It can be very difficult to figure out who was at fault for a car accident. The proof can come from many different sources, such as police reports, witnesses, physical evidence, etc. When an accident occurs, excessive speed could be to blame in many cases and the extent of the damage may be used to establish the speed at which one of the vehicles is traveling.

This blog post will cover how vehicle damage can be used to show that one driver was speeding, though this is not a foolproof system. Low-speed crashes can cause odd amounts of damage, so we are not saying assessing speed through damage always works.

Assessing High-Speed Car Accident Damage

It’s possible that the type and degree of damage on a vehicle may indicate that one driver was either speeding or unable to come to a stop in time. There are a lot of different damage scenarios, so the only real conclusion that can draw is that one of the drivers failed to maintain a safe following distance. This could be due to inattention or distracted driving.

There are a few situations where vehicle damage can at the very least lead to an indication that speed was a factor of the accident. For instance, if you are rear-ended in a parking lot where the speed limit is around 15 MPH and the accident occurs with a large amount of force and damages your car, it’s easy to assume the other driver was speeding.

Another example may be a car that is totaled. If a car is totaled in an accident, there’s a good chance that one car was traveling at high speeds, though this isn’t proof of speeding. On highways where the speed limit is around 55 and the crash results in a totaled car, it’s not indicative of speeding, as the damage from going 50 to 70 miles per hour will look around the same. If the accident happens on a smaller street where the speed limit is around 25 and a car is totaled and deemed a total loss, it may be argued that speeding was involved and the damage could have only occurred if it was.

Gathering Evidence

We should state again that it isn’t usually possible to point to damage to your vehicle as definitive evidence that speeding was involved, but there are a few steps you can take to help connect the dots.

  • Take pictures. Even if the camera isn’t of the best quality, take pictures of your car, including close-ups of damaged areas and detached parts and debris.
  • Talk to witnesses. If your case ends up going to trial, your lawyer may want to call an expert witness to testify that the extent of the damage was due to speeding. The expert should be someone with professional expertise in accident scene reconstruction.

To learn more about how to build the strongest possible car accident claim, contact us in our Northeast Philadelphia office today.