Most people don’t think about it very often, but objectively, driving in a car is a relatively dangerous activity. While it might seem like a serious injury in a car accident is something that only happens to “other people”, it can be anyone’s turn to be “other people” anytime they get in the car to go anywhere.
Of course, in most situations, we can complete our errands or daily commute without issue. In other cases, however, we can find ourselves in the middle of an incredibly traumatic event with any number of different injuries. Even in the accidents where someone is gravely injured though, they have the recourse of working with an Atlanta, Georgia car accident attorney to recover their damages.
Sometimes, however, the car crash will be fatal. While it may seem impossible, the odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash according to 2019 data from the national safety council, are approximately 1 in 107. Over 39,000 people died in vehicle crashes that year, making the chance of dying in a car or motorcycle accident far more likely than many people realize.
Atlanta, Georgia Car Accidents
As a large metropolitan area, Atlanta is no stranger to high traffic volumes throughout the day and into the evening. Due to having so many drivers on the road, car accidents in Atlanta are quite common. Fulton County saw a total of 45,944 accidents in the year 2018, with 131 fatalities (averaging 1 fatality every 3 days). Overall, there were 151 accidents being reported daily between 2014 and 2018. About 2/3 of the accidents that occur in this county happen within the city limits of Atlanta.
There are many different causes for the fatal car accidents in and near Atlanta, but there are two main factors that have been causing these accidents:
- Alcohol: The cause of about 25% of the fatal accidents between 2013 and 2019
- Speeding: The cause of 22% of the fatal accidents between 2013 and 2019
Car accidents are a problem in the Atlanta area, but other areas of the state see dozens of fatal accidents annually. Out of all 50 states, Georgia is the 4th deadliest state when it comes to car accidents.
Can You Reduce Your Chances of Dying in a Car Accident?
The unfortunate truth is that you never know what can happen when you get behind the wheel. There are a huge number of circumstances that can factor into the outcome of a car accident and how severe the injuries will be. Luckily, there are some things you can avoid that could reduce the chances of being in a car accident, such as:
- Aggressive driving
- Road rage
- Following too closely
- Driving impaired
- Disobeying traffic laws
- Distracted driving, especially texting
- Reckless driving
- Driving drowsy
There’s no way to control the other drivers on the road, but you can control what you’re doing behind the wheel. Make sure you have plenty of space between yourself and others sharing the road with you and drive carefully. Also, make sure to always wear your seatbelt, no matter how short of a drive you’re planning on making.
What is a Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death lawsuit allows the family members of the victim of a fatal car accident to pursue justice and compensation on behalf of the decedent. This is frequently done through a representative of the family, generally a member of the immediate family such as a spouse or adult child. Certain criteria must be met, however, to be able to bring a wrongful death claim against someone.
The main elements of a wrongful death lawsuit are:
- Negligence – Negligence is the failure of someone to behave or act in the same way that any other reasonable person would. This means exercising a level of prudence that someone in a similar position would have exercised. Negligence can be through action or inaction, which means it can be something someone does that they should not have, or not doing something that they should have.
- Breach Of Duty – This is an element vital to any wrongful death case. The party bringing the suit will need to prove that the other party had a duty of care to the decedent. Sometimes this can be relatively straightforward, such as in the case of a traffic accident that results in death. Anyone operating a vehicle automatically has a duty of care to other motorists, or in the case of a pedestrian accident, to pedestrians.
- Causation – Once the breach of duty can be shown, the next criteria are that the breach must be able to be shown to have caused the damages that are being claimed. There must be a definitive link showing how the defendant’s negligence caused the wrongful death of their loved one.
- Provable Damages – The damages that are sought through the lawsuit must have a basis in reality and be real, quantifiable monetary amounts.
What Damages Can Families Seek?
The damages that victims may seek include:
- The cost of all hospitalizations
- Medical treatments
- Final expenses such as funerary and burial costs for the decedent
- The loss of their income and ability to provide for the family
- The loss of their potential future earnings
- The loss of potential guidance and protection of the decedent
- Expenses related to grief counseling and therapy for surviving family members
- The potential suffering, pain, and anguish that the victim endured before their eventual death
Bringing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit on Behalf of a Family Member
If you are one of the million people per year in the United States who experience a family member dying in a car crash, or a pedestrian in a fatal auto accident, you should reach out to an experienced local car accident attorney for a free consultation today.
Not only will an attorney be familiar with the best ways to build and strengthen a case, but they will be able to take care of most of the work for you. This way you and your family can begin the work of healing and recovery after such a traumatic and devastating loss. If you need legal assistance contact our office today.