidents happen in Indianapolis?

A car accident can happen anywhere at any time, but some places are more likely to see a crash than others. For example, over the last several years, fatal speed-related car accidents have happened at these Indianapolis locations:

  • E 38th Street at Arthington Boulevard and approaching the North Emerson Avenue intersection.
  • N Kessler Boulevard near I-65.
  • Kentucky Avenue (Route 67) around South High School Road.
  • I-465 along Eagle Creek.
  • E 10th Street at Arlington Avenue and N Emerson Avenue.

Why do people speed?

Studies show there are common factors that influence drivers to operate vehicles at excessive speeds, including:

Alcohol and drugs. Impaired drivers tend to speed. A driver who gets behind the wheel when their perception and judgment are impaired is a risk to everyone else.

Time of day. Commuting hours, aka “rush hours,” have a higher risk of speed-related crashes. One reason is people often accelerate beyond safe levels when running late or are eager to get to their next destination – home, work, school, etc. Rush hours are during weekdays, 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.

Rushing or running late. Meeting deadlines and scheduled appointments can put pressure on any driver. Commercial vehicle drivers are particularly notorious for speeding because some companies create schedules that encourage employees to speed and cut corners.

Weather and road conditions. Going faster than the speed limit is one way to violate speed laws, but a driver can also be at fault for speeding if they are unable to safely operate their vehicle in present conditions. That means traveling at or below the limit could still be considered speeding if a road is made dangerous due to construction, debris, water puddles, icy sleet, or other hazardous conditions.

Driver inexperience. The more experience a driver has, the less likely they are to speed and cause an accident. Younger drivers also may have weaker judgment and a false sense of their own invincibility. As a result, drivers under age 30, especially those between the ages of 20 and 24, cause the most speeding accidents.

Speeding becomes especially dangerous when paired with higher speed limits. On some Indiana roads, the posted speed limit is as high as 70 miles per hour, which is already dangerously fast. Going even faster than that dramatically increases the risk of a fatal crash.

Legal options for victims of speeding car accident

Crash victims often suffer severe injuries in speed-related accidents, and they deserve compensation for their pain and losses. Common speeding crash injuries include:

  • Whiplash.
  • Internal organ damage.
  • Burns, cuts, bruises.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) like concussions, brain hemorrhages, and punctures.
  • Back and spine injuries like herniated, bulging, or slipped discs, or fractures to the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, or sacral vertebra.
  • Broken bones, especially pelvic, fibula, femur, hands, and wrist.

Indiana is a “fault” or “tort” state, which means that the driver at fault in the crash is the one who pays for damages. However, the state also observes a modified comparative negligence standard that allows for the division of fault among all those involved in an accident. Therefore, insurance companies will often blame seriously injured victims for crashes to get out of paying what they owe. The more blame they can put on victims, the less they must compensate them. A car accident lawyer can protect injured accident victims from accepting more fault for an accident than they deserve.

To collect compensation after an Indiana car accident, victims generally have several options:

  • Accept a settlement offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance. This is only advisable after you have consulted an attorney to verify that you are not getting less compensation than you deserve. Never accept a settlement or money from an insurance company without talking to a lawyer first. Most car accident attorneys offer free case consultations to injured accident victims.
  • Negotiate with the insurance company for fair and substantial accident compensation. Because the role of an insurance adjuster is to settle for as little money as possible, negotiating is usually necessary. While you can technically negotiate on your own, having a lawyer negotiate on your behalf is in your interest. Only a lawyer who knows the system can get an insurance company to take a claim seriously and make a substantial settlement offer.
  • File a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If the insurance company won’t pay up, the next step is to file a lawsuit. The insurance company will defend the at-fault driver’s interests, and the insurance company will pay up if they lose.
  • File a claim with your insurance. If you have uninsured/underinsured car accident insurance (UIM or UM), you may need to file a claim with your own insurance provider. UIM comes standard with most Indiana car insurance policies. If you don’t want it, you must decline the coverage in writing. UIM can also be accessed in cases of hit-and-run accidents.

Every car accident is different, and victims should consult a trusted Indiana car accident lawyer to understand their options better.

Types of car accident compensation

Injured accident victims deserve to be made whole after a crash. Among the damages a victim may collect are:

  • Medical expenses. This should include coverage for past, present, and future crash-related medical costs like emergency medical attention, surgeries, appointments with medical specialists like orthopedic surgeons, as well as ongoing care and physical therapy.
  • Lost wages. Compensation for the time you miss at work while you are healing and diminished future earning potential if the accident left you unable to perform the same work.
  • Property damage. Including vehicle repairs or replacement.
  • Pain and suffering. Compensation for the pain you endure considers things like initial impact pain, pain during recovery, and pain-related medical treatments like surgeries.
  • Replacement services and equipment. Accommodations that are necessary for your decreased abilities after a car accident should be considered.

If the crash was fatal, loved ones may be able to recover damages for funeral expenses, emergency services, future lost contributions to the household, and loss of companionship or guidance in a wrongful death claim. Not just anyone can file a wrongful death lawsuit, however. The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate must file a lawsuit for beneficiaries.

Why you should hire an attorney after an Indianapolis car accident

If you’re injured in a car accident caused by a driver who was speeding or otherwise negligent, it’s always in your interest to at least talk to an attorney. The insurance companies deal with these situations every day, and they have substantial resources devoted to paying crash victims as little as possible. The right lawyer can level the playing field and fight for the best possible recovery while you focus on healing.

Car accident lawyers offer free consultations, so there is no reason not to at least get an attorney’s input on your case. If you’ve been injured, talk to an Indiana car accident attorney in your area today.

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Vaughan & Vaughan is a personal injury law firm. Attorney Charles V. Vaughan is certified in civil trial law and leads an experienced legal team who fight for the injured, with of...