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NHTSA Report: Despite Pandemic Shutdowns, Traffic Fatalities Increased in 2020

Posted on in Motor Vehicle Accidents

jacksboro fatal crash lawyerThe U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released early estimates of crash fatalities from 2020. The estimates show that despite the COVID-19 pandemic keeping Americans off the roads, there was a more than 7 percent increase in the number of victims killed in traffic accidents last year compared to 2019.

2020 Statistics

The NHTSA’s preliminary estimates show that approximately 38,680 victims were killed in traffic accidents in 2020, the highest number of fatalities since 2007. This increase occurred despite the number of vehicle miles traveled decreasing by more than 430.2 billion miles. There was a 9 percent increase in motorcycle fatalities, a 5 percent increase in passenger vehicle fatalities, and a 5 percent increase in cyclist fatalities compared to 2019.

Fatal crashes rose 15 percent on urban highways and 11 percent on local and rural roads. According to the NHTSA’s report, the main causes of this increase include driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, speeding, and failure to wear seat belts. The number of fatal crashes increased significantly during the last two quarters of the year. This time period is also when states begin lifting pandemic restrictions.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Under Tennessee law, if a victim is killed in an accident caused by another party’s negligent or reckless behavior, the victim’s family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against that party. They may obtain financial compensation for lost financial support, loss of love, and loss of companionship the victim provided. They may also be able to pursue compensation for the victim’s medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and the pain and suffering the victim endured from their injuries before they died.

In Tennessee, the following survivors can file a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • The victim’s spouse

  • The victim’s child if they had no surviving spouse

  • The victim’s next of kin if the victim had no spouse or child

  • The victim’s parent

  • A personal representative of the victim’s estate

It is important for a victim’s family to understand that there is a statute of limitations of only one year from the date of death to file a lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit is separate from any criminal charges the at-fault party may be facing. In fact, in many fatal car crashes, a lawsuit is the only legal action that occurs.

Let a Campbell County Car Accident Lawyer Help

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal crash, a compassionate Jacksboro, TN wrongful death attorney can help you get the financial justice your family deserves. Call The Law Office of William F. Evans at 423-449-7980 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.




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