Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

Published on:

The first three months of 2022 had more devastating news for American motorists with traffic and car accident wrongful deaths during this period of time hitting a 20-year high.  All estimates seem to suggest that far from offering hope for the future, the news on the traffic safety front does not seem to be getting better for motorists in Georgia and around the country.

The new estimates released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirms that there were more than 9,500 auto accident deaths in the first 3 months of this year.  According to the agency estimates, 9,560 people lost their lives in auto accidents across the United States in January, February and March of 2022.  That was a 7% increase from the number of wrongful deaths recorded in the first three months of 2021 when 8,935 people were killed in car accidents.  In still more devastating news for auto safety regulators, those numbers mark the highest number of auto accident deaths on record  since 2002.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reports that the projected traffic crash death rate increased to 1.27 auto accident deaths per 100 million vehicles travelled . The news was not all grim, however.  At least 19 states and Puerto Rico recorded declines in car accident deaths during the first quarter of this year.

Published on:

The weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day are often referred to as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer” for teen drivers.  Safety organizations are asking parents to pay attention to their children’s driving habits in order to reduce the risk of fatal auto accidents.

Car accidents are a major risk for teen drivers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that auto accidents are the second biggest factor in teen deaths.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that in 2020, 1,885 teen drivers lost their lives in car accidents.  That was an increase of 17% from the previous year.  Close to 190,000 drivers were injured in traffic accidents in 2020.

Teen drivers are at risk of being personally injured or killed in all types of car accidents including alcohol-related auto accidents, distracted driving car accidents and speeding- related car crashes. In 2020, 29% of teen drivers killed in car accidents had some amount of alcohol in their system at the time of the accident, while 82% of those persons had a blood alcohol concentration limits that were higher than the legal limit of .08.

Published on:

A US Senator is calling on the federal administration to strengthen frontal visibility standards for SUVs in order to prevent the kind of auto accidents caused when drivers are unable to see child pedestrians walking in front of the SUV. This visibility issue has resulted in pedestrian accidents which, all too often, result in the wrongful death or serious personal injury to the child.

SUVs are the most popular vehicles in the United States.  They are, unfortunately, also some of the deadliest vehicles on the road.  Because of their large size and bulk, SUVs pose a major threat of serious personal injuries and even wrongful death to occupants of a smaller vehicle involved in an auto accident with an SUV.  SUVs also come with a higher risk of a rollover.  Rollover car accidents are linked to a high risk of personal injuries and wrongful deaths.

Approximately 50% of all cars manufactured in the United States are now SUVs.  Sales of SUVs have risen even as overall car sales have fallen across the country. American motorists’ appetite for large vehicles does not seem to be ending any time soon, considering the popularity of large- sized SUVs in the market.

Published on:

Last year, Georgia made it legal for commercial establishments to sell to-go alcoholic drinks in sealed containers.  There have been concerns, however, that  to-go alcoholic drinks can increase a motorist’s risk of driving under the influence of alcohol and being involved in an auto accident.

The demand for alcoholic drinks which are sold in containers and are meant for persons to carry home with them skyrocketed during the pandemic when bars and restaurants were restricted in the number of patrons they could serve.  Seven states, including Georgia, passed laws that allowed the sale of these sealed containers of alcohol,  with restrictions imposed on these sales.  In Georgia, to-go cocktails must contain a maximum of 3 ounces of alcohol.  The container must be sealed with no option for a straw. Further, the person taking the alcoholic drink must store these somewhere safe like a locked glove  box and the container must not be opened while driving.  The law never meant for the use of these to-go cocktails by persons to drink while driving.  You  cannot drink these to-go cocktails as you do other non-alcoholic beverages while driving.

However, safety advocates have been concerned that the law allowing availability of alcohol in the car places all the responsibility for safe use of these drinks on the motorist. However, the law does not take into consideration the fact that motorists might be tempted to open the container and drink at the wheel. While initial data seemed to suggest that there is no significant increase in the risk of drunk driving car accidents as a result of to-go cocktail sales, states that have allowed the sale of such alcoholic beverages to go have seen an increase in drunk driving car accidents.  The flip side, however, is that states that do not allow or severely restrict the sale of these cocktails have also seen an increase in alcohol-related auto accidents in the past two years.  It is hard, therefore, to pinpoint the sale of alcoholic beverages as the reason for the spike in car accidents.

Published on:

Spurred by a recent spike in the number of people being killed in car accidents caused directly by speeding motorists, the federal administration is taking long awaited action. It is launching a nationwide campaign that specifically targets drivers who may be at risk of driving at reckless speeds.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced that it would launch a nationwide traffic safety campaign titled Speeding Wrecks Lives. The campaign will run across the country and will target motorists between the ages of 18 and 44, a demographic that the agency believes is much more likely to be at risk of driving at high speeds.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driving at high speeds is entirely preventable.  It has also been recently linked to a spike in the number of auto accident deaths recorded around the country.  There has been a very specific increase in the number of speeding related car accidents both in 2020 and 2021.  The spike has been alarming enough for the federal administration to take notice.

