Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Fatal car accidents on the rise in 2015

Based on statistics from the first nine months of 2015, Maryland drivers may be more likely to be in a fatal car accident than in previous years. From 2000 to 2014, fatal motor vehicle accidents declined over 22 percent around the country. There were 23,796 in the first nine months of 2014, but in the first nine months of 2015, that number rose to over 26,000.

Regionally, there were significant differences in the percent increase with the Northwest showing an increase of 20 percent, the Southeast 16 percent, and 2 percent in the mid-Atlantic and South Central states. In contrast, in 2014, overall traffic deaths went down 1.2 percent from the previous year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that it is important not to delay in acting on the 9.3 percent rise. With 94 percent of accidents caused by human factors, the agency is looking at initiatives to reduce the incidence of drunk driving, seat belt use and more. The agency is also running regional summits to look at safety issues.

The human toll of such accidents is very high even when they are not fatal. People may suffer from serious injuries ranging from fractures and broken bones to brain or spinal cord injuries that may be life-changing. They may find that the response from the responsible driver's insurance company is inadequate, and if this occurs, they may want to discuss the situation with an attorney. A driver may be deemed negligent in a personal injury lawsuit even if criminal charges have not been filed, as the burden of proof for a plaintiff in a civil action is lower than that for the prosecution in a criminal case.

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