The National Safety Council tracks the number of people who die on U.S. roadways. The organization has done so since 1921. In 2016, 2017, and 2018, the number of deaths resulting from injuries sustained in a car accident have topped 40,000 each year.
If you’re in a car accident involving fatalities, you face far more than physical injuries. The emotional toll of watching someone who is dying can be extremely hard to handle. A fatal car crash often has drivers and passengers trapped in the crushed metal framing of the car they’re in. Sometimes, people are ejected through windows and thrown yards from the vehicle. Property damage can be extensive. If you survive a car crash where there were fatalities, prepare yourself for the physical and emotional toll.
Focus on Your Care First
If you were involved in the accident, it’s very likely you’re injured. Often those injuries are severe. While you’re at the hospital, see if a friend or family member can take photos of the vehicles in the crash and the scene. If you have a dash cam installed in your car, someone needs to get the SD card or save a copy of the video footage before, during, and after the crash. If you can’t get someone to go to the scene and you’re able to communicate with the police, tell them how the camera’s dash cam footage is recorded and how to save it.
Do not deny medical care, however. Shock and adrenaline surge through your body following a crash. Adrenaline is epinephrine, and it helps the body with a fight or flight response in times of danger. One of the things it does to help is reduces the ability to feel pain while you’re in danger.
You could be bleeding internally and not realize it. You could have a head injury that you’re not aware of. Ignoring it can put your life at risk. It’s critical that you let a doctor look you over, take x-rays or other scans, and ensure you really are okay. In crash involving fatalities, it’s very likely you have injuries such as fractures, internal bleeding that requires surgery, or sever lacerations. Let a doctor treat you. If you worry about the cost, remember that automobile insurance policies cover medical expenses.
Talk to the police and make sure you get a copy of the accident report, the other driver’s/drivers’ details, insurance information, and witness contact information. Your insurance agent will need this when processing a claim.
Make sure you’re taking care of yourself emotionally, too. Stress and anxiety are common after you’re in a fatal accident. You may be haunted by visions of the accident scene. You’ll need therapy for PTSD.
What If You’ve Lost a Loved One Due to a Fatal Accident?
When you’re loved one gets behind the wheel to go to work, take a trip, or run errands, no one wants to imagine what happens if that driver is killed. If you’re a victim because another driver crashed into your family member or significant other and killed him/her, it’s a devastating blow. Grief counseling is important during upcoming weeks and months.
You have a funeral to pay for, but it can take weeks or months before you see any money. Auto insurance may not cover all of the expenses you face. You have all of these issues to attend to while you’re also heavily grieving. You should talk to an attorney that specializes in wrongful death claims.
Talk to an Attorney
Around 10 percent of car crashes today are linked to distracted or sleepy drivers. If you saw the driver that crashed into you and other cars on a phone, using the GPS system, or driving recklessly in some manner, call an attorney as soon as you can.
An insurance claims agent will look at the value of your car, your medical bills, the amount of time you can’t work, and property damage. Those monetary figures are used to come up with the settlement offer. It may not be close to being enough money.
In that fatal accident, you could be left with permanent disabilities that impact your life. You may not be able to remain in your chosen career. It may be harder to care for your children and family. You may suffer from PTSD that keeps you from feeling safe in any type of vehicle. This will impact your finances for the rest of your life.
You need to talk to a personal injury attorney about your accident. An attorney can look over the settlement offer and decide if it’s fair. If not, the attorney will have valuable insight on what steps you should take next. Trial Lawyers for Justice offer free consultations and advice for victims and families of fatal car crashes.
Attorneys at TL4J have helped victims and their families win more than $1.5 billion in wrongful death and personal injury settlements and verdicts. Call them today at 866-TL4J-LAW to discuss your situation.