In Alabama, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there have been just under 900 traffic fatalities in each of the last several years. That is approximately 1.3 fatalities for every 100 million miles that have been driven. What those numbers do not reveal is that for every fatality, family members of the victims experience extreme stressors in the form of emotional suffering and, sometimes, to their shock, very high bills.
For instance, the medical costs directly associated with a vehicular death vary depending upon how long the victim is treated after the crash. Someone who dies upon impact may receive medical treatment at the scene in an attempt to resuscitate him or her, but will not be given further life-saving measures if he or she is pronounced dead. On the other hand, some victims linger for days, weeks or longer; for them and their loved ones, the experience can be heart-wrenching. It can also be very expensive.
Medical bills associated with highway fatalities can easily run into the thousands of dollars. These are amounts that families may not be able to readily absorb, leading them into debt and worry at a time when they should not have to incur additional stress. Of course, medical treatment expenses are not the only costs that loved ones of highway fatalities have to face. They may also have to pay for items such as the funeral and burial of the person who died. Funerals can be quite costly, easily running higher than $5,000.
Highway fatalities in Alabama that are caused by negligence are not easy for families to accept and could lead to civil claims. