The South Carolina Department of Transportation recently released its 2015 Traffic Fatality Report, which details the extent and characteristics of traffic fatalities throughout the state over the past year. Despite advances in vehicle safety mechanisms and law enforcement programs designed to increase driver safety, the number of traffic fatalities in the state of South Carolina has continued to rise.
Factors Contributing to Traffic Fatalities
There was a total of 950 traffic-related fatalities in South Carolina last year, which was the highest number of fatalities since 2007. 54% of South Carolina traffic fatalities involved drivers or passengers who were not wearing seatbelts, and 28% of the accidents were speed-related. Likewise, motorcycle fatalities were at an all-time high, reaching a total of 132 in 2015. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of fatal motorcycle accident victims – a whopping 83% - were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash; and 44% of these fatalities involved a vehicle that had left the roadway, with the number of fatalities involving a tree up more than 50% over 2014.
Negligence and Traffic Fatalities
While some of South Carolina’s fatal accidents in 2015 did not involve other drivers or vehicles, the negligence of others all too often is a cause of fatal traffic accidents. When negligence leads to a traffic-related fatality, the negligent individual may be liable for the resulting damages and losses. In the case of a fatality caused by negligence, surviving family members of the deceased may have a legally valid wrongful death claim against the negligence individual or vehicle owner. Without the appropriate legal guidance, however, you may lose your right to pursue such a claim.
Wrongful Death Claims and South Carolina Law
Any type of personal injury or wrongful death claim can be a very complex matter, especially if there are multiple drivers and vehicles involved. As a result, getting the advice of an experienced Aiken wrongful death attorney to evaluate your case and assess the validity of your potential claim is simply essential. You need a professional to investigate the accident, determine the cause or causes of the accident, and estimate the level of liability should you choose to file a wrongful death claim. There also are strict timeframes that you must follow in order to file a wrongful death claim. If you fail to meet these important deadlines you may lose your right to file any claim against the negligent party altogether. Given the grief and trauma that you likely are experiencing following the death of a loved one in an accident, you need legal guidance in order to make the decisions that are best for you and your family.
Call Surasky Law Firm for Help
As a result of the likely complexity of wrongful death actions and the strict deadlines involved, it is necessary that you contact an experienced South Carolina personal injury attorney as quickly as possible. We have the tools necessary to investigate, evaluate, and advise you of any potential legal claims may stem from a loved one’s accident. Contact the Surasky Law Firm today at 1-803-593-3912 and learn how we can help you through the process of filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim.