Introduction Car Accident Fatalities, Lawsuits and Lawyers
Driving our vehicles is such a routine activity that we rarely stop to consider just how dangerous of an activity it, in fact, is. We use our cars, trucks, and vans to get to and from work, to complete errands, to transport our children to and from school, and to take vacations. We rarely (if ever) get into our cars believing that we will become a statistic. Yet, according to a recent article in Newsweek (which obtained statistics from the National Safety Council), in 2015 over 38,000 people lost their lives in car crashes. This means that more than 100 people died in car crashes and road mishaps every single day of the year.
For the surviving family members of a person who dies in a car crash, the future can seem bleak and hopeless. Where the family’s loved one was killed in a car crash caused by the negligent behavior of another, compensation may be available to assist the family in meeting the expenses and losses attendant to the death of their loved one.
Common Causes of Car Crash Fatalities
While car crash fatalities are nowhere near as common as car crash injuries, 2015 saw the one of the largest increases in the number of fatalities in recent years. While it is impossible to predict with complete accuracy which car crash collisions will result in the death of one or more people, the presence of certain facts and circumstances does suggest that a death is more likely:
- Occupants not wearing safety belts: The use of seatbelts can and does save lives in the event of a car crash, yet some people choose not to wear these devices for one reason or another. A person who chooses not to wear a seatbelt is at an increased risk of suffering fatal injuries in the event of a crash.
- Collision with large commercial trucks: Tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, and commercial busses can easily cause fatal injuries to the occupants of a passenger car simply because these massive vehicles are heavy and powerful and transfer a great amount of energy to other vehicles in the event of a crash.
- “Leaving the roadway” accidents: Accidents in which a car leaves the roadway – i.e., becomes airborne, rolls over, or rolls down a hill – are typically accidents involving a great deal of force. These accidents can also toss occupants from the car as the vehicle tumbles, especially if the occupants are not wearing seat belts.
Drunk driving and driving while texting are also commonly cited as factors in fatal collisions. This is because drunk or distracted drivers who cause accidents generally have little or no time in which to react and attempt to avoid a collision with another car. These drivers do not generally attempt to avoid colliding with the other car and do not have time to slow down and reduce the force of the impact.
My Loved One Was Killed in a Car Crash
Surviving family members whose loved ones were killed in a car crash are likely to face economic expenses in addition to their own grief and sorrow. The surviving family will be responsible for paying for the decedent’s final medical expenses, funeral costs, and burial costs. If the decedent held a job, the family will need to decide how they intend to make ends meet without the decedent’s income. These can be terrifying decisions and questions to face.
Most states, however, allow the decedent’s immediate surviving family members to pursue a claim for monetary compensation against the driver who caused the fatal collision and/or that person’s auto insurance company. While no amount of monetary compensation can bring the decedent back to life, the compensation obtained through these car crash lawsuits can help address the financial and emotional costs that accompany losing a loved one.
These car accident fatality lawsuits (often also referred to as wrongful death lawsuits) must typically be filed within two to three years after the fatal car crash occurred. Failing to act quickly can mean that surviving family members are not able to pursue any claim for compensation from the at-fault driver at all, no matter how clear his or her liability might otherwise be.
Stern Law, PLLC Assists Family Members of Fatal Car Crash Victims
If your loved one perished in a fatal car crash caused by another person’s negligent or careless behavior, contact the experienced and compassionate law firm of Stern Law, PLLC. We are committed to helping individuals in times of crisis, such as after they have lost a loved one in a traffic accident. Our car accident fatalities lawyer will help you understand your legal rights and options and take steps to hold the responsible party or parties accountable for their careless conduct. Because you only have a limited time in which to file a claim for compensation on behalf of your deceased loved one, call Stern Law, PLLC at (844) 808-7529 today.