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Winter is officially here in a few days, but the icy roads and the crashes that go with them have hit the Spokane area hard this last weekend. At least three people were killed and over a dozen sent to local hospitals over the weekend starting December 14, 2019.

A common denominator in just about all crashes was icy roads. There were other factors such as impairment, speeding distracted driving and reckless driving. However, it’s likely that these accidents wouldn’t have been as severe if it weren’t for the icy roads.

Icy Roads, Injuries and Deaths

So why are there more fatal accidents and more severe injuries when the roads freeze up or snow accumulates? In short, the answer is speed. Not that everyone was going above the speed limit, but they were most likely going too fast for conditions.

The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration concludes that during winter road conditions, vehicles should reduce speed by half, as a rule of thumb. Although the agency speaks mainly to large commercial vehicles, other agencies such as the Federal Highway Association echo the warning.

In a report on accidents, injuries and fatalities due to road conditions, the FHA said that over a ten-year period of time (2007 to 2017) the U.S. averaged:

1,235,145 crashes                                                         21% of all vehicle crashes
418,005 people injured                                              19% of all injuries
5,376 fatalities                                                               16% of all crash fatalities

Spokane Wrongful Death Claims

Unfortunately, winter driving fatalities are far too common in the Spokane metro region. When someone dies in a car accident, their loved ones are often left with dealing with the costs along with the loss of their family member.

Washington law allows these family members to recoup some of the financial losses by making a wrongful death claim. Unlike a typical personal injury claim, a wrongful death claim is brought by surviving family members who can seek only those damages they have individually suffered in the loss of their loved one. Some of the damages that can be sought in a wrongful death claim are:

  • Medical bills (only those owed by the estate)
  • Funeral expenses
  • Mental anguish suffered for the loss
  • Lost wages while alive and in hospital (that would have gone to support the family)
  • Loss of future income (for those that were financially dependent on the deceased).
  • Loss of Consortium (companionship, intimacy)
  • Loss of Traning guardianship (for minors)
  • Property damage

Contact a Spokane Wrongful Death Lawyer.

Established in Spokane in 1948, Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. is committed to providing our clients with the absolute highest quality legal representation. If our Spokane Wrongful Death Lawyers represent you for your accident case, you have our assurance that we will use our absolute best efforts to win your case.

Contact us after any accident resulting in a serious injury for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. We will only offer you advice which is in your best interest.

 

CCD Law