U.S. Will Cross Four Million in Traffic Accidents in 2024

The Governor’s Highway Safety Association recently announced a dire milestone the United States will hit this year – four million people killed in traffic accidents since 1899.

Crossing the threshold of four million car accident deaths is a somber milestone, underscoring the profound impact of traffic accidents across the country. The statistics behind this grim milestone paint a sobering picture of the human cost of road traffic accidents. Each year, thousands of lives are cut short, families are shattered, and communities are left grieving as a result of traffic accidents. The toll extends beyond mere numbers, encompassing the untold suffering, pain, and trauma experienced by survivors, caregivers, and bystanders affected by these tragic events.

Fatal Accident Factors

At the heart of the issue lies a complex interplay of factors contributing to road traffic accidents. Human error, including reckless driving, speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, remains a leading cause of car accidents worldwide. Inadequate road infrastructure, poorly designed roadways, lack of pedestrian facilities, and insufficient traffic management systems also contribute to the risk of accidents.

The proliferation of vehicles, coupled with rapid urbanization and population growth, has exacerbated the challenges of road safety in many regions. As more vehicles take to the roads, congestion increases, leading to higher accident rates and longer emergency response times. In densely populated urban areas, the risk of accidents is further compounded by the presence of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists sharing the road with motor vehicles.

Wrongful Death Claims

Under Virginia law, when a victim is killed because of the negligent actions of another party, their survivors can file a wrongful death claim against the party responsible for their loved one’s death. As a Virginia accident attorney can explain to you, if the victim had survived their injuries and could have filed a personal injury claim against the at-fault party, then a wrongful death claim is now applicable for his or her family.

The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to compensate the victim’s family for the losses the death has caused them. At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we understand that no amount of money could ever make up for the loss of a loved one. However, many families are often left facing overwhelming financial burdens as a result of the unexpected tragedy of the victim’s death.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Virginia?

Survivors who can file a wrongful death lawsuit are:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Surviving children or grandchildren
  • Surviving parents
  • Surviving siblings
  • Any relative who was a dependent of the victim
  • Any relative who is entitled under Virginia’s estate laws to inherit from the victim’s estate

Financial Restitution That May Be Pursued in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Damages in a wrongful death claim can include:

  • Medical expenses related to attempts to save the victim’s life
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of wages and benefits the victim would have earned if they had survived
  • Emotional anguish
  • Loss of the victim’s comfort, guidance, companionship, advice, and care

In some wrongful death lawsuits, families may also be able to collect punitive damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to “punish” the victim, as well as to send a message to society that the at-fault party’s actions were unacceptable. For example, if the at-fault driver was drunk at the time of the crash that killed a victim, the family may be awarded punitive damages in their wrongful death lawsuit.

Call Our Personal Injury Law Firm for Legal Help

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal vehicle accident, contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule a free case evaluation and learn what legal recourse you may have against the at-fault party. Our legal team has an extensive track record of helping grieving clients get the financial justice they deserve for the loss of their loved one, like the $1.85 million insurance settlement we obtained for the family of a Navy servicemember who was killed after a truck driver attempted to take a left hand turn in front of the victim’s motorcycle.

For your convenience, we have offices in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Hampton, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake.