The Salamati Law Firm fights for the rights of victims injured or killed in high speed collisions in Los Angeles, California. We have obtained substantial compensation for people whose lives have been forever altered by a person’s negligent decision to drive at dangerous speeds. While suing cannot undo the harm that has been done, it can at least help families cover medical bills, the cost of ongoing therapy, lost income from disability, and – in the worst cases – funeral expenses.
High speed collision statistics for US and California
Speeding is one of the leading causes of traffic crashes and fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that more than 10,000 lives nationwide were lost in speed-related crashes in 2012, with speed listed as a contributing factor in nearly a third of all fatal crashes.
Their report found California among the top states for speed-related fatalities (916) – second only to Texas (1,247). According to 78% of state highway offices surveyed, “public indifference to speeding” and cutbacks to the number of speed enforcement officers are the biggest obstacles to curbing high speed collisions.
LA high speed collisions in the news
The success of movies like “The Fast and the Furious” only fuels the glamour and allure of speeding, especially in a Hollywood-fascinated locale like Los Angeles. Once the fantasy wears off, the reality of high speed collisions is grim. In December 2013, Paul Walker — one of the leading actors in the “Fast and Furious” franchises — and former race car driver Roger Rodas, lost their lives after losing control of the Porsche Carrera GT, hitting a power pole and several trees at speeds of 80 to 93 mph in a 45 mph zone.
In March 2015, three people were killed and five critically injured in a multiple car crash on the 5 Freeway in Commerce City when a Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger were street racing. One of the vehicles lost control and collided into a UPS big-rig, causing it to flip over the median into oncoming traffic, where it struck a Nissan and a Ford Explorer before bursting into flames. The driver, 35-year-old Dealio Lockhart, is facing charges of vehicular manslaughter and has a past history of speed-related offenses. Local authorities told the LA Times that street racing has grown in popularity in recent years due to pop culture and the ability to plan races on social media.
Serious injuries in high speed crashes
Injuries sustained in high speed collisions are often quite severe in nature, such as:
- Broken teeth
- Nerve damage
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Multiple fractures
- Damaged vertebrae
- Traumatic brain injury
- Musculoskeletal trauma
- Permanent paralysis disability
- Wrongful death
California laws and liability in high speed auto accidents
California state law provides protection for those injured in high speed accidents caused by negligence. When an individual operates some type of motor vehicle – be it a car, motorcycle, truck, train or boat – he or she agrees to the safe operation of that vehicle, which is a duty of care owed to others. Unless there is a manufacturing defect, speeding is viewed as a reckless choice by drivers that makes them liable for whatever property damage or bodily harm occurs as a result.
In the state of California:
- The Basic Speed Law states that drivers cannot exceed 70 mph on freeways or 55 mph on divided highways.
- A first time speeder can be fined up to $100 for exceeding the speed limit and up to $1,000 for reckless driving.
- First time violators’ license can be suspended for 30 days for excessive speed or up to a year for reckless driving.
- First time violators can be jailed for 5-90 days for reckless driving.
Other parties may also be held liable for high speed collision injuries, including vehicle manufacturers, safety maintenance technicians, passengers who were causing a distraction at the time of the crash, and local municipalities who failed to maintain or monitor roadways for safety.
Compensation available in car accident claims
Victims and surviving family members may be entitled to compensation to cover:
- Past, present and future medical expenses, including emergency care and rehabilitative costs
- Lost income and lost earning potential as a result of the victim’s inability to work
- Emotional pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, loss of guidance, loss of support
- Burial expenses
Talk to a California high speed collision injury attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision involving high speeds, the Los Angeles car accident attorneys at the Salamati Firm can help. We have represented hundreds of families affected by the negligence of others with a track record of success to show for it. A no-obligation case review is provided free of charge. Should we take your case, you only pay for legal services rendered if we successfully obtain a settlement or jury award on your behalf. We will work with you through this difficult time to ease the financial and emotional burdens.
Simply call (213) 817-8888 to take the first step toward healing.