Car Accidents

A speeding ticket is a legal document issued by a traffic officer when a motorist exceeds the speed limit. In the USA speed limits are set by a variety of state, county and municipal laws.

All your traffic violations are carefully noted by the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state where your vehicle has been registered.

Each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles maintains a database of motorists, including their convicted traffic violations.

There are a number of options available to you once you have received a speeding ticket. You can pay the fine. This amounts to a guilty plea and might also involve demerit points being added to your driving record or your license being suspended if you have gone over your points limit. It might also lead to an increase in your motor vehicle insurance premiums.

Fines will double if the speeding violation is committed in a “safe corridor” area.

Do keep in mind though that speeding is a major cause of accidents and if somebody gets hurt through your negligence you will have much bigger problems than only a speeding ticket.

You might think that a speeding fine is a small, legal matter to sort out. Involving an attorney to help you might, however, save you hours of frustration, a major hike in your insurance claims and even your drivers’ license.

You can ask your lawyer to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor in the municipal court. This might involve paying a smaller fine, receive fewer demerit points or find some way to not have your license suspended. If you are a first offender, this might be the best way for you to go.

You can also decide to plead not guilty. If you feel that you were justified, by exceptional circumstances, to speed, you will then be given a chance to state your case to the court. If you doubt the accuracy of the equipment used to measure your car’s speed your lawyer will have access to expert witnesses who will be able to dispute the veracity of the reading on your behalf. This is bound to be very expensive though. Your attorney might also decide to attack the traffic official’s paperwork or training certification. If you received a pace ticket, where your speed was not measured by calibrated equipment but estimated by traffic or police officers following you, your attorney might be able to successfully dispute their version of events.

Legally speaking, a car accident is defined as an incident involving at least one vehicle that has collided with another vehicle, road user (like a pedestrian) or roadside object (like a tree) resulting in a person or persons being injured or damage to property.

The first step in solving the complicated legal process triggered by a car accident is to decide whose fault it was.  Local, state and federal laws set out the rules and requirements used to determine who must be blamed. In all cases it is imperative to file an expedient and thorough police report setting out in as much detail as possible what had happened.   Also make sure that photographs are taken on the scene to show the damage to vehicles, property and give an accurate reflection of the condition of the road and the scene of the accident.

It is further of great importance to ensure that any injuries are accurately and fully reported on by medical personnel. Any existing conditions (like back problems) or previous injuries that have been made worse by the accident must also be noted with great care. In most cases an injured person’s medical bills will be paid by their own auto insurance carrier.

Generally speaking drivers have a “duty of reasonable care” which means that they are expected to take the necessary precautions to prevent injury to other motorists, pedestrians or the property of others.  If drivers fail to live up to this standard, they will be found to have been negligent and accordingly expected to make restitution for the damages caused by the accident. Negligent driving can take one of two forms – either through an action (like driving too fast) or a failure to do something (like failing to stop at a pedestrian crossing).

If you have been the victim of a car accident you are entitled to claim damages for injury, lost of income, pain and suffering and damage to property.

This process can be made more difficult of the negligent driver is found to be uninsured or under-insured. It is therefore very important to ensure that all relevant information is collected from the other driver or person involved in the accident. Where a negligent driver is associated with a government-, state- or federal body special procedures must be instituted to claim damages.

It is also important that statutes of limitation might apply that creates a specific time period in which a claim for personal injury must be filed. In the case of children legislation would normally allow for more time.

Claiming for damages is often a complicated process – made even more difficult by the wide variety of scenarios confronting the victims of car accidents including the involvement of possible third parties or mechanical failures of vehicles.

There are several specialized claims that can be instituted to reclaim damages including: lawsuits for hit-and-run accidents where the driver is held liable for failing to stop at the scene of an accident; claims instituted on behalf of bicyclists who are injured in collisions with cars or when motorists inadvertently open car doors in front of them; bus accidents; accidents involving trailers, claims arising from accidents caused by debris on the road.

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