Philadelphia Fatal Car Accident Lawyers
A fatal car accident leaves many more victims than just those who lose their lives in its wake. The family and friends of an accident victim must go on without their loved one, a fate that sometimes feels worse than death.
The fatal car accident lawyers of MyPhillyLawyer understand the grief and pain that accompanies such a loss as much as the legal and financial repercussions. We believe in helping accident victims and their loved ones to recover as much as they are able so they can focus on healing.
Fatal Accident Statistics
According to the latest statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), three people are fatally injured in vehicle accidents on Pennsylvania roads per day, or one death every eight hours. Around 90 people are killed in vehicle accidents per day nationally.
In 2019, PennDOT listed 125,267 reported crashes total and 1,059 fatalities. This figure continues to trend downward; 2019 represented the lowest number of annual fatalities in the state in 92 years.
Fatal car accidents take a devastating toll on the family and loved ones of the victim. There are financial impacts too. The average cost of a fatal car accident is $12,576,411. Beyond the immediate expenses like medical bills and funeral costs are the longer-term financial losses that can cripple a family that relied upon the wages and benefits of their loved one.
Causes of Fatal Car Accidents
The biggest contributor to fatal car accidents is distracted driving. This is especially true for younger drivers up to age 20. Speeding is another major cause. The rate of fatalities in an accident increases the faster any of the vehicles involved are traveling.
Other common causes of fatal accidents include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs (both illicit and prescription) or alcohol
- Drowsy driving
- Failure to wear seatbelts
- Road conditions
- Driving at night
Any accident can become a fatal one. When it is caused by a negligent or careless driver, however, the surviving loved ones of the victim(s) may feel it was especially pointless.
Types of Fatal Car Accidents
There are two different kinds of accident fatality, sudden and eventual. A sudden fatality occurs immediately or very soon after the accident. These deaths are often the result of catastrophic injuries.
An eventual accident fatality is when the victim dies from the injuries sustained in the accident later. This could be weeks, months or even years after the accident. Both types of accident are tragic.
Potential Damages in a Fatal Car Accident
After a fatal car accident, the family of the victim must contend with both the emotional and practical fallout of such a loss. They can recover damages from the person or party at fault for the accident in many cases by filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of the victim.
The spouse, children, parents or other representative (if immediate family members are unavailable) of the victim can possibly recover compensation for the following damages related to a fatal car accident:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
- Estate costs
- Loss of future wages and financial contribution of the victim
- Loss of benefits from the victim
- Pain and suffering of the victim
An experienced fatal car accident attorney can help the family determine a fair amount for these damages and any others that might apply to the case.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims
Pennsylvania law grants two years for a person injured or killed in an accident (or their representative) to file an accident or wrongful death claim. In cases where the victim was injured but survived, the two-year period begins on the date of the accident itself. If the victim died from their injuries, though, the two years begin on the date of death. This can occur much later than the accident itself.
It is important to observe this statute of limitations. Failure to do so could result in the loss of ability to recover compensation for damages from the accident. Contact a fatal car accident attorney as soon as possible to begin work on your case if you are considering legal action. They will gather necessary evidence and information to support your case and this takes time.
Contact a Philadelphia Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
If you are dealing with the death of a loved one after a car accident, capable and sensitive legal representation is a must. MyPhillyLawyer offers free consultations to discuss your case. Call 215-227-2727 to see how we can help you and your family.