What Are The Odds Of Dying In A Car Crash in Florida?

Car crashes in Florida are very common. In 2019, there were 401,867 motor vehicle accidents statewide. Of these, 2,951 were fatal crashes, which resulted in 3,185 fatalities. In 2020, there were 4,560 car accidents in Alachua County, resulting in 48 traffic deaths.

The odds of dying in a car accident are relatively high compared to other causes of death. The type of car crash and the crash circumstances can increase the odds of dying. For example, head-on collisions can be more deadly than a rear-end accident.

What Are Your Odds of Dying in a Car Accident?

In the United States, there were over 6.7 million motor vehicle accidents in 2019. Over 2.7 million people were injured in these crashes, and 36,096 people were killed. So, are you more likely to die because of a car accident or an accidental fall?

According to the National Safety Council, your odds of dying in a fall are slightly higher than your odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash. In 2019, your lifetime odds of dying in a car accident were 1 in 107. Your odds of dying from an accidental fall were 1 in 106. People had a better chance of dying of an opioid overdose in 2019 than they did in a motor vehicle crash.

The odds of dying in a pedestrian accident were 1 in 543, compared to bicyclists who had a 1 in 3,825 chance of dying in a bicycle accident. The odds of a motorcyclist dying in a motorcycle crash were 1 in 899.

Factors That Can Increase Your Risk of Being Involved in a Car Crash

Driving behaviors can have a significant impact on your odds of being involved in a traffic accident. While many people believe that distracted driving accounts for most of the traffic accidents each year, speeding and impaired driving contributed to a significant number of car crashes in 2019.

During 2019, impaired driving was a factor in 28 percent of traffic deaths. Speeding contributed to 26 percent of traffic deaths that same year. Distracted driving was a factor in eight percent of the traffic fatalities, but that number could be underreported as people do not typically admit to being distracted at the time of a crash. 

Many other factors can contribute to the cause of a car accident. Drowsy driving, road conditions, poor weather, and defective automobile parts can also be factors in deadly car crashes. 

Wrongful Death Claims and Florida Car Accidents

Traffic accidents are common reasons for wrongful death claims. A wrongful death occurs when another party causes someone’s death through negligence, intentional acts, or other wrongdoing. Florida’s Wrongful Death Act provides legal recourse for families who lose a loved one because of a wrongful death.

The personal representative for the deceased’s estate must file the wrongful death lawsuit. If the deceased did not have a will naming a personal representative, the court could name someone to serve as the personal representative. 

The wrongful death claim is brought on behalf of the person’s estate and the person’s beneficiaries. In most cases, it is the surviving spouse and surviving children. However, parents and other relatives may be entitled to compensation for a wrongful death in some situations. 

Compensation Available for a Wrongful Death Claim

There are two sets of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. 

If the person survived for any length of time after the car accident, the estate could seek damages such as:

  • Reimbursement for medical bills incurred between the time of the car crash until the person’s death
  • Any lost income or benefits that the person would have been paid until the date of death
  • Physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering experienced by the person after the car crash but before they died
  • Reimbursement for reasonable funeral and burial expenses 

The money paid to the estate is used to pay medical bills, funeral expenses, and other estate debts. Any remaining funds are disbursed according to the person’s will or the laws of intestacy.

Family members may also receive compensation for their damages and losses caused by wrongful death. 

Damages that family members may be awarded include:

  • Financial support and household services the family member would have provided had they lived
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Loss of affection, guidance, companionship, protection, and instruction
  • Out-of-pocket medical bills and funeral expenses paid by family members

A personal injury lawyer can answer questions about deadlines for filing wrongful death lawsuits, who may join the lawsuit, and the compensation your family may receive because another person’s negligence.