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What Are The Odds Of Dying In A Car Crash?

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Although stories of fatal car crashes seem to be a daily occurrence on the news, depending on where you live, you might wonder, what are the odds of dying in a car crash? Does the media blow the stories out of perspective, while downplaying or not reporting deaths from much more dangerous activities?

Of course, no matter how much caution you exercise in driving, the carelessness of someone else could cause you to be in a car accident. If you get injured or a loved one died from a car crash that was not their fault, a Los Angeles car accident attorney could help you seek compensation from the at-fault party.

A Little Perspective on the Odds of Dying from a Preventable Cause 

Before you let the reported fatalities from collisions fill you with anxiety and make you afraid to get on the highway, let’s compare your risk of dying in a car accident in America to the likelihood of meeting your end from some other type of preventable accident. The National Safety Council provides this data on the odds of death from selected preventable causes:

  • All preventable causes of death – 1 in 19
  • Accidental opioid overdose – 1 in 58
  • Motor vehicle crash – 1 in 93
  • Fall – 1 in 98
  • Pedestrian incident – 1 in 485
  • Motorcyclist – 1 in 747
  • Drowning – 1 in 1,006
  • Cataclysmic storm – 1 in 20,098
  • Hornet, wasp, and bee stings – 1 in 54,516

Now, let’s look at your risk of dying from disease or other causes that are not preventable accidents:

  • Heart disease – 1 in 6
  • Cancer – 1 in 7
  • Chronic lower respiratory disease – 1 in 31

As these numbers show, far more people die from disease than from accidental death, even from car crashes.

Who Is Liable for a Fatal Injury from a Car Accident

You might think that the other driver is responsible if someone dies in a collision, but the issue of liability is not that simple. To hold someone accountable for someone’s death in a crash, you must prove all four of these factors:

  1. The defendant must have owed the injured person a duty of care. This element is usually easy to establish in a car accident because everyone who drives a motor vehicle on public roadways has an obligation to drive with caution and obey the traffic laws.
  2. The defendant must have breached their duty of care. Failing to live up to a legal standard of care is negligence. Let’s say that the defendant ran a red light. They violated the law about obeying traffic signals, and running a red light was not driving with caution.
  3. The negligent act must be what caused or contributed to the collision. The defendant collided with another vehicle because the defendant ran the red light. This fact satisfies the requirement of causation.
  4. The injured individual must have measurable damages. Physical injuries satisfy the quantifiable losses requirement for establishing liability.

When you can prove all four of these elements, you can pursue a claim for compensation against the liable party. If your loved one died because of the collision, you could seek additional money damages for the family.

Whether your car crash resulted in injuries that you survived, or took the life of a loved one, a California personal injury attorney could handle your personal injury or wrongful death claim. We are happy to offer a free initial consultation. Reach out to our office today.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.