In the movie Top Gun, Captain Tom “Stinger” Jordan admonishes Tom Cruise’s Maverick by telling him “Your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash.” It’s one of the most often quoted lines from the film, and a good reminder for all of us to check ourselves when we deliberately rush into unnecessary danger.
There are more than a few Chicagoland drivers who should keep this line in mind the next time they get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, they seem to be too busy channeling Maverick’s need for speed.
Speeding can make what might otherwise be a minor car accident incredibly dangerous, and reduce the amount of compensation an injured driver can seek following an accident. During our five-plus decades in practice, the Stein & Shulman team has seen far too many car accidents in the Chicago area where speeding played a major role.
Increasing The Risk And Severity Of Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding is a contributing factor in most car accidents. Speeding is not just against the law, it increases the risk and severity of accidents. It causes:
- Greater potential for loss of vehicle control;
- Reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment;
- Increased stopping distance after the driver perceives a danger;
- Increased degree of crash severity leading to more severe injuries;
- Economic implications of a speed-related crash; and
- Increased fuel consumption/cost.
Reducing Your Compensation
In addition to making accidents more dangerous, speeding can also reduce the amount of money accident victims can seek.
Illinois is a comparative fault state, which means your actions help determine how much money you get following an accident. You can only seek compensation if the accident was less than 51% of your fault. If the evidence shows you were the main reason an accident occured, you will be denied any money to help pay your medical expenses or other bills.
Even if you are eligible for compensation, the amount you can recover may be reduced if you were even partially responsible for the accident. For example, say you racked up $100,000 in medical expenses because of your accident. If the evidence shows you were 20% responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, you will only be eligible for $80,000 in compensation.
Speeding is one of the number one reasons accident victims see their compensation reduced. Do not let this discourage you from seeing compensation following an accident. You deserve every penny you are eligible for, even if you were driving a bit too fast.
We’ll Fly With You
When Maverick is hesitant to get back in the air following the tragic death of his partner Goose, one of the Top Gun instructors tells him, “I’ll fly with you.” It’s a simple show of support and a reminder that Maverick is not as alone as he feels.
We hope all of our Chicago area clients know we will always fly with them. We have your back and will do everything we can to get you the money you need to move forward with your life. Whether you are ready to file a lawsuit right away or simply want to discuss your options, Stein & Shulman LLC is here for you. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.