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Fatal accidents in Tennessee climbed in 2012

If 2011 seemed like a quiet year for car accidents, it is because 2011 saw the lowest number of fatal car accidents on record. Unfortunately, the preliminary report released by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the Department of Safety and Homeland security, and the Governor's Highway Safety Office painted 2012 in a different light. According to the report, there were 1,019 fatal accidents last year, 246 from drunk driving accidents alone. This is an increase over 2011, and one that should not be taken lightly.

While the state has amped up its efforts to notify the public of fatality numbers and increase safety precautions, these implementations do little to help those families who face the loss of a loved one because of the negligence of another. These families can suffer from emotional and financial stress that can make the loss of their loved one hard to overcome. For this reason, legal action for a wrongful death that results from a car accident can be helpful.

To succeed on a wrongful death claim, a surviving family member must prove that the other driver was negligent, that negligence caused the accident, and the accident caused the death. Once these elements are satisfied, a family member can obtain compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering felt by the deceased before passing, funeral expenses, and lost wages. These recoveries can help families move past the fatal accident and focus on remembering their loved one.

A distracted or negligent driver poses a serious risk to other motorists. While the state and law enforcement have tried to crack down on these errant drivers, not enough is being done. A civil lawsuit, while helping victim's families recover much needed compensation, also serves as a deterrent to future drivers. If threatening a negligent driver's freedom will not prevent him from climbing behind the wheel, maybe threatening his wallet will.

Source: Examiner.com, "Tennessee releases 2012 roadway fatality statistics," David Garrett, Jr., Jan. 17, 2013

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