The roads that cross the United States, from the interstate highways to city roads to country roads are extensive, but the unfortunate truth is that they are not always safe for drivers or pedestrians, and sometimes, wrongful death may result when cars, trucks, or motorcycles get involved in collisions with each other or with nearby property. Motorcycle accident cases may often involve a drunk or distracted driver smashing into a motorcyclist’s vehicle in a busy intersection, or semi truck accident cases when a truck slips on an icy road and collides with a person’s car, killing the driver or a passenger inside. If wrongful death has happened, the family of the deceased may launch a wrongful death suit against the at-fault party, and look for settlement money from their insurance company or some other form of compensation. A wrongful death suit may often be the first thing on a family’s mind after the loss of a loved one or collisions with commercial vehicles, but there is a right way to pursue a wrongful death suit as opposed to more hasty and ineffective methods. How often are Americans hurt or killed on the roads, and what should be done to launch a successful wrongful death suit?
Accidents and the Road
A number of collisions, injuries, and fatalities occur across the United States on its roads, but urban and rural, day and night. About six million car accidents take place across the nation each year, in fact, and about three million injuries are the result of all this. The number of fatalities tends to much lower than the rate of injuries, but fatalities do happen, whether to car drivers or their passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, or even pedestrians. Those who ride motorcycles may want to extra vigilant about the road and other vehicles, since data shows that motorcyclists face the risk of death much more than other vehicle operators. In fact, according to fatal crash data from 2016, motorcyclists are killed 28 times more often than the operators of other vehicles such as cars and trucks, possibly because a motorcycle does not shield the operator the way the doors and roof of a car (and the airbag and seat belt) protect a driver.
What causes these crashes? Often, drivers on the road today are driving drunk, or DWI, and a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher alone constitutes a crime while driving, even if no crash occurs, and drunk drivers will have impaired coordination and judgment that makes collisions more likely. And in some states, the legal threshold for BAC may be even lower, and while some drivers think that driving “buzzed” is a safer alternative, it has generally been demonstrated that buzzed driving is no safer. Some drivers are distracted drivers, meaning that they are paying more attention to the car dashboard features or a handheld electronic device rather than the road, and this makes them too late to respond to developments such as incoming traffic or pedestrians. Fatalities, in general, often occur when a driver is not being responsible, and a wrongful death suit is bound to follow.
Filing a Wrongful Death Suit
The family of a loved one who was killed in a wrongful death suit can launch litigation once they find legal help, since attempting this alone without an expert’s aid may prove complicated, difficult, and expensive. The good news is that a number of law firms exist that specialize in wrongful death and similar cases, and the family of a loved one who was killed in a road accident (and similar accidents) can reach out to them and get help.
A wrongful death attorney offers a number of advantages for the client. For one thing, this lawyer will be objective and clear-headed about the case, allowing them to use the law effectively to make their arguments and not get distracted by irrational or emotionally charged thinking like the clients might do. This attorney will have experience and skills with the relevant laws to make the case more effective in court, and make it more likely that the clients will get the results they want. After consultations at a firm, a lawyer can then be chosen for the job.