Unfortunately, our Fishers fatal car accident lawyers have seen a sharp spike and steady climb in catastrophic and fatal car accidents throughout the United States, including in Indiana. The National Safety Council published data showing around 42,000 people died in 2020 in the United States in car crashes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that 639 people died in car accidents in Indiana between January and September 2020. In 2021, this figure climbed by 9% to 699 fatalities from January to September 2021. This number has skyrocketed recently, even though fewer drivers were on the road in 2020. The NHTSA also showed that there were over 38,000 car accident fatalities in the United States — this is the highest number since 2007. This means thousands of families are left grieving the loss of loved ones.
If you are an heir or immediate family member, you have a right to compensation for your loved one’s death. Fatal car accidents can be complicated cases, and you’ll want to enlist the help of an experienced fatal car accident attorney in Hamilton County or Fishers, Indiana. Below we’ll outline more about the legal process to give you a better understanding.
How Often Do Fatal Car Crashes Occur?
Even though cars get safer every year, car accident fatalities keep climbing. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there were 35,766 fatal car crashes in 2020, and these accidents caused 38,824 deaths to bring the total cost to a staggering $474 billion, and the National Safety Council estimated that 4.8 million people had serious or life-changing injuries due to a car accident.
Also, the IIHS further broke down fatal car accidents by category. It found that 62% of the fatalities were passengers, 17% were pedestrians, 14% were motorcyclists, 2% were occupants of large trucks, and 2% were bicyclists. In addition, the NHTSA reported 23% of the occupants got ejected from the vehicles, and there were 2,564 deaths in 2020 due to hit-and-run accidents.
What Are Some of the Causes for These Serious Accidents?
The leading causes of fatal auto accidents are excessive speed and being under the influence of alcohol. You also have to factor in driver age because younger drivers are more prone to reckless behaviors. Below, you’ll find quick overviews of the biggest causes of severe accidents in Indiana:
In 2019, statistics showed that 210 people died as a result of being in a car accident with an impaired driver. This accounted for 26% of Indiana’s car accident fatalities.
Over 2,800 people in the nation and 27 in Indiana died due to distracted driving in 2018. In addition, these accidents caused over 2,000 injuries. Texting and driving were among the most significant contributing factors to distracted driving accidents.
Driving and being on the road around major US holidays increases your chances of being involved in a fatal car accident. Crowded roads, being in a hurry, and alcohol are also factors, as many people like to consume around the holidays and think they’re safe to drive. The top 10 deadliest holidays for car accidents are the following:
- Memorial Day with 448 average fatal crashes
- Labor Day with 445 average fatal crashes
- Independence Day with 440 average fatal crashes
- Father’s Day with 431 average fatal crashes
- Cinco De Mayo with 419 average fatal crashes
- Mother’s Day with 402 average fatal crashes
- Halloween with 396 average fatal crashes
- Thanksgiving with 391 average fatal crashes
- Veterans Day with 390 average fatal crashes
- Easter with 382 average fatal crashes
In 2019, Indiana had 20,200 speed-related car accidents, up 3% from 2018. Research also showed that 9% of all car accidents and 25% of fatal accidents were related to excess speed. Also, 60% of car accidents in Indiana were the result of people driving too fast for the weather conditions.
Reckless or Aggressive Driving
Many accidents also result from reckless or angry drivers who disregard other people’s safety. They tailgate cars, drive too fast, weave in and out of lanes of traffic, and may engage in road rage incidents. Indiana has serious road rage accidents, and it’s ranked 8th for the worst road rage states in the United States.
Types of Fatal, Serious and Catastrophic Accidents
All car crashes pose a significant risk for injuries or fatalities. The following are the top six high-impact types of accidents that can cause injuries in commercial and ordinary vehicles.
- Distracted Driving – Distracted driving is becoming more common, with people using cellphones, eating or drinking, wearing sunglasses or hats to obstruct their vision, or adjusting the stereo while they drive. This can cause them to miss road signs, speed, go through stop lights, or get in the way of another driver.
