Car accident fatalities can devastate families, which is why the legal system provides remedies to help those affected by them. Car accident fatalities in the United States increased last year and are on track this year to be even worse. Deaths in automobile accidents increased by a little over 7 percent in 2015 from 2014. The total number of car accident fatalities in 2015 was 35,092. The increase represented the most significant increase since 1966. In addition, the National Safety Council recently reported that car accident fatalities are up 9 percent for the first half of 2016.

According to experts, one cause alone cannot be blamed for the increase, though the increased use of cell phones has likely led to an increase in distracted driving. Improvements in the economy and employment have led to more people driving to work. A greater number of commercial vehicles on the roadways also raises the chances of crashes between large trucks and cars. In addition, improved weather and a record-setting warm winter this past season brought more crashes, as a greater number of drivers, motorcycles and pedestrians were on the roadways.

In 2015, car accident-related fatalities were at their lowest when 2,380 victims were killed in February. That number then spiked in August of that same year when 3,680 victims were killed. Family members of victims killed in fatal accidents may suffer financial harm on top of the emotional harm they are already facing surrounding the unexpected loss of a loved one. Wrongful death legal options are available to protect families and help them recover damages for the emotional and financial harm they have suffered.

Surviving family members of fatal accident victims should know that they do not need to be left on their own to sort out all of the emotional and financial challenges they face following the loss. The legal process provides resources to help them as they face the struggles associated with the wrongful loss of a loved one.

Source: CNN.com, “Why more people are suddenly dying on U.S. roads,” Matt McFarland, Aug. 31, 2016