Published on:

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are very effective in helping reduce the risk of drunk driving auto accidents, but may not be really useful in preventing other types of car accidents.  In fact, the drop in drunk driving car accident wrongful deaths could actually be offset by the deaths in other types of auto accidents in which these ridesharing services are more likely to be involved.

In a new study. researchers compared car accident rates involving Uber and Lyft vehicles in cities where these are available. The researchers did not compare cities where ridesharing services are available with those where these services are not.  Rather, they compared individual ride hailing trips and compared the car accidents involving these trips.

They found that overall, the services were definitely helpful in reducing the risk of drunk driving auto accidents for obvious reasons. Safety advocates recommend that a person who is intoxicated choose a ride sharing service or taxicab instead of driving himself in an intoxicated condition.  To this extent, Uber and Lyft services seem to be very beneficial in helping intoxicated persons reach home safely without getting behind the wheel themselves. While intoxicated drivers may have other options, including mass transit or taxis, rideshare services seem to win out because of speed, convenience and ease of use to users who are more likely to prefer these.

Published on:

Speed racing or drag racing is surprisingly not uncommon in Atlanta, but much to people’s dismay, these races have become much more widespread during the pandemic. Georgia’s Governor is throwing his weight behind proposals, that would significantly penalize persons for street racing or drag racing.

When the pandemic hit, shelter-in-place restrictions went into effect and there was initially a marked reduction in the number of vehicles on Georgia’s roads. That, unfortunately, led to an epidemic of street racing by drivers using the newly empty streets to race against each other in reckless and dangerous behavior. Such behavior has become even more dangerous now as shelter-in-place restrictions have eased and more motorists are travelling again on the roads and highways. Street racing increases the racer’s risk of being involved in an accident and endangering innocent motorists who may be sharing these roads with them.

Georgia’s Governor has shown his support for new pieces of legislation that aim at keeping residents safer by increasing penalties for street racing and drag racing. These new proposals would penalize not just the street racers themselves, but also promoters of street racing. In fact, one bill would also penalize people who are watching these races. The goal is to discourage such rash practices that endanger the lives and safety of Atlanta residents.

Published on:

Georgia has unique wrongful death laws that govern the recovery of damages after a person is killed due to the negligence of another.

Under Georgia laws, a single claim will is usually not sufficient to recover the various types of damages that family members may be entitled to after the death of a loved one due to the recklessness or carelessness of another.  The law allows for the filing of two separate types of claims for recovery of wrongful death damages.

The first type of claim will help family members of the deceased recover damages to compensate for the full value of the life of the deceased. These damages can include damages that are directly related to the loss of the person. For instance, the claim will include lost income of the deceased, including lost wages as well as any benefits that he would have been eligible for if he had lived. Apart from these direct financial damages, this claim can also include compensation for the loss of the deceased’s care, affection, companionship and other non-financial losses.

Published on:

As the bad news on distracted driving continues to grow, there is some good news in the war against drunk driving. A new study indicates that the popularity of ridesharing apps like Lyft and Uber is contributing to a drop in drunk driving collisions.

The study was conducted in New York, and focused on those areas of the city that had been very quick to adopt Uber. Researchers compared accident rates in each of the city’s five boroughs, and found that the rate of alcohol-related car collisions dropped significantly in those boroughs which had quickly adopted Uber. In Staten Island, where Uber took a longer time to gain popularity, the rate remained the same. Earlier reports have also indicated some impact of ridesharing apps on people’s decisions and actions related to driving after consuming alcohol.

However, another study conducted last July yielded vastly different findings. According to data collected from around the country, ridesharing seems to have no effect on the number of people killed in drunk driving accidents on weekends or major holidays. Those researchers point to the fact that there still aren’t enough ridesharing drivers on the road to actually make a dent in the high rates of intoxicated driving on major holidays and weekends.

Published on:

Medical conditions, such as cardiac disease, increase the risk of truckers suffering an emergency at the wheel, and raise their risks of being involved in an accident.

That information comes from a new study, which focused on more than 49,000 commercial truck drivers. The researchers found that 34% of truck drivers suffered from at least one chronic medical condition, including diabetes, heart disease, or lower back pain. All of these conditions are typically linked to poor driving performance, and could significantly increase the risk of being involved in an accident.

Researchers found that many truck drivers were likely to suffer from more than one such condition. Truck drivers, who suffered three or more medical conditions, were 2 to 4 times more likely to be involved in a truck accident, compared to healthier truck drivers. The general accident rate in the study was 29 per 100 million miles traveled. Among drivers who suffered from three or more flagged medical problems, the rate was a staggering 93 per million miles traveled.

Contact Information