Some slightly good news from the National Safety Council regarding the number of traffic fatalities and injuries this year compared to last year. According to newly released statistics, there were 250 fewer fatalities the first six months of this year than the same time period last year.
From January through June, there were 18,680 people killed and another 2.1 million seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents. These accidents have caused approximately $191 billion.
Speeding and Drunk Driving
Three weeks ago, another report was released that concluded that speeding causes as many accidents as drunk driving. Between 2005 through 2014, 112,580 highway fatalities were a result of speeding. During that same time period, 112,948 deaths were a result of alcohol-related crashes. The report pointed out that, although most people realize that speeding is against the law, it does not carry the same social stigma as a drunk driving arrest does.
The report also recommended that states that do not currently allow automatic speed cameras to capture speeding drivers pass laws allowing them. Currently, seven states prohibit them, and another 28 states lack fundamentals in their laws to utilize them.
Wrongful Death Claims and Fatal Crashes
When a victim is killed in a motor vehicle accident caused by another party or parties, their family may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver. Family members include spouse, children, parents, siblings, or can also be the person who is representing the victim’s estate.
Some of the financial damages that may be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Any medical expenses – including ambulance and emergency care – that the victim received prior to his or her death;
- Loss of income and benefits to the family;
- Loss of protection, care, and assistance the victim provided for his or her family; and
- Grief and mental anguish suffered by the family caused by the loss of companionship, comfort, and guidance from the victim.
There may be other financial damages that a victim’s family may be able to collect. In some cases, they may also be awarded punitive damages, depending on the circumstances of the accident. A Virginia wrongful death attorney will be able to explain what damages a family may be able to claim, as well as what the statute of limitation is to file the lawsuit.
Our V.A. personal injury law firm offers a free wrongful death guide for families who have lost a loved one in an accident. The guide covers topics such as the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim, what types of damages can be pursued, and who can be appointed as personal representative.