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What are the consequences for a speeding driver?

Connecticut law prohibits driving a vehicle a speeds greater than the legal speed limit or at a rate that could endanger the life of any passenger. Another law forbids driving a car unreasonably fast or at a speed greater than is reasonable with regard to the highway's width, the use of the road, intersections and weather conditions. Violation of these laws may impose civil liability in lawsuits for car accidents.

Driving beyond the legal speed limit or at a speed which endangers any vehicle occupant violates a legal duty imposed by law. A defendant is legally liable for injuries in an auto accident when this duty is violated.

Another ground for a civil lawsuit is traveling at a speed higher than what a reasonably prudent person would travel under all of the circumstances. The posted speed limit is one factor that a jury may consider but does not automatically impose liability. This applies to public roads and certain other areas.

Driving below the posted speed limit, however, does not necessarily mean the driver is not liable. A driver may be responsible for injuries when there special hazards involving pedestrians or other traffic. Weather or highway conditions can also impose further restrictions.

Traveling at rates of speed that endanger other lives besides vehicle occupants is another violation under Connecticut's reckless driving statute. Operating a vehicle at a speed greater than 85 miles-per-hour, in itself, constitutes reckless driving under state law.

Determining civil liability for a serious injury suffered from a speeding driver may be complex. To help assure that rights are protect and that damages may be collected, a car accident victim should seek prompt legal assistance. Legal advice may assist victims in settlement negotiations and court hearings and help parties meet filing deadlines for their lawsuits.

Source: State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, "3.7-3 Statutory Negligence-Traveling Unreasonably Fast" and "3.7-2 Statutory Negligence-Speeding," Assessed Jan. 25, 2015

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