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Feds: 2011 Was a Record-Breaking Year for Car Accident Safety

Last year was a record-breaking year for car accident safety across the country according to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The projected number of highway car accident deaths for 2011 is 32,210 which is the lowest number since statistics began to be collected in 1949.

The rate of car accident fatalities was at 43,510 in 2005 but has steadily declined since then. The 2011 levels are about 2 percent lower than the number of deaths in 2010 and equal about 1.09 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. Unfortunately the number of car accident deaths has not declined in every state. California and Arizona car accident deaths increased by approximately 3 percent last year.

There are many legal repercussions that can arise out of a fatal car accident. In addition to any criminal charges arising out of drunk or reckless driving, personal injury lawsuits are often filed in connection with serious car accidents.

The type of personal injury action to arise out of a fatal crash is called a wrongful death case. A wrongful death case is brought by the surviving relatives of a deceased car accident victim against the person or entities responsible for the fatal crash. Funds from a wrongful death lawsuit can cover medical expenses incurred in rescue efforts, the loss of companionship, lost future earnings, and funeral expenses, among other things.

Unused Sources: Source: USA Today, "Feds estimate 2011 had fewest traffic deaths on record," Todd Spangler, May 8, 2012

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