A multi-car accident occurred on 15th Street in Tuscaloosa when the driver of one vehicle lost control of his vehicle while traveling at a high rate of speed. According to a report on the car wreck in the Tuscaloosa News, the car accident involved six cars and sent two drivers to the hospital. In 2007, there were 3,578 Alabama car accidents where the primary cause of the wreck was driving over the speed limit. Unfortunately, many drivers often ignore the posted speed limits and the results can be deadly.
In the context of a personal injury lawsuit, as Alabama car accident attorneys, we always investigate whether the defendant driver’s speed was a proximate cause of the accident. If it can be established that the defendant driver was not just speeding, but driving at an excessive rate of speed over the speed limit that fact may give cause to a claim for wantonness or recklessness, which can be grounds for a punitive damages award. Punitive damages are awarded under Alabama law only in situations where it can be established that the defendant’s conduct was carried on with a reckless disregard or conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others. Punitive damages have two distinct purposes: a) punishing the particular defendant for his/her wrongful act; and b) protecting the public by deterring the defendant and others from doing such acts in the future.