A car accident has the potential to be disastrous. It has been found that some car accidents have a higher death rate than others. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), road traffic injuries affect millions of people annually worldwide. Approximately 1.35 million people die each year because of traffic crashes.
Motor vehicle accidents are also one of the leading unnatural causes of death in the world. Some victims die at the time of the accident, while others survive and deal with critical injuries. At times, injuries are so severe that they ultimately lead to the death of the individual. Here, we have outlined some common causes of accidents and injuries that increase the likelihood of fatality.
While riding in a vehicle of any kind, people should always take necessary precautions. Whether you are riding in a car, truck, or on a bicycle, you should follow the safety rules and wear protective gear to prevent the risk of injuries. Accidents, however, are unpredictable and sometimes unavoidable.
The following are some of the common causes of a car crashes that can lead to the death of an individual:
- Not wearing a seat belt- It is important to emphasize that wearing a seatbelt can save your life. If an accident occurs and those inside the vehicle are not wearing their seatbelts, they may suffer significant injuries or death.
- Speeding- An accident is directly influenced by speed. The greater the speed of the car, the greater the force of impact will be. Therefore, the risk of experiencing serious injuries as a result of the accident is even higher. Severe injuries and death are possible when traveling at dangerously high speeds.
- Distracted driving – This can include fiddling with a radio, talking on a cell phone, texting, reading a book or simply daydreaming. When a driver is not paying attention, they are not only putting the lives of those in the vehicle at risk, but they are also putting the lives of other drivers and pedestrians at risk.
- Drunken driving- Distracted driving or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is another cause of car accidents. When driving under the influence of a mind altering substance, drivers are not able to maintain safe control of the vehicle. Driving while intoxicated is also against the law.
- Head-on collisions- Head-on collisions are among the most disastrous vehicle accidents on the road. When a car hits another head-on, drivers in both vehicles are at a high risk of critical or fatal injury.
- Rollover accidents- Rollover accidents have the highest fatality rate and generally occur when the vehicle loses control.
- Commercial truck crashes – The severity of an accident can also depend on the size of the vehicles involved. When a car is involved in a crash with a large commercial truck, there are often catastrophic damages.
Most of the time, accidents are caused by driver error and negligence while driving on the road. These accidents can be prevented if an individual pays attention.
Contact a New Jersey Car Accident Attorney to recover compensation if you have been in a traffic accident or a car crash.
Recovering Compensation for Losses and Damages
A wrongful death claim in New Jersey is typically filed by the surviving family members or personal representative of the estate. Family members of the deceased can legally file a claim if they are a qualifying dependent, to include parents, spouse, children, or grandchildren of the deceased person.
After a car accident, the first concern should be to seek immediate medical help. Immediate medical treatment could save the life of an individual. People should seek a medical exam even if they believe their injuries to be minor.
For example, internal bleeding injuries may not be identified until you are medically examined. Internal bleeding can lead to sudden death. Therefore, medical attention is necessary even if your injuries are not obvious.
Another type of hidden injury is head trauma. A traumatic brain injury occurs because of a sudden blow to the head. The outcome of the accident can be severe and may disrupt the overall functioning of the brain. Some people might shrug off head trauma as a minor bump, only to discover later that long term and potentially irreversible damage has occurred.
In addition, a sudden external force to the head can damage the brain tissue of the victim. In some cases, the victim’s brain stops functioning, which may result in a coma or long periods of unconsciousness.
Broken ribs are another injury that often goes overlooked. If a piece of the bone penetrates an organ such as the lungs, heart, intestines, or liver, it is critical to treat the condition at the earliest possible moment to reduce the risk of death.
NJ Statute of Limitations
New Jersey has a statute of limitations of two years from the date of death, meaning that family members can file a claim until two years have expired. They may be able to recover the following damages for a wrongful death action:
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of companionship and care
- Loss of the benefit of household services
- Economic losses, such as medical bills, funeral expenses, and burial costs
In addition to the wrongful death claim, qualifying dependents might also be able to make a claim under the New Jersey Survival Statute. Under this law, the estate of the victim can pursue compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses that the victim incurred because of the accident that resulted in untimely death.
What to Do in Case of Wrongful Death?
Injuries caused by a car accident can lead to serious complications and increase the risk of fatality. Sometimes victims suffer from injuries for months or even years before the medical issues caused by the car accident ultimately result in death.
Often, the treatment is ineffective, which may also contribute to death. If you suffer from an injury caused by an accident, you should take it seriously and be treated by a medical professional. Treatment at an early stage may prevent death.
The pain of losing a loved one can be unbearable for family members. It can have both mental and financial consequences. There are steps one can take to seek just compensation if they have lost a loved one in a car accident.
- Explore your legal options and get justice: You may be able file a lawsuit against the negligent driver to seek compensation for your injuries. New Jersey is also a “no-fault” car insurance state, which means options for pursuing a claim can be limited if you are injured in a car accident; however, residents have the option of purchasing a “Standard Policy,” which includes bodily injury liability. Moreover, New Jersey no-fault rules apply to injuries caused by car accidents. They do not apply to vehicle damage claims. A claim for property damage to the vehicle can be made against the at-fault driver. You may have to contact the deceased’s car insurance company to begin the process.
- Save all medical records: Keep careful records of medical treatment and document any medical expenses and hospital bills related to treating injuries caused by the accident.
- Surviving family members can file a lawsuit: Nothing can replace the loss of a loved one; however, a negligence claim may provide financial support. Surviving dependents can consider filing a lawsuit. Insurance laws in NJ are complicated. You may want to consult with a lawyer to understand how to proceed with a third-party claim or a lawsuit in New Jersey.
If you have lost a loved one, you must take the necessary legal steps to get justice. You can get a no-obligation consultation from an experienced New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer who will explain your legal options and assist you throughout every step of the process.