2020 got off to a very bleak start for the families of four people killed or seriously injured after a vehicle collided with a metallic sign pole.
The wreck occurred on Interstate 30 at the Montgomery Street off-ramp. According to police, 20-year-old Emily Beckham, of Burleson, was speeding when she tried to exit the freeway. She lost control of her vehicle and slammed into a pole. She was declared dead at the scene. Three passengers in the car, whose names were not released, were rushed to a nearby hospital with serious injuries.
Detectives are still investigating the crash.
Speed and Vehicle Collisions
Excessive velocity causes about a third of the fatal car crashes in Tarrant County. Speed increases both the risk of a collision and the force in a crash.
Speed multiplies stopping distance. At 30mph, most vehicles move about six car lengths in the time it takes a driver to safely stop a car. At 60mph, stopping distance triples to eighteen car lengths.
In many cases, speed leads to loss of control. Frequently, a driver oversteers to make a turn or lane change. Then, the driver overcorrects to get back on a straight trajectory. Loss of control collisions are especially common in darkness or other adverse environmental conditions.
Additionally, speed multiples the force in a collision between two objects, according to Newton’s second law of motion. In other words, fender-benders become serious injury collisions.
Legally, a speed-related collision could involve ordinary negligence, which is a lack of care, or negligence per se, which is a violation of a safety statute. The posted speed limits are presumptively reasonable speeds under ideal conditions. A reasonable speed could be much lower, depending on the circumstances. And, operators have a duty to drive at a prudent speed.
I Sue Dead People
If the tortfeasor (negligent driver) dies as a result of the collision, a Fort Worth personal injury attorney can pursue a claim against the tortfeasor’s estate. These actions do not die with the tortfeasor.
Such actions are procedurally complex. Most personal injury claims only involve an insurance company. But if the tortfeasor dies, the claim involves both the insurance company and the tortfeasor’s estate.
Generally, attorneys initially file claims with the tortfeasor’s administrator or other legal representative. Strict time deadlines apply. If an attorney misses the deadline, there may be no way to obtain fair compensation.
This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages might be available as well, in some extreme cases.
Speeding drivers often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Fort Worth, contact Herreth Law. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.