National traffic reports for 2019 show a drop in fatal car crashes compared to 2018 in nine out of 10 regions in the country.
Traffic Fatalities Drop in 2019
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), part of the Department of Transportation (DOT), tracks and records traffic deaths around the country each year. In early 2019, DOT estimated a projection of 36,120 motor vehicle fatalities which represented a 1.2 percent drop from 36,560 actual reported fatalities in 2018.
To generate gross fatality estimates, DOT analyzed numerous crash factors. The 2019 numbers projected slight decreases in traffic fatalities for vehicle drivers and passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. However, fatality projections for senior drivers over age 65 and drivers of large commercial trucks increased. In Chicago, a car accident lawyer often sees higher numbers of fatal car crashes linked to elderly drivers and commercial truck drivers.
While NHTSA does not collect detailed accident data, fatality estimates allow for regional changes. NHTSA analyzes data by collecting information from police crash reports in different areas. Estimated figures in 9 out of 10 regions of the country show a drop in vehicle traffic fatalities for 2019 compared to 2018. NHTSA reports show that traffic deaths increased for occupants in large commercial trucks, bicyclists, and pedestrians in 2018 compared to 2017. Final numbers for 2018 and the annual NHTSA report for 2019 will be available in the late fall of 2020.
Filing a Car Accident Claim
Although car accident claims for property damages are often handled through insurance companies, a car accident lawyer can help to prove damages and recover compensation, especially when injuries and fatalities occur. A car accident lawyer can negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company to reach a fair settlement and represent the accident victim in court if an agreeable settlement can’t be reached.
Car accidents often result in life-altering injuries that result in months or years of pain and suffering, medical treatments, surgeries, and physical therapy. If a traffic accident results in death, the victim’s family will be forced to deal with medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and emotional distress.
In Illinois, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed in court by a car accident lawyer within two years of the date of the accident. If the injury victim dies, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years from the date of death, not the date of the accident.