After decades of decline, car accident fatalities are now on the rise. In the first half of 2016, there was a marked increase (10.4 percent) in traffic fatalities across the nation, according to National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics.
The most recent state statistics concur; there was a 10.1 percent increase in traffic fatalities from 2014 to 2015 in Ohio, the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) reports.
A fatal car accident caused by another party constitutes wrongful death. If you recently lost a loved one in a car accident, call Levy Law Offices for a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer. We can review your legal options and help you pursue restitution and justice for your loss. Call 513-651-CASH today.
Why is there such a large increase in car accident fatalities?
In a recent NPR interview, NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind shed some light on factors that may have added to the sharp, sudden increase in traffic accidents.
Contrary to what some believe, the increase is not the result of auto recalls such as the massive Takata airbag ordeal. Accidents caused by these kinds of defects only account for about two percent of total crashes, he explained.
Rather, the main probable contributing factors Rosekind mentioned include:
Increase in number of vehicle miles traveled: With a better economy, less unemployment, and cheaper gas prices, more cars were on the road. More vehicle miles traveled means more potential for accidents.
Driver distraction: Distracted driving is deadly. More gadgets and more apps set the stage for distraction and collisions.
“We know distraction is very significant. The more and more technology that we get offers tremendous value to potentially help save these lives. But there’s also the potential to bring more things into the car that could distract us, as well,” Rosekind noted.
General human error: Most car accidents — an astounding 94 percent, according to the NHTSA — result from human error and the choices people make when driving. This includes not just distracted driving, but also things such as speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, drunk driving, and drowsy driving.
When does a car accident fatality constitute a wrongful death case?
Under Ohio law, a wrongful death is a fatality that results from another party’s actions — intentional or not. This conduct may be willful, but in most car accident cases, the conduct is negligent, not malicious. When your loved one dies as a result of another’s actions behind the wheel (even if the death was accidental), you may have viable grounds to pursue a wrongful death claim.
Any type of behavior that falls short of the driver’s duty of care to others on the road can be negligence. Many of the contributing causes mentioned above are prime examples of negligence. Some of the most common types of wrongful death car accident cases we handle involve negligence such as:
- Talking on the phone or texting while driving
- Daydreaming, driving while sleepy
- Speeding, aggressive driving, not obeying the rules of the road
What do I need to prove to win a wrongful death claim?
You must be able to establish several factors in order to prevail in a wrongful death suit:
- The at-fault driver acted in a way that was negligent.
- Your loved one died as a result of that driver’s negligence.
- You sustained actual losses (e.g., lost wages) as a result of losing your loved one.
Our team of car accident attorneys can help you collect the evidence you need to support your case. This might include items such as police reports, photographic and video evidence, toxicology reports, eyewitness testimonies, and bills and financial statements.
We might also speak with accident specialists and economic experts on your behalf to verify liability and estimate the total of your losses. The more evidence we can collect, the better.
How can Levy Law Offices help with my wrongful death case?
Our caring, qualified team at Levy Law Offices has been helping Cincinnati families with their wrongful death cases for over 20 years. We offer comprehensive services and can assist with all aspects of your case, so that you and your family can focus on the healing process.
Below are just some of the tasks we can help with:
- Investigating the accident and collecting pertinent evidence
- Calculating your total damages and demanding a fair settlement from the insurer
- Working with the insurance adjuster and negotiating for a substantial settlement
- Reviewing settlement offers for fairness and advising you on appropriate action
- Filing your case in court if need be to fight for a full and fair verdict