Auto Accidents and Fatalities
By Younker Hyde Macfarlane on February 17, 2015
The legal team at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC always fights for the rights of victims and their loved ones. We are committed to helping people throughout Utah receive damages when they have sustained a severe injury following major auto accidents that result in major changes to wellness and quality of life. A number of major auto accidents tragically prove fatal, and having skilled lawyers on your side in these cases can make a major difference with regard to your legal success.
Fatal Auto Accident Statistics for the State of Utah
According to statistics from the Utah Department of Transportation, there were 222 fatal auto accidents in the year 2014, resulting in 256 fatalities. These numbers are part of an upward trend over the last two years in the state with regard to fatal collisions. In 2013, there were 202 fatal auto accidents that resulted in 220 fatalities, and in 2012 there were 200 fatal auto accidents that resulted in 217 fatalities. The total number of fatalities in 2014 is the highest since 2008.
In addition to auto fatalities, 2014 statistics from the Utah Department of Transportation also recorded 45 fatalities involving motorcycles and scooters, 37 pedestrian fatalities, and 9 bicyclist fatalities.
The Impact on the Victim's Family and Loved Ones
Losing a loved one is emotionally devastating. The amount of pain associated with the loss will last for a lifetime, and while time will heal some of the wounds, one will never fully get over the loss of a parent, a child, a spouse, or a close relative or friend. If the person who passed away was a breadwinner for a household or helped financially in the household, the loss will also present a major financial burden, one that the grieving loved ones may find difficult to bear alone.
The Negligent Party Needs to Be Held Accountable
If another person or party was responsible for the accident, such as a negligent truck driver who lost control of his rig, a drunk driver who collided with your loved one, or even an auto maker who designed a dangerous vehicle, that person or party needs to be held accountable for the death or deaths that occurred. This at-fault individual or group of individuals will be legally liable for compensatory and punitive damages related to the fatal motor vehicle collision.
Compensatory and Punitive Damages
In a fatal auto accident, both compensatory damages and punitive damages may be sought.
Compensatory damages are intended to cover material losses that were sustained as a result of the fatal collision. This includes medical bills and funerary costs, the lost wages of the deceased loved one, damage to the vehicle and other property, and so forth.
Punitive damages are intended to cover losses that go above and beyond actual material items, earnings, and other goods. If the circumstances of the accident were particularly notable, such as a a truck driver falling asleep behind the wheel or an automaker marketing and releasing a vehicle that is more prone to accidents and serious injury, these punitive damages are crucial for holding the negligent party accountable for their actions.
Speak with the Lawyers at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC
To learn more about your legal options following a serious auto accident, it's important that you contact our personal injury lawyers today. The legal team at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC will fight diligently for you and your legal rights, ensuring that you receive just compensation for injuries sustained and hardships endured.
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They were extremely knowledgeable, extremely helpful experts. The team helped me with all aspects of my case, including medical and financial, and understood that it affected more than me but also my family.- Jill S.