According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2005 fatal car crashes in North Carolina resulted in costs of $1.5 billion. According to that study, which was discussed in an earlier blog post, medical-related costs constituted $18 million of the total loss while work-loss costs were an astounding $1.48 billion. This statistic shows that in addition to the emotional impact of the loss of a loved one, a fatal accident can severely affect survivors financially.
When a loved one dies in an accident because of the negligence of another person, surviving family members often choose to file a lawsuit to seek compensation from the party determined to have been negligent. Under North Carolina's laws, the action must be brought within two years of the date of death.
There are many good reasons to travel on the roads: for example, to go to work, to shop or to meet family and friends. However, statistics show that each year, many people are killed in car accidents in North Carolina and all over the United States. But is this a good enough reason to stop using the roads?
Car accidents are a problem on the major highways and minor byways of North Carolina. A leading cause of car accidents is distracted driving which is the result of many risky driving behaviors, such as texting while driving, driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, more widely known as drunk driving. North Carolina imposes strict penalties for those who break distracted driving laws.
While the roads are filled with cars traveling safely each and every day, there are unfortunate cases of accidents and injuries that can occur when things go wrong. Incidents involving cars and trucks can at best end in a small dent or scratch. However, there are times when these types of accidents end in much more tragic ways. Such is the case of a recent fatal car accident in North Carolina.
Almost no one is ever prepared to deal with the tragedy of losing a loved one in a fatal motor vehicle accident. Only those who have suffered through such a hardship can know how painful it is to suddenly have a family member ripped away. And then, to add further pain, the families of victims are oftentimes left with overwhelming financial challengers. However, when it comes to the financial challenges, there are steps families can take to help alleviate some of this burden.
One of the most deadly types of accidents is that of the head-on collision. The amount of force involved in these crashes creates a large possibility for devastating results. Fatalities are common following head-on collisions. In an instant, lives are changed, as families may be suddenly forced to deal with the trauma of losing a loved one in a motor vehicle accident. For some of these families, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be an appropriate action to take.
The circumstances that led to a car accident are not always clear. Though it is easy to make conjectures immediately following a crash, for example, pointing to weather as being the cause of an accident, it is not always so clear-cut. Even if weather was a factor in an accident, it does not rule out other explanations. Sometimes, further investigation reveals that driver negligence was involved, in which case victims and their families often choose to press charges and pursue compensation from the driver-at-fault.
It is tragic that due to the increase in traffic over the holiday season, the number of car accidents and fatalities also increases. Weather may play a role in many of these accidents since Thanksgiving often marks the beginning of winter weather like snow, ice, and sleet. In many other accidents, however, driver error or negligence is often the cause. Drivers fall asleep at the wheel during long trips, drivers are distracted by passengers, and drivers engage in dangerous and risky behaviors like speeding or drunk driving. While many of these accidents are relatively minor, fatal accidents are not uncommon.
Over two years ago the families of three individuals killed in a crash on Interstate 40 in North Carolina received the worst news possible. Their loved ones died after the vehicles in which they occupied were involved in a fatal accident that was started when a tractor-trailer struck a car. The man who was behind the wheel of the truck responsible for the incident was recently sentenced for his role. The prison sentence he received is for more than 11 years.