Speed limits exist for a reason. The State of Florida, by and through its Department of Transportation (DOT), makes a considerable effort to establish appropriate limits throughout the state that will allow drivers to make the most efficient use of their time while ensuring that the basic elements of safety are met. While most people understand that driving the speed limit reduces both the probability and the severity of a crash, there are always some careless drivers who disregard the law for their own selfish purposes. If you or a family member has been a victim of a negligent motorist, you should consult a car accident attorney to assert your rights. The Pembroke Pines speeding accident lawyers at Cohn & Smith are here to advocate for you.Speed Limits in Florida
Studies show that about 85% of motorists travel at a reasonably safe speed, regardless of the posted speed limit. For the other 15%, frequent reminders – in the form of posted speed limits and, if necessary, traffic citations – are necessary. In order to improve the overall safety of Florida roads, the DOT has established speed limits on all state highways:
- Interstate highways: 70 mph
- Four-lane divided highways (outside urban areas): 65 mph
- Other state highways: 60 mph
Municipalities and other local entities may post slower speed limits in certain areas, and these must be complied with. Sometimes, there are multiple speed limits for a particular area depending upon the time of day. For instance, the speed limit in front of a school located on a state highway may generally be 60 mph, but, during the early morning or afternoon, the speed limit may be substantially reduced to ensure the safety of the children who are arriving at or departing from the school.Holding a Negligent Driver Liable for Damages
Posted speed limits are helpful in car crash cases because they help establish two of the four components of negligence, the law that governs car accidents and other motor vehicle collisions. To successfully establish a claim of negligence and recover damages for injuries sustained in a crash, a victim must show duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. To establish that the defendant owed the victim a legal duty, the victim may be able to point to the posted speed limit to establish a duty to drive at a safe speed.
A violation of a posted speed limit likely will be considered a breach of the duty of care if it can be shown, such as by evidence of a citation. Once duty and breach have been proven by a preponderance of the evidence, which means that the plaintiff’s version of events is more likely than not to be true, the plaintiff must then show a link of causation between the defendant’s breach of duty and the crash in which the injuries occurred.
The final step in a negligence claim consists of identifying economic and non-economic damages that resulted from the accident. These may include medical costs, lost wages, repairs to a vehicle, pain and suffering, and emotional distress, among others. Sometimes both cars may have been exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for the road conditions. The decision as to who was at fault and whether there should be a reduction in damages will be based on Florida’s pure comparative fault doctrine. This allows a plaintiff to receive a compensation award that is proportionate to the degree of responsibility of any defendant found liable.Discuss Your Motor Vehicle Collision Claim with a Speeding Accident Attorney in Pembroke Pines
If you or a family member has been hurt because of the careless driving of another motorist, the motor vehicle collision attorneys at Cohn & Smith can explain your options. We have assisted many residents of Pembroke Pines as well as other South Florida cities, such as Sunrise, Davies, and Aventura. To schedule a free appointment with a Pembroke Pines speeding accident attorney, call us at 954-431-8100 or contact us online. In most cases, we do not seek fees unless we recover compensation for you.