New Jersey residents may be pleased to learn that according to a government road safety agency, traffic deaths in the United States fell slightly for the second year in a row. The NHTSA reported a 2.4% drop in fatalities, which has been linked in part to new technology and vehicles designed to prevent crashes.
When people in New Jersey lose their lives due to someone else's wrongdoing or negligence, their surviving family members have the grounds for a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death lawsuit allows family members to recover financially for the loss of their loved one. While the person who lost his or her life may have left behind a will to distribute assets to beneficiaries, the proceeds from a wrongful death lawsuit are distributed according to the state's intestacy laws, as if the person had passed away without a will.
Traffic safety groups have become increasingly vocal as truck accident fatalities climb in New Jersey and nationwide. According to federal government statistics, 4,102 people died in crashes involving large commercial trucks in 2017. Fatality figures in this category have increased by 28 percent since 2009. A representative from the Truck Safety Coalition described the death toll as the equivalent of two 737 airplanes crashing every month and killing all passengers and crew.
Drivers abusing opioid prescription or street drugs may be causing many of the fatal two-vehicle accidents in New Jersey. A study of national fatal crash data found that drivers who tested positively for opioids caused 7.1 percent of deadly wrecks in 2016. This represented a 5.1 percent increase since 1993.
The death of a 20-year-old man who attended The College of New Jersey has prompted his family to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Landmark Americana Tap & Grill. The campus sports bar allegedly served a drunk driver shortly before he caused a deadly crash on Route 31.
It can be dangerous to drive around semi-trucks in New Jersey or any other state in America. One recently tragic case in Florida illustrates this. In early January 2019, a semi-truck on I-75 near Gainesville suddenly moved left from the right lane, crashing into a 2007 Honda sedan that was in its path. Why the driver, a 59-year-old man, did this is still unknown.
Surviving family members in New Jersey have a right to pursue legal action if wrongful death is suspected. Since such a claim is considered a civil action, however, there are inherent time limits that normally determine how much time is allowed to pass before the right to file a claim expires. New Jersey's wrongful death statute of limitations is two years from the date of the deceased person's death.
When someone in New Jersey dies due to negligence or misconduct, the death is a tragedy. The devastating emotional effects are also accompanied by practical losses; family members will have to survive without a loved one's income and their standard of living may change considerably as a result. Therefore, the surviving family members may bring a lawsuit against those responsible for the wrongful death in order to recover some of the damages suffered as a result.
New Jersey readers may have heard about the horrific Missouri duck boat accident that claimed the lives of 17 people, including 9 members of a single family, in mid-July. Now, the estates of two members of that family have filed a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit in federal court.
Almost three-quarters of the deadly commercial vehicle accidents that took place in New Jersey and around the country in 2016 were caused by other vehicles encroaching into traffic lanes used by trucks or buses or animals, people or other obstacles in the roadway. This was one of the key takeaways from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's 2016 Large Truck and Bus Crash report. The federal safety watchdog's data also reveals that truck accident fatalities, which have increased sharply in recent years, remain worryingly high.