In an attempt to thwart the spread of COVID 19, NC Governor Roy Cooper issued stay at home orders in March 2020. Since that time, some form of curfew or stay at home order has been in place. In addition, many people work from home.
Discouraging people from leaving home should automatically reduce the number of people killed in car crashes, right? Actually, no.
NC Car Crashes are down, but deaths are up?
In NC, per the NC Department of Transportation, there were 125,428 car accident injuries in 2019 and 95,713 injuries in 2020. There were 318, 544 crashes in 2019 and only 246,926 crashes in 2020. According to the News & Observer, NC highway traffic was down 40-50% due to COVID. Despite fewer car crashes, fewer injuries and many less on the roads, car crash related deaths increased from 1,479 in 2019 to 1,506 in 2020 (the highest since 2007) .
While law enforcement is issuing fewer tickets, the tickets they are issuing are for drivers exceeding 25 mph over the speed limit. In good news, there have been less fatal crashes involving alcohol, but the number of fatal crashes involving motorcyclists has doubled. (Via News and Observer).
There are different theories for this increase. One is distracted driving. With COVID, many are on the road worrying about their health, family and finances, leading to a wandering mind behind the wheel. In addition to distracted driving, many are forgetting to buckle their seat belts (Charlotte Observer).
Another theory for this increase in deaths is that with fewer people on the road, drivers can speed more with increased speed equaling increased fatalities. In 2020, 154 teens died in car wrecks (a 15% increase over 2019). With home-schooling, many teenagers have more time to drive and thus speed.
No matter the cause of the increase in NC car accident deaths despite COVID, the increase in fatalities is more than troubling. Please be careful on the road!
NC Car Accident Injury
If you are injured in a car accident through no fault of your own, you may have a NC Personal Injury case for your car accident injuries. If your loved one has been killed in a car accident, you need time to focus on your loss, not fight with the insurance company.
Gathering pertinent medical and financial records, consulting experts and dealing with the insurance company on a Wrongful Death claim should be the last thing on your mind during this time.
NC is a contributory negligence state which means that the victim must not be at fault (even 1%) in order to be compensated for their loss.
In car accident cases, fault is frequently determined at the scene of the accident by the officer. Unfortunately, at-fault parties do not always receive tickets (citations) so fault may be difficult to establish. In those cases, you need a NC Personal Injury lawyer to help investigate fault in your accident to maximize your recovery.
An injured victim can recover the cost of their medical expenses, lost wages, pain & suffering and punitive damages (rare). Gathering medical evidence and verifying lost wages with employers are both tasks that a NC Personal Injury Attorney can help you with.
One of the most important parts of your personal injury case is determining what to demand for pain & suffering. It should be noted that car insurance company adjusters do not want to pay a injured victim for pain & suffering.
In many cases, the prospect of litigation is what will stimulate a better offer for an injured victim’s case. As we all know, negotiating with an insurance company can be frustrating to say the least.
At The Bishop Law Firm, we represent injured car accident victims and their families in Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Fayetteville, Smithfield, Rocky Mount, Wilson, Chapel Hill, Roanoke Rapids, Louisburg and other areas in North Carolina. We do not get paid unless we win and we offer free case reviews. Call us today, (919) 615-3095!
Also read: NC Workers Compensation & COVID; Social Security Disability & COVID; Social Security Disability Process & COVID