- Head-On Accidents – This happens when two cars drive straight toward one another and collide. Speeding, running red lights, and swerving are the most significant contributors to this accident. It can lead to severe injuries like major organ trauma, spinal cord damage, or broken necks.
- Multi-Vehicle Pile-Ups – During peak driving hours, drivers get restless. They may accidentally bump into another vehicle as they try and overtake the slower ones, causing an accident. Poor weather conditions can also factor in, and it’s easy to go from a two-vehicle accident to multiple involved vehicles.
- Rear-End Accidents – This is when one car’s front end strikes another car’s rear. It’s widespread in stop-and-go traffic but can also occur on highways. The severity of the crash will depend on the speed at the time of impact. However, most modern cars come equipped with bumper systems and crumple zones to protect passengers from these accidents and reduce the chances of injuries.
- Rollovers – The driver’s handling or maneuvers while driving cause this single-vehicle accident. The car can roll multiple times depending on the speed and the turn. These accidents subject you to impact from various sides, resulting in head, brain, and spinal injuries.
- T-Bone Accidents – A T-bone accident is when one car runs into another vehicle’s side. It’s common when a driver turns into oncoming traffic, but it can happen if you drift to the wrong side of the highway. Speed is the most significant factor determining this accident’s severity, and the damage is worse if you hit the passenger’s side. Concussions, whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones are all typical results of this accident.
Dangers of Collisions on Rural Roads in Indiana
Head-on, car-to-car collisions are much more likely to happen on undivided, rural highways in Indiana over urban roads. Also, head-on collisions with objects like trees are more likely to occur on rural, curvy roads. This is because these roads usually have no barriers between the lanes on the road, and they have higher speed limits.
The NHTSA reported that 63% of fatal car accidents in Indiana happen on rural roads. This is largely because once you get in an accident, it may take longer to report the accident and get help, especially if it’s a single-person crash. There may not be another person who witnesses the crash around to call for help. This increases the chances of the car accident turning deadly.
What Is a Wrongful Death in a Car Accident Case?
A wrongful death claim is possible when a person dies due to another person’s reckless, careless, or intentional act. This is a civil claim, so the defendant won’t face criminal charges. Instead, the car accident lawyer has to build a liability case to secure monetary damages for you. However, the defendant may face criminal prosecution for a wrongful death lawsuit.
If your family member dies in a car accident that the other party caused, your auto accident lawyer could file a wrongful death claim against the other party. In Indiana, a personal injury case can include wrongful death. You can also file a standard civil lawsuit and create the basis of your case from Indiana’s wrongful death statute. As the plaintiff, your auto accident attorney will have to present evidence to support this wrongful death claim.
Your car accident injury attorney can use text message time stamps, phone records, and traffic cameras to help prove a wrongful death claim. In addition, your car injury attorney has to try and prove driver negligence. A few examples of negligence are the following:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Driving without a valid license
- Failure to yield
- Running a stop sign or red light
Every motorist owes others on the road a duty of care. This includes cyclists, other drivers, and pedestrians. Your personal injury lawyer can hold any person on the road liable for their actions if they disobey Indiana’s traffic laws. This includes filing wrongful death claims.
Car Accident Attorney in Fishers
If you were involved in a car accident and suffered injuries or a family member died, you’ll want a professional and experienced fatal accident lawyer on your side. In Fishers, Indiana, and Hamilton Country, our clients know they can turn to our car accident law firm.
We’ve built a reputation in our community for fighting for victims of automobile accidents, no matter how large or small the case may be. Our dedicated team is ready to help build a solid case to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a consultation.
Some of the locations in and around Hamilton County which our automobile accident law firm serves include: Carmel, Noblesville, Greenwood, Indianapolis, Gary, Highland, Munster, East Chicago, Hammond, Lawrence, and more.
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