Many drivers in California have been involved in a car accident at some point during their lives. Most of these accidents are minor, but car accidents continue to be a significant cause of death every year. According to statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) fatalities from car accidents decreased from 2016 to 2017.
According to the data, there was an overall decrease in deaths from car accidents of about two percent. However, deaths from SUV and tractor-trailer crashes increased by 5.8 percent, and deaths from large straight-truck accidents were up by 18.7 percent.
The rise in large truck accident deaths is partially attributed to an overall rise in traffic density, meaning there are more cars on the road now than there were a couple years ago, especially in urban areas. Failure to wear a seatbelt continued to be a factor in crash fatalities, especially for large truck crashes, as there was a 16 percent increase in crash fatalities for large truck drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts over the previous year.
Alcohol-related crash fatalities have decreased according to recent statistics, but the number of deaths related to other intoxicating substances like opioids and marijuana has increased slightly.
A person who has experienced an injury as a result of a car accident may benefit from consulting a personal injury attorney. If a loved one has been killed in a car accident, family members may be able to file a claim for wrongful death. The right of family members to sue after a death is governed by state law.
An attorney may be able to help individuals who have suffered minor or catastrophic injuries file a claim against the responsible party. Most car accidents are covered by insurance. An attorney may be able to assist claimants by filing a claim, negotiating with insurance companies, interviewing witnesses and ensuring that the claimant receives a fair settlement.