Car crashes in Atlanta are extremely common. The volume of traffic increases the risk of being involved in a traffic accident. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury fatalities and the second leading cause of emergency room visits and hospitalizations in Georgia.

In 2018, there were 45,944 traffic collisions in Fulton County. An average of 151 car accidents were reported each day in Fulton County between 2014 and 2018.

Nationwide, there are over six million traffic crashes each year in the United States. In 2019, there were over 6.75 million traffic accidents. 

The National Safety Council (NSC) analyzed the data from 2019 car accidents and calculated the odds of dying in a car accident. It compared the data to other leading causes of death to calculate your lifetime odds of dying from selected accidents. 

What Are the Odds of Dying in a Traffic Crash?

According to the NSC, you have a one in 107 chance of dying in a car accident. You have a better chance of dying in a car accident than a gun assault (1 in 289) or drowning (1 in 1,128).

However, your odds of dying from suicide are greater (1 in 88) than the odds of dying in a car crash. The odds of dying from a fall (1 in 106) are also greater than the odds of dying in a car accident. 

Pedestrian deaths are at a 30-year high. But the odds of dying in a pedestrian accident are much lower at 1 in 543. Motorcyclists also have a lower chance of dying in a motorcycle accident (1 in 899) than passengers in a car.

Can You Lower Your Chance of Dying Because of a Car Accident?

You can’t predict the outcome of a traffic accident. The circumstances and factors of the accident determine the severity of the injuries. However, you can reduce your risk of being in a car accident by avoiding dangerous driving behaviors.

Some driving behaviors increase your risk of being involved in an accident, including:

  • Reckless driving
  • Speeding
  • Drowsy driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (impaired driving)
  • Following too closely (tailgating)
  • Distracted driving (including texting while driving and talking on a cell phone)
  • Disobeying traffic laws
  • Aggressive driving or road rage

You cannot control the actions of other drivers. Therefore, it is always a good idea to leave an adequate distance between your vehicle and other vehicles. Always wear your seat belt and choose a vehicle with additional safety features, such as curtain airbags and side airbags.

Who is Responsible for a Fatal Car Accident in Atlanta, GA?

The driver who caused the car accident can be financially liable for any damages after a collision. You must prove that the other driver was at fault before you can recover damages for a car accident. 

In some cases, more than one party could be liable for a fatal car accident. For example, a government entity could be liable for a fatal car crash if the accident involved a government vehicle or the agency failed to adequately maintain public roads.

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Car Accident

If your loved one died in a car accident, your family might recover compensation for damages by filing a wrongful death claim

Georgia has specific laws governing wrongful death claims. For example, not everyone may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. Your relationship to the deceased dictates whether you will be included in a claim.

In most cases, only surviving spouses, children, and parents can file a claim. 

Another issue that arises in wrongful death cases is dividing the damages between the eligible parties. If the deceased person had a Will, the will dictates how the proceeds are divided after a wrongful death lawsuit. However, if there was no Will, Georgia’s intestate laws determine how the proceeds are divided. 

Calculating damages can also be challenging. Economic and financial experts may be needed to assist in estimating lost wages that the deceased would have earned had they lived. There is no formula for placing a value on a person’s contribution to the family, such as loss of companionship, parental guidance, and contributions to the household. 

An attorney with experience calculating the value of claims assists the family members in determining a fair and just amount to demand in a wrongful death claim.

In most cases, there is a two-year limit on filing wrongful death lawsuits in Georgia. If you fail to file a claim before the deadline expires, you will likely lose your right to a wrongful death claim.

Talk with a lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your rights and the steps you need to take after a fatal car accident.