As if we don’t have enough to worry about with COVID-19, the National Safety Council reports that traffic fatalities per miles driven have increased greatly during the pandemic. This means that even some families not directly impacted by deaths due to the coronavirus are facing the anguish of burying their loved ones, often without even the solace of funerals.
A new National Safety Council report shows that the number of motor vehicle fatalities per miles driven increased by 14 percent above the rate for March 2019, in large part due to cars speeding on the relatively open roadways. It is important to note that the report counts any person who dies as the result of a motor vehicle accident as a traffic fatality, including: drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. For this reason, the fact that more bicyclists and pedestrians have been up and about in their neighborhoods during this period has no doubt contributed to the elevated number of motor vehicle accident deaths.
Those whose relatives have died as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness on the road may be entitled to significant damages through a wrongful death claim. In the Los Angeles area, Compass Law Group, LLP, with impeccable credentials and a track record of success, is here to help. While filing a lawsuit will not undo the tragedy, it may cover medical bills and other related expenses and provide some sense of justice.
Why did the traffic fatality rate increase with fewer people on the road?
As states across the country began issuing stay-at-home orders in March, fewer drivers were on the road. In addition, millions who lost their jobs, and millions more who were instructed to work from home, meant a much smaller number of commuting motorists.
For this reason, the miles traveled went way down. Unfortunately, however, a much higher percentage of those driving drove recklessly on the relatively empty roads. Speeding became an epidemic, so the collisions that did take place were much more likely to be deadly. California, like most states, has therefore seen significant increases in roadway fatality rates.
Los Angeles Is No Exception When It Comes to These Alarming Statistics
Notwithstanding the sharp decline in traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people killed in car collisions in Los Angeles in 2020 is about the same as it was at this point in 2019. This means that there has been an extremely disturbing increase in death by motor vehicle. As a matter of fact, through mid-May, 86 people have died in traffic collisions in L.A. — nearly as many as have died in homicides. Though homicides are more likely to be intentional and/or malicious, victims suffer the same results.
With some drivers in Los Angeles clocked at traveling at more than 130 mph, some of these vehicular accidents were undoubtedly wrongful deaths. Tempting though it may be to speed and pay less attention on roads that are much emptier than usual, negligent and reckless drivers must be held accountable. Those who have lost family members in such accidents need experienced motor vehicle accident attorneys to assist them in winning the substantial damages they deserve.
With cases of coronavirus increasing, then decreasing, then increasing again, the number of vehicles on the road continues to vary. Pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as drivers, have to learn to modulate their behavior and always be cautious. In an effort to avert disasters on streets with speeds that have increased by as much as 30 percent, Los Angeles officials have changed most pedestrian walk signals to nighttime settings in an effort to protect those on foot.
Damages a Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney Can Help You Obtain
Wrongful death lawsuits never really have winners, but with a skilled traffic accident team on your side, you may be able to receive a settlement that covers:
- Final medical costs
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost income and gifts the deceased would have provided
- Household service costs to replace tasks the victim managed
- Loss of companionship, guidance, assistance and consortium
If the defendant’s conduct was particularly outrageous, the court may also award you punitive damages to discourage similar misconduct and punish the defendant.
Don’t Let Covid-19 Prevent You from Contacting a Knowledgeable Attorney
Considering the fact that more Americans have died in car accidents since 2000 than were lost during both World Wars, the number of wrongful death lawsuits filed is disproportionately low. The terrible grief following such a traumatic loss often prevents plaintiffs from taking legal action. Now, with the complexities of the coronavirus also demanding attention, even more people may not be contacting car accident attorneys. If you have lost a loved one in such an awful way, don’t procrastinate. Compass Law Group is open for business and prepared to support you wholeheartedly in your search for justice.