Fatal car accidents are devastating. When you lose a loved one in an accident, you may feel sad, confused, overwhelmed, and even angry.
While no amount of money can truly heal your pain, family members who have lost a loved one in a fatal car accident have the legal right to file a claim or even a lawsuit to recover compensation. You may be eligible for no-fault benefits or a wrongful death settlement.
At The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we understand how difficult and devastating deaths from car accidents can be. If you need assistance filing a fatal car accident claim, one of our Michigan car accident lawyers can help.
Fatal Car Accident Statistics
There were 38,824 deaths from car accidents in 2020. And in 2021, traffic fatalities reached an all-time high, according to the NHTSA, with 42,915 deaths resulting from motor vehicle collisions.
These numbers are the highest they’ve been since the early 2000s. As such, traffic safety experts are concerned we are in the midst of a severe crisis that must be addressed.
According to NHTSA’s Deputy Administrator, the fatal car accident issue is urgent but preventable. Most fatal accidents are a result of negligent driving behaviors, which means these tragic events can be prevented by doubling down on safety measures and traffic enforcement.
Overall, data collected by the Federal Highway Administration showed an increase in traffic fatalities in 2021 in the following categories:
- Multi-vehicle crashes went up by 16%
- Fatal accidents on urban roads went up by 16%
- Fatalities among drivers 65 years of age and older went up by 14%
- Pedestrian fatalities went up by 13%
- Fatal daytime accidents went up by 11%
- Motorcycle accident fatalities went up by 9%
- Bicyclist fatalities went up by 5%
- Speeding-related fatal collisions went up by 5%
- And alcohol-related fatal accidents went up by 5%
Fatal Accidents in Michigan
In 2020, there were 1,011 fatal accidents in Michigan, which resulted in 1,084 deaths.
Of those deaths, 32% were car occupants, 30% were pickup truck or SUV occupants, 1% were large truck occupants, 16% were motorcyclists, 16% were pedestrians, and 4% were bicyclists.
As for crash type, 51% of fatal accidents in Michigan were from single-vehicle collisions, and 49% were from multi-vehicle collisions. This shows that an individual’s own driving behaviors are just as important to be mindful of as the driving behaviors of others.
Leading Causes of Fatal Car Accidents
As a whole, some of the most common causes of fatal car accidents include:
- Drinking and driving
- Drug use while driving
- Distracted driving, such as using a cell phone
- Driving while fatigued
However, it’s important to note that other factors can also contribute to a higher risk of death in a car accident, such as time of day, age, seatbelt use, etc.
A Michigan crash fatality report for 2021 shows the following fatal accident statistics based on various factors:
- Fatal accidents occurred most during the warmer months, with August having the highest number at 124 fatal collisions.
- Saturdays and Sundays are when the majority of fatal accidents in Michigan occur.
- Late afternoon to night is when most fatal crashes happen. There were 174 fatal accidents between 3 pm and 6 pm, 211 fatal accidents between 6 and 9 pm, and 157 fatal accidents between 9 pm and 12 am.
- The majority of fatal Michigan accidents happen to males or are caused by male drivers, with 813 male fatalities compared to 318 female fatalities.
- Drivers between the ages of 25 and 35 experience the most fatalities and cause the majority of fatal accidents.
- Of all fatalities in Michigan accidents in 2021, 245 were the result of no seatbelt use.
- Most fatalities happen to the drivers themselves, with 574 deaths.
- Where airbag deployment is concerned, most fatalities happen when the vehicle is not equipped with airbags.
What to Do After Michigan Fatal Accidents
If you lose a loved one in a fatal car accident, the first thing you should do is contact a Michigan wrongful death attorney. Though the family members of loved ones killed in a car accident have legal rights, there is no guarantee that they will get the no-fault or wrongful death benefits they deserve.
Insurance companies are notorious for finding ways to offer reduced settlements to get out of paying too much money every year to crash victims or their loved ones. They might make benefit calculation mistakes or they might purposely offer a quick and reduced settlement, hoping the family will agree without realizing they are owed more money.
Either way, this is why it is crucial to work with an attorney. With a lawyer on your side, they can ensure no mistakes are made and stand up to insurance companies to make sure they pay you the full and fair settlement you deserve.
Filing a Fatal Car Accident Claim
When you file a claim after a loved one dies in a car accident, there are essentially two primary ways you can recover compensation benefits:
- No-Fault Survivor Loss Benefits: Michigan no-fault insurance laws allow the family members of a person killed in a car accident to recover special benefits. This includes compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Funeral expenses
- Lost wages for up to three years
- Replacement services for up to three years
- A Wrongful Death Lawsuit: Under the Wrongful Death Act, family members of a person killed in a car accident can sue the at-fault driver for substantial damages. This can include compensation for loss of companionship, loss of support, emotional distress, pain & suffering, loss of income, and more.
The Lee Steinberg Law Firm: Michigan Fatal Car Accident Attorneys
While Survivor Loss benefits are available no matter who was at fault for the fatal accident, wrongful death settlements can only be recovered if you can prove that another party was guilty. This means it’s essential to work with an attorney who can help you prove fault to ensure you have solid grounds for filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
At The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we have years of experience handling Michigan fatal car accident claims. We can help you during this trying time and ensure you receive the best possible outcome and the full and fair settlement you deserve for the loss of your loved one.
Call our Michigan wrongful death lawyers at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733). You’ll pay nothing until we settle your case.