The South Carolina Department of Public Safety has issued a press release that reports preliminary statistics regarding fatal collisions that have occurred throughout the state so far this year. There have been 760 fatal crashes in South Carolina as of October 25, 2015. This number includes eight people who were killed on South Carolina roadways during a 54-hour window that occurred between October 23 and October 25, 2015. Most of these individuals were killed in collisions that took place on U.S. routes, state roads, and secondary roads. This group consisted of two pedestrians and six motor vehicle occupants.
Fatalities Increase Between 2014 and 2015
When compared to last year’s fatal collision statistics, 2015 has seen 99 additional fatalities as of the same time last year. Whereas 760 people have died so far this year, there were 661 South Carolina highway deaths during the same time period in 2014. This is a substantial increase in the number of fatalities between 2014 and 2015. These 2015 statistics include the deaths of 504 motor vehicle occupants (252 of whom were not wearing seatbelts), 90 pedestrians, 113 motorcyclists, and 13 bicyclists.
All Types of Traffic Fatalities Increase or Remain Static
All categories of persons killed in collisions increased from 2014 to 2015, with the exception of bicyclist fatalities, which remained the same. The report indicated that 83 pedestrian fatalities last year increased to 90 this year, and 81 motorcyclist fatalities last year increased to 113 this year.
Negligence May Lead to a Wrongful Death Claim
While some of these fatalities undoubtedly stem from one-vehicle collisions, many involve multiple vehicles and drivers, which can lead to civil liability for any deaths that occur. When negligence causes the death of a driver or motor vehicle occupant, the executor or administrator of his or her estate may have a cause of action for wrongful death under South Carolina law. In order to maintain an action for wrongful death in the state of South Carolina, the executor must show that the other party’s negligence was the proximate cause of the death. It is not sufficient to show that the negligence simply injured the victim. Rather, the negligence must have directly caused the death at issue.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to compensate the loved ones that a deceased individual has left behind. Damages awarded in a wrongful death claim may include any monetary losses to the family, mental shock and suffering, grief, loss of companionship, and deprivation of the deceased’s company. South Carolina law determines how any damages that are awarded in a wrongful death case are distributed to surviving family members.
Contact Your South Carolina Personal Injury Attorneys Today
Workers Compensation Lawyers- PLLC can provide you with the legal representation that you need during what is sure to be an emotional and difficult time. While you and your family cope with the loss of your loved one, allow our South Carolina personal injury law firm to assist you with your legal needs. Let us remove some of your burdens during this period in your life and help you work toward closure. Contact Workers Compensation Lawyers- PLLC today and learn how we can help.