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Car Accidents Leading to Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Unfortunately, here are hundreds of car accident deaths and injuries each year. These situations are usually followed by many wrongful death lawsuits, as a result of negligence, impairment, or more by those at fault for the accident.

Auto accidents are the leading source of wrongful death lawsuits in Virginia and Maryland. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway safety, 783 people died on Virginia roads in 2017. Another 550 died on Maryland roads that same year. Nearly all of those fatalities were preventable. Both states allow surviving family members the right to maintain a lawsuit for wrongful death. Virginia’s wrongful death statute is found at Virginia Code section 8.01-50, and Maryland’s is found at Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code section 3-904.


Common Causes of Car Accident Fatalities

The fact that you are a safe driver doesn’t mean that everybody around you on the roadway is a safe driver too. Here are some of the more common causes of car accidents that lead to fatalities and wrongful death lawsuits:

  • Drunk Driving: As per the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 29 people die every day in drunk driving accidents. That is one death every 50 minutes and 28 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States.
  • Distracted Driving: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nine people per day die in distracted driving accidents. Distracted driving might consist of texting, talking on a phone, using a navigational device, eating or grooming while driving.
  • Speeding: This driver behavior decreases stopping distances. Speeding not only consists of driving over the posted speed limit. It also involves driving too fast for weather or traffic conditions, even when you are driving under the posted speed limit. As per the NHTSA, speeding is a factor in 26 percent of all traffic fatalities.
  • Reckless or Aggressive Driving: This is defined by the NHTSA as when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” The Insurance Information Institute details some typical reckless driving behaviors as tailgating, erratic lane changes, failure to obey stop signs and traffic control devices or racing.

Nothing can be as emotionally and financially devastating as the sudden loss of a loved one. If you have lost a family member as a result of the carelessness and negligence or recklessness of the driver of an automobile, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages that you have suffered. Future expenses coupled with a significant loss of income can result in severe financial difficulties. You can contact us to arrange for a free consultation and case evaluation on the passing of your loved one. We promise to listen to you carefully and answer your questions. Then, we will advise you on all of your legal options. Our mission is to help you and your family move forward in this difficult interim of your lives.

References
  1. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "General Statistics", Highway Loss Data Institute, https://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/general-statistics/fatalityfacts/state-by-state-overview. Accessed January 11th, 2019.
  2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. "Distracted Driving", Center for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/index.html. Accessed January 11th, 2019.
  3. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. "Impaired Driving: Get the Facts", Center for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html Accessed January 11th, 2019.
  4. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "Speeding", National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/speeding. Accessed January 11th, 2019.
  5. Insurance Information Institute. "Facts + Statistics: Aggressive Driving", Insurance Information Institute, https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-aggressive-driving. Accessed January 11th, 2019.