Motor vehicle accidents are common and often result in one or all people involved sustaining injuries. In the worst instances, fatalities even occur. So what can lead to such catastrophic collisions? As with most accidents, many happen because someone was reckless or negligent.
Criminal charges don’t support the victim’s family, but the payout from a wrongful death lawsuit can help you and your loved ones with funeral expenses, burial costs, and more. If you lose a loved one in a fatal car accident due to another driver’s negligence, pursuing a wrongful death claim in civil court may be the best way to get justice for your loss. Talk to our Indianapolis car crash death lawyers about the details of your case to learn what your options are.
Here are some of the most common causes of fatal car accidents.
1. Distracted Driving: One of the single biggest causes of auto accidents in Indianapolis and nationally is distracted driving. In Indiana, 17% of crashes resulting in injuries involve a distracted driver. By not paying close enough attention to the road, drivers drastically increase their likelihood of crashing. Distractions can include using mobile phones, adjusting radios, consuming food and beverages, or even driving in a state of upset or distress.
2. Driving Over the Speed Limit: Driving too fast is another common cause of auto collisions. It is well known that driving at high speeds makes a vehicle harder to control, and those drivers who do lose control are more likely to cause more significant damage. It is also harder to bring a speeding vehicle to a stop in an emergency. Trying to save a few minutes off a commute is never an excuse for risking the lives of other drivers around you.
3. Driver Fatigue: Feeling drowsy at the wheel reduces a driver’s reaction time and can easily lead to accidents. Some drivers even fall asleep at the wheel. It is a driver’s responsibility to ensure they are rested enough to complete their journey safely. If you become tired while driving, find a safe spot to pull over and park where you can rest your eyes.
4. Drunk Driving or DUI : Alcohol and drug use before driving impairs reaction times and rational decision-making skills, so operating a vehicle with more than the legal limit in your system is an act of negligence and violators can be held liable in civil court for crashes they cause.
5. Reckless Driving: Some examples of reckless driving include tailgating, unsafe lane changes, and failure to yield. They can all be avoided by adhering to the rules of the road. Not adjusting driving speed to account for bad weather or poor visibility is also considered reckless and can contribute to accidents.
6. Disregarding Traffic Laws: Not obeying the laws of the road can lead to accidents. If someone drives the wrong way down a one-way street or makes an improper turn, they knowingly create a greater risk to other drivers who were following the law.
7. Driving an Unsafe Vehicle: Making sure a car is road-worthy is the responsibility of its owner, as faulty cars can cause trouble for more than just themselves. A vehicle that stalls on the highway or drops parts in the road can easily cause other vehicles to crash as they try to avoid the hazards.
All these reasons can be attributed to one main thing: The negligence (lack of care) of the person in control of the vehicle that caused the accident. These accidents are preventable. Any injuries or deaths resulting from them leave the person responsible liable to a lawsuit. An Indiana attorney at our law firm can assess the details of your case and help you file a claim.
The drivers in car accidents that result in an injury or fatality often face criminal charges. These, however, do not assist families facing a terrible and needless loss. Wrongful death lawsuits are a way to seek justice on behalf of families by holding the responsible drivers accountable for their actions and get grieving families compensation for the emotional suffering and financial hardship they are experiencing.
In Indiana, these lawsuits can be filed by the individual who is the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. This is usually a family member.
If you have lost a loved one or suffered a personal injury due to someone else’s carelessness and need to seek legal advice, contact Wagner Reese. When the stakes are the highest, Wagner Reese’s experienced Indiana wrongful death attorneys work hard to achieve a fair and advantageous outcome to your case.