As the economy in Montana and around the country continues to improve, the rates of motor vehicle accident injuries and fatalities have also climbed. The increase has happened after the rate of driver fatalities had declined by one-third with the advance of newer vehicles that have numerous safety features. The current increase has happened despite those safety improvements.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has issued a report about the increasing rates of driver fatalities that have happened as the economy has improved. In the IIHS study, the researchers found that the driver death rates had increased for 2014 car models to 30 per million vehicle years, which was an increase from the 28 deaths per million vehicle years for 2011 models.
When the economy is stronger, more people travel, and some motorists engage in risky driving behaviors. One study found that a decrease in unemployment rates from 6 percent to 5 percent results in a 2 percent increase in the number of vehicle miles traveled.
When people are killed in motor vehicle accidents that are caused by the risky driving behaviors of others, their families may be left reeling with grief while also dealing with sudden and unexpected economic losses. Experienced personal injury attorneys may work to help their clients to recover damages that fairly compensate them for the losses that they have incurred. Through a wrongful death lawsuit, the family members may recover such damages as the reasonable funeral and burial expenses for their loved one, any medical expenses that their loved one incurred prior to succumbing to the injuries, and in some cases non-economic damages such as loss of companionship.