Wrongful Death Claims May Follow Fatal Accidents
Fatal accidents have been a reality on the roads since cars were invented. Fortunately, according to recent statistics issued by the state police, New Jersey fatal accidents decreased in number in 2012, as well as 2013. However, 542 people still died in 508 accidents in New Jersey during 2013. Wrongful death claims may follow these fatal accidents, as the families of victims decide to file civil claims.
The lower number of fatal accidents is attributed to a variety of factors, such the use of safety belts by the majority of car users and the fact that cars are becoming safer. However, even though improved technology has led to cars being safer, new technology plays a part in the high number of deaths on roads in New Jersey. It is reported that driver distraction has become the number one cause of fatal accidents since 2008.
Distracted driving and driving under the influence can be compared. It is said that, as little as a decade ago, campaigns were what led to the decrease in fatalities due to drunk driving and the increase in seat belt use. Now, the issue is distracted driving, and campaigns will have to be developed in an attempt to fight this new problem.
Currently in New Jersey, the “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign has been launched in an attempt to curb the problem. As part of the campaign, local authorities have been awarded additional money to use to police distracted driving. Furthermore, there are different bans relating to the use of handheld phones while driving, which include bans on texting and a total ban on cellphone use, handheld or not, for certain classes of drivers.
In fatal motor vehicle accidents, where driver inattention or distraction was a contributing factor, the victims’ family members may choose to file wrongful death claims against the negligent drivers. A successful wrongful death claim may allow the family of the deceased to pay unexpected expenses arising from the accident. This can help ease a family’s financial suffering during a time when the family members are already emotionally distraught.
Source: newjerseynewsroom.com, “Distracted Driving Is Main Cause of Fatal Accidents in N.J.“, Judy Pokras, Nov. 7, 2014