Driving? It’s Deadly Out There: US Traffic Deaths Hit 16-Year High
Here are the numbers: 42,915 people.
That’s how many people the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates died in motor vehicle crashes last year in the United States. 42,915 lives lost. It’s a 16-year-high statistic; in fact, it’s a 10.5% increase from the previous year. It’s roughly the population of Hackensack, New Jersey. It’s a crisis, and a national tragedy.
But it’s more than that: each of those people whose lives were ended on America’s roads leaves behind an empty seat at the dinner table; many leave behind children, parents and loved ones – unbearable pain. Traffic fatalities don’t just end lives; they tear apart families and disrupt the survivor’s lives.
And they’re happening more and more. (Research places this alarming statistic behind only South Africa and Thailand.)
And here are some of the options for those left behind to pick up the pieces according to our friends at Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC. If a family member is killed in a car crash, what should you do? Here are some suggestions:
- Speak with a licensed therapist. The loss of a family member — be it a primary parent, a beloved cousin, or whomever — is often fraught with grief. Feelings may include rage, survivor’s guilt, self-destructive tendencies, or some combination thereof. It’s understandable not to know how to live through these emotions, and it’s important to know you’re not alone. Consider speaking with a licensed therapist and/or seeking out grief counseling regularly. This is also good advice for your children if they have lost a parent. We all grieve differently, and we often hit certain stages of grief at different times. This means that we don’t always understand why other family members feel the way we do. Grief counseling and therapy will help manage this.
- Take care of your own physical health. Trauma and grief can make us forget about our own physical health. The loss of motivation can mean that we start to lose out on exercise and fall out of our regular routines which have just been torn apart. As best you can, take the steps you need to exercise, sleep, and eat well.
- Consult with a personal injury attorney. There are many, many factors in traffic fatalities. Factors can range from speeding, to distracted driving, to driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, to an overworked truck driver – all resulting in careless driving. The point of filing a lawsuit against the other driver’s insurance company is to get money for what has been taken from you. It is the only way the law knows to compensate victims of trucking crashes and motor vehicle crashes.
A lawsuit can also help you get answers to your questions as to how the fatal crash happened.
Not every family member is allowed to recover compensation from the trauma of losing someone in a trucking crash or car crash. Most cases only allow a financial recovery for parents, spouses, and children.
Contact a personal injury lawyer today for help with your case.