In West Virginia, many accidents lead to hospitalizations every year, but fewer end in fatalities. In fact, in a recent five-year study, only 20 deaths happen out of every 100,000 residents on our roads. Though more can be done to reduce these numbers, the incident rate of fatal accidents is much less than that of injury accidents. Even so, there are many reasons why these crashes occur and many injuries that are more likely to lead to fatalities.
By understanding the acts that most commonly lead to fatal accidents in West Virginia and the injuries that could cause the fatality of a loved one, more can be done to prevent these crashes on our roads.
Most Common Causes of Fatal Accidents in West Virginia
Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous acts on our roads, taking the lives of over 3,100 people in 2017. These numbers continue to increase every year because of these serious crashes that take place due to texting, talking on a cell phone, eating, or even applying makeup while driving. When attention is taken from the road and used on another act, a distracted driving accident could take place in the blink of an eye.
Drunk Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can change a person’s perception of the roadway in front of them, which could easily end in a driver crossing the centerline or rear-ending a driver in front of them. A driver’s reaction time will be slowed and they will not be able to accurately handle their vehicle, ending in serious results.
Speeding: When somebody drives at fast speeds, it is more likely to end in a fatality if they are involved in an accident. This is due to the fact that a high-speed impact is enough to create a force so powerful that a driver could instantly become killed.
Weather Conditions: Bad weather is not always something that we can control, but we can learn more about taking it slow and following the rules of the road when rain, sleet, or snow accumulates on the roadways. These accidents are sometimes a combination of the weather and bad driving that can easily lead to a fatality.
Common Injuries That Lead to Fatalities After Car Accidents
Brain Injuries: When the skull is rattled or pierced in a collision, a brain injury can easily take place. These injuries often prove to be fatal or result in “delayed” fatalities.
Neck Injuries: When an impact takes place in a vehicle at certain angles, it is likely that a person’s head could snap back and forth, causing them to break their neck. Broken necks are often fatal.
Chest Injuries: If a head-on collision or another related accident takes place, the chest could be crushed, which could result in heavy internal bleeding or damage to the heart. This may end in cardiac arrest and fatality.
Burn Injuries: Burns can sometimes become so serious in an accident that they are instantly fatal.
Sometimes, a serious injury could cause a party to become hospitalized for weeks, months, or even years depending on the severity. A person could be left in a coma or paralyzed with a broken spinal cord. Perhaps your loved one was severely injured in an accident and, weeks later, passed away due to their injuries. This is known as a delayed fatality and is sometimes unexpected to a family, which is why it is important to know your next steps.
How Our West Virginia Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Help
At Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner, we understand how easily a family can suffer after they have had to say goodbye to a loved one after an accident with catastrophic injuries. If your loved one has been taken from you in a fatal West Virginia car accident, we want you to know that this is not the end of your case and that you have options for recovery. It can be overwhelming and stressful to face the aftermath of a fatal accident. Please contact us at (304) 713-2014 to find out what we can do for you.