Speeding is a leading cause of auto accidents in Texas. Houston car accidents due to speeding are so common that they rank among one of the most frequent types of accidents in the state. In fact, more than half of all traffic fatalities happen in rural areas where speeding is generally a big problem, according to Texas Department of Transportation statistics. In 2017 alone, crash records show that someone died every 2 minutes in Texas due to a car accident. While down from the prior year, this is still a staggering number.
At The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian, we understand that high-speed collisions can happen on back roads just as easily as they do in cities. For this reason, we work closely with accident victims and their families throughout the Houston metro area, demanding full and fair compensation for injuries caused by speeding-related crashes.
If you or a loved one has been impacted by a reckless or careless driver who was speeding, call us today to schedule a free consultation.
Houston Speed Limit Law
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the default maximum speed limit for Interstate highways is 70 miles per hour. However, this is only part of the story. The Texas Transportation Commission can set the speed limit as high as 85 miles per hour if the road is suitable and it is designed to handle faster speeds. For the most part, higher speed limits are found in western parts of the state and in rural areas where traffic volume is low.
Each municipal area has its own regulations regarding in-town speeds and unique situations, such as the speed permitted on county roads and highways. In fact, there is a specific set of rules for establishing speed limits, which local governments are supposed to follow.
Speed limits are set by the government for good reason. First, higher speeds mean longer stopping distances. No matter how careful someone is, it just takes longer to stop when you are traveling at higher speeds. Second, the research shows that impacts at higher speeds almost always result in worse injuries.
Speeding vs. Driving Too Fast for Conditions
It’s important to note the distinction between speeding and driving too fast for conditions. Many times, people will argue that they were traveling the speed limit, despite not being able to stop in time to avoid a crash. The underlying problem is that these negligent drivers misapprehend this key distinction between what is “legal” and what is “safe.”
For instance, just because the speed limit is 70 miles per hour does not mean a driver should travel that speed in rain, ice, or heavy fog. If there is heavy traffic or limited visibility due to bad weather, drivers should slow down to a speed that is more appropriate.
Experts generally recommend that in speeds up to 40 miles per hour, you should be able to count to 4 seconds between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. For speeds over 40 mph, you should allow at least 7 seconds. Therefore, if visibility is limited and you can only see 2 seconds in front of you, slow down until you have enough room to stop and react to dangers.
To calculate the number of seconds between you and the car in front of you, take note of when the leading car passes a certain point on the side of the road, such as a light post or a sign. Then make sure you can count the appropriate number of seconds before your vehicle passes that point.
Demanding Full Compensation for Speeding Accident Injuries
When someone is hurt in a car crash in Houston, it’s usually a life-changing event for the victim and his or her family. Even somewhat minor injuries generally result in muscle pain and strain, physical discomfort, emotional stress, and anxiety, as well as financial pressures like medical bills and lost income due to missing work.
Our team fights to hold the at-fault driver’s insurance company accountable so that our clients are not left with unpaid bills and debts after a crash. Compensation can be affected by the following variables:
- First, we work to identify all sources of payment, whether insurance companies or at-fault individuals and businesses.
- Second, we help to prove liability and make sure that the other driver is held responsible for their speeding or other reckless choices.
- Finally, we carefully evaluate the full cost of your accident by documenting the severity of your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other items that may help to prove the entire amount of your losses.
Penalties for Speeding
Speeding fines are set by the Texas statute and depend largely on how fast the person was traveling above the speed limit. Local cities like Houston can also impose a penalty. In Houston, these are some of the fines:
- Failing to control speed: $185.00
- Traveling at an unsafe speed: $135.00
Check out a more complete list of penalties in Harris County, Texas.
In addition to base penalties and fines, there are other consequences of speeding, which include the heightened risk of injury to oneself and others. Some other consequences include:
- Points may be added to one’s license.
- It can lead to a loss of driving privileges.
- It can significantly raise insurance premiums.
- It can even lead to jail time in extreme cases of reckless driving.
How Our Houston Speeding Accident Attorneys Can Help You
After a serious collision, our team of Houston speeding accident attorneys can help you pursue a significant financial recovery that will help you move forward with your life and get the care you need. We do this by:
Offering a Free Consultation
We understand that injured people often have a lot to deal with already, and the last thing they need is a lawyer charging a large upfront retainer. Therefore, we never charge clients a retainer. Instead, we work on a contingency-fee basis. We only get paid if and when we succeed at getting you the compensation you deserve.
Advancing the Costs Needed to Build a Strong Case
We also know that litigation can be expensive. So we don’t ask our clients to come up with money to file suit or pay court costs upfront. Instead, we cover all of the necessary expenses associated with pursuing a case. We recover these costs only if we are able to win compensation for your injuries.
Hiring experts and developing smart trial strategies
With experience comes an advanced knowledge of how insurance companies settle cases. We always start by working to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a case. We do this because ultimately we know it will be up to a jury to decide if the insurance company refuses to settle. So we build your case for trial from the start. This gives you a real advantage when negotiating with the insurance company.
Dealing with Creditors and Liens.
Car accidents are not just about getting medical care and recovering money. One of the toughest parts of a case is often trying to resolve outstanding balances on medical debts and insurance liens.
When a health insurance company (including Medicaid or Medicare) pays for some of your medical care, these insurance companies or government agencies may place liens on your case, meaning you can’t settle until you’ve reached agreements to repay their balances.
Likewise, some health providers will refuse to bill your health insurance, leaving you with outstanding balances to pay out of your settlement. These can be very complicated negotiations, based on sophisticated laws. Fortunately, we handle all of this for our clients.
Aggressively representing you through trial and appeal, if Necessary.
Keep in mind that although most cases these days settle without a trial, there are situations where a jury needs to get involved. If your case must go before a jury to get resolution, rest assured our firm is prepared to handle it. Similarly, sometimes a bad ruling could leave you needing to appeal the decision. Our firm can assist with appeals in some situations, as well.
Contact Our Houston Speeding Accident Attorneys
If you need a Houston speeding accident lawyer, you can trust the skilled legal team at The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian. Or team has years of experience helping injured people get back on their feet after a crash.
Speeding is a serious problem in Texas, and it claims the lives of thousands of innocent people each year. For this reason, it’s imperative that you contact an attorney right away if you’ve suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one in a speeding collision.
Insurance companies often deny liability or try to avoid paying, even when they know that their driver is 100 percent to blame for causing the crash. While very unfair and unfortunate, it’s just a reality of the insurance industry. Without an attorney, you are at the mercy of a large and powerful insurance company that will be looking out for its own bottom line – not yours.
For help after a Houston car wreck, contact The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian now to get a free consultation with one of our experienced auto accident attorneys, and get the help you deserve.