The Year Of Living Dangerously

F Troop officers erected thirty-five human silhouette cutouts near their headquarters on State Highway 594, one for each fatal car crash victim in the group’s twelve parish area in 2016.

Troopers lament that there will probably be more victims before year’s end, because there are usually several fatal car crashes in December. The figures include a child-size cutout to represent an infant victim, and two that wear badges, representing law enforcement officers from Winnsboro and Sterlington who died this year in car crashes. Typically, the officers erect a similar display inside the building, but they felt it might have more of an impact in a more visible location.

“There’s 35 families that are missing a family member because of a fatal car crash,” observed Troop F information director Michael Reichardt.

Liability in Fatal Car Crashes Through The Years

Although it is no longer the leading case of injury-related death in the United States, as that dubious honor now belongs to unintentional poisonings, over 35,000 people a year still die in car wrecks, and hundreds of thousands of other victims are seriously injured.

Fifty years ago, excessive velocity was far and away the leading cause of fatal car crashes on Louisiana roads. In fact, in 1965, consumer advocate Ralph Nader published Unsafe At Any Speed, a book that lead to seat belts, air bags, and today’s braking-assist sensors and other gadgets. Speed is still a major factor in fatal car crashes today, though it is not as bad as it once was. Later, in the 1980s to 2000s, alcohol caused most fatal car crashes. Legal changes, such as per se DUI laws, and technological changes, like ignition interlock devices, have reduced these kinds of wrecks, at least to some extent.

In coming years, safety advocates may focus on distracted driving, as these types of crashes have increased 10 percent since 2011. Ironically, the proliferation of hands-free devices may make the problem worse instead of better, because there is evidence that these gadgets are even more distracting than hand-held cell phones.

Damages Available

If tortfeasors (negligent drivers) breach the duty of care by speeding, driving while impaired, driving while distracted, or any other similar act, they are usually liable for:

  • Economic losses, such as medical bills and lost wages, as well as
  • Noneconomic losses, such as emotional distress and loss of enjoyment in life.

To cope with mounting medical bills that usually exceed $10,000 in injury-related cases, an attorney sends a letter of protection to a third party provider, so the victim pays nothing upfront for emergency care, followup care, and rehabilitative therapy.

For prompt assistance with a fatal car crash or other negligence claim, contact T-Claude Devall or another experienced Lake Charles personal injury attorney from Hoffoss Devall today, because you have a limited amount of time to act.