It may seem like car crashes are a near-daily occurrence in Pennsylvania. Many of these accidents are mere fender-benders causing vehicular damage but leaving the occupants of the vehicles relatively unscathed. However, other car accidents are deadly affairs.

In 2018, 1,190 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents. This is a 4.7% increase from the number of traffic fatalities in 2017. Specifically, there was a 34% increase in fatal pedestrian accidents in the state. Fatal car accidents involving those ages 65 to 74 also jumped from 124 in 2017 to 188 in 2018.

In addition, alcohol and drug use while behind the wheel was the cause of many of these fatal crashes. Fatal crashes involving a driver who was impaired on either drugs or alcohol went up from 335 in 2017 to 355 in 2018. Specifically, fatal car accidents in which at least one motorist had consumed alcohol went up from 256 in 2017 to 291 in 2018.

However, the news is not all bad. Highway deaths are down 26.5% since peaking at over 1,600 in 2002. And, the statewide death toll is the third-lowest it has been in the previous two decades.

Families who have lost a loved one in a car crash are left dealing with funeral expenses, possible health care bills, loss of companionship and loss of potential income. It is difficult to deal with financial problems when you are grieving the loss of a loved one. Fortunately, if it can be shown that the other driver was breached his or her duty to drive reasonably under the circumstances, leading to the victim’s death, it may be possible for the victim’s family to pursue compensation from the negligent driver.