Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is projecting a significant 12% increase in the number of people killed in traffic accidents in the first nine months of last year. According to the projected estimates by the federal agency, a total of 31,720 people were killed in traffic accidents between January and September of 2021. That makes it an increase of 12 percent from the same period of time the previous year.

But the news gets worse.  This increase marks the highest number of deaths in traffic accidents in the first nine months of any year since 2006. That means that fatalities during the first nine months of 2021 are projected to be the highest in more than 15 years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also estimates that the number of vehicle miles travelled in the first nine months of 2021 also increased by close to 2 percent compared to the same period of time the previous year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration divided the country into several regions with Georgia falling in Region 4. This region accounted for a 14% increase in fatalities in the first nine months of last year. Georgia’s performance mirrors the national average, and the state recorded a 12.2 percent increase in traffic accident deaths in 2021 compared to the previous year. In 2020, 1,185 deaths had been recorded in traffic accidents in the first nine months of the year, and that number has increased to 1,330 deaths in 2021. Increases were seen in 38 states, while in 10 states the numbers actually decreased, and in two states, there was no change in the numbers between 2020 and 2021.

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The federal administration is moving ahead in its plans to reduce the number of Americans being killed in traffic accidents every year with the announcement of a new strategy with the same objectives.

The Department of Transportation has published its National Roadway Safety Strategy with a goal of reducing the number of people killed in traffic accidents.  95% of transportation-related accidents in the country occur on our roads and highways.  The Department of Transportation estimates that 20,160 people died in transportation related accidents across the country in the first six months of 2021. That was an increase of 18.4%, compared to the first six months of the previous year. These numbers do not include the thousands of injuries that have occurred in these accidents, leaving victims severely or permanently injured, and burdening families with medical and other expenses.

In 2019, according to the Department of Transportation, Georgia ranked in the top 25% of states in number of fatalities with a total of 1,491 fatalities occurring in the state in transportation related accidents that year. Georgia is also close to the top of the list when it comes to the number of deaths per 100 million vehicle miles travelled with a rate of 1.12 roadway traffic fatality deaths for every 100 million miles travelled.

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Teens account for a greater proportion of all speeding-related accident deaths in the United States, compared to all other age groups. Those disturbing facts come from a new report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, which analyzed data between 2015 and 2019.

The report found that teen motorists, as well as their passengers between the ages of 16 and 19, accounted for a much higher proportion of accident deaths that were caused by speeding, with 43% of deaths occurring in this age group. In all other age groups, speeding accounted for approximately 30% of all deaths during the same time period.

According to the report, there were a total of 4,930 fatalities in accidents that were caused by speeding, between 2015 and 2019.  During this time, there were 15,510 teen driver and passenger accident deaths, and more than 5,200 of those occurred in accidents that were caused by speeding.

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The DOT’s National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration recently announced some welcome news for motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists around the country – traffic accident fatalities for 2017 were down by 2 percent.  This decline followed two prior years of large increases.  The decline in fatalities also continued for the first half of 2018.

Overall, according to data from the Department of Transportation, a total of 37,133 people died in traffic accidents across the country in 2017. That was a decrease of 2 percent from the previous year. This was also in stark contrast to the 6.5 percent increase in fatalities from 2015 to 2016 and the 8.4 percent increase from 2014 to 2015.   The trend also appears to have carried over into Georgia as total traffic deaths on Georgia roadways decreased in 2017 after two large years of increases in 2015 and 2016.

The data has more good news. It shows a 2 percent decrease in pedestrian fatalities. This was a traffic safety area that had been a huge source of concern for safety advocates because of the increase in pedestrian accident fatalities over the past several years. In 2017, federal authorities recorded the first decline in pedestrian accident fatalities since 2013, and that is welcome news indeed.

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August marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic death of Princess Diana. What many people are not aware of, however, is how Di’s tragic death in a Paris tunnel in 1997 significantly changed the driving landscape in France, and significantly reduced the number of car accidents.

After the accident in a Paris tunnel in 1997, French investigators came to the conclusion that the accident was the result of unsafe and dangerous driving practices. In 2002, the French government signed a number of new laws that were specifically designed to help reduce the incidence of unsafe driving. As a result of those laws, traffic accident fatalities in the country actually dropped by as much as one-third. This is a substantial reduction. According to Statista, the United States had 6.3 million car accidents in 2015. Therefore, if the United States was able to achieve a similar outcome, this would result in 2.1 million fewer car accidents each year.

In the new study, researchers claim that France’s decision to enact traffic safety laws in the aftermath of the tragic and high-profile death significantly improved traffic safety in that country, and may have helped save many lives. In fact, the study suggests that thousands of French lives could possibly have been saved as a result of these legal changes that were enacted. French road fatalities in the decades after the fatal crash fell by as much as 30% on an average, compared with an average of 15% in the United States.

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Earlier this month, Georgia officials joined hands with the Federal Highway Administration, OSHA, and various other local organizations to mark National Work Zone Awareness Week.

Using the slogan Work Zone Safety Is In Your Hands, this year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week aimed at educating construction workers about staying safe when in a zone, and encouraging motorists to be more careful when they travel through these areas.  Across Georgia, special safety stand-down events were conducted at work zone sites. These events encouraged employers to halt work across construction sites for one hour to pay special attention to safety practices at their construction sites. Employers used the hour to review safety practices currently in place, and to discuss potential hazards that continued to pose a safety risk to workers.

National Work Zone Awareness Week is designed to bring attention to the safety of not just construction workers in these zones, but also motorists who are traveling through these areas. Accidents that occur at construction work zones often result in serious injuries or death.

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Georgia’s laws clearly define eligibility criteria for a wrongful death claim. The laws also define the statute of limitations for filing a claim and allow for several different types of damages to be recovered.

Under Georgia law, the spouse of the deceased has the first claim to damages. If the spouse isn’t available, the children may file a wrongful death claim. If there are no children available to file a claim either, surviving parents of the deceased may bring a claim. If none of these parties are available to file a claim, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim to recover damages.

Under Georgia’s wrongful death laws, the survivors of the deceased / personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file to recover the following types of damages.

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Alarming statistics indicate that the rate of motorcycle accident fatalities in the United States in 2015 actually increased by 10% over the previous year.

The statistics were contained in a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). According to the GHSA, the statistics are a very stark and clear reminder of the continuous and ongoing danger that motorcyclists face when they are riding on American roadways.

According to the statistics, there were a total of 5,010 motorcycle accident fatalities in 2015. There were 450 fewer fatalities in 2014. Overall, 2015 also marked only the third year in American history that the total number of motorcycle accident fatalities crossed the 5,000 mark.

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Medical errors rank third, just behind heart disease and cancer as a leading cause of death in the United States. Those findings come from a new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

According to the study, patients who suffer injuries as the result of a medical error are much more likely to die, compared to persons who suffer from respiratory diseases like bronchitis and emphysema. The tragedy is that people may take precautions in order to prevent contracting bronchitis and emphysema, or any other diseases that could result in death, but may not realize that they have a much higher chance of dying from a medical error.

The study estimates that more than 250,000 U.S. deaths every year can be traced to medical errors. There are a number of medical errors that could injure or kill a patient.  Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, overmedication and other types of medical errors are often serious enough to cause a patient’s death.

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U.S. authorities are reporting a disturbing 10% increase in the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents across the country in 2015. Those statistics come from the Governors Highway Safety Association, which blames alcohol and drug use, higher speed limits, and an increase in the number of states repealing motorcycle helmet laws for this increase in fatalities.

According to the statistics, there were 5,010 motorcycle fatalities in 2015. That suggests an increase of 450 fatalities compared to the previous year. What makes these numbers even more alarming is that it is only the third year in American history in which the number of motorcycle fatalities has crossed the 5,000 mark.

The GHSA believes that enacting universal helmet laws would do much to help reduce the number of fatalities in motorcycle accidents every year. Currently, 32 states have no universal helmet use laws.  The Governors Highway Safety Association believes that restoring these laws would be a highly effective way of reducing the number of fatalities. In states that have such universal helmet laws, the rate of helmet use is as much as 89%. In other states, the rates hover at about 48%.

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