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Did you know that nearly 30,000 fatal car accidents occurred in the U.S. in 2014, resulting in 32,675 deaths? Those figures were reported recently in a fact sheet from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and they emphasize the seriousness of traffic collisions in Tacoma and across the country. How many deadly crashes occurred in Washington State? The rate of fatal car accidents in Washington is actually among the lowest in the country, yet the number is still strikingly high. The IIHS indicates that, in 2014, there were 6.5 motor vehicle deaths in Washington per 100,000 population. In terms of specific accident numbers, there were 429 deadly car accidents that resulted in 462 individual fatalities that year.
The severity of a car accident depends on many different factors, including the speed of the vehicles, the type of vehicles involved in the collision, and both road and atmospheric conditions. Regardless of whether you were involved in a more minor fender-bender accident or a more serious collision that resulted in severe injuries, an experienced Tacoma car accident lawyer at our firm can help with your case. We regularly assist clients throughout Washington in a wide variety of car accident lawsuits.
There are many reasons that car accidents happen. A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains that there are different factors that often play a role in motor vehicles crashes, and some concern a driver’s negligence or carelessness while others do not. In general, the following are among the categories of reasons that car crashes occur:
To be certain that you remain eligible for financial compensation, it is important to take note of Washington’s statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits. The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time that a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit. If the time limit specified by the statute of limitations runs out, the plaintiff likely will not be able to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Under Washington law (Revised Code of Washington Section 4.16.080), injured plaintiffs must file a lawsuit within three (3) years of the date of the injury. In the case of car accident claims, this means that the plaintiff must file a lawsuit within three years from the date of the accident in order to remain eligible for compensation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discusses in detail some of the causes of accidents in which drivers are liable. For instance, when it comes to distracted driving, a fact sheet from the CDC emphasizes the following facts and figures:
How is drowsy driving different from distracted driving? In short, as a CDC fact sheet explains, “drowsy driving is the dangerous combination of driving and sleepiness or fatigue.” What causes drowsy driving? Typically, people do not get behind the wheel with the intention of falling asleep while they are on the road. Rather, most drowsy or fatigued drivers simply have not slept sufficiently the night before and thus are too tired to drive. In some cases, sleep disorders, certain medications, and other factors can contribute to drowsy driving. The CDC cites the following as the consequences of drowsy driving each year in the U.S.:
Yet, as the CDC notes, these estimates likely are conservative ones, and drowsy driving may be a factor in thousands more accidents. What about aggressive driving? A fact sheet from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety underscores that about 80 percent of drivers admit to engaging in aggressive driving behaviors, or “road rage,” at some point on the road. About 50 percent of drivers admit to aggressive driving behaviors in the last 30 days, while about 25 percent indicate that they believe speeding is “acceptable.”
Finally, what should drivers know about alcohol-impaired accidents? A CDC fact sheet on alcohol-impaired driving lists the following statistics:
Car accidents happen too frequently in Tacoma, Washington, and many of them are preventable. Personal injury law allows an injured plaintiff to file a claim for compensation when another party’s negligence causes an accident and injuries.
If another driver’s careless behavior resulted in a serious accident, you deserve to seek financial compensation for your losses. An experienced Tacoma car accident attorney can assist with your case. We are dedicated to helping Washington plaintiffs who have sustained serious injuries in traffic collisions. Contact Khan Law Firm, PLLC to discuss your options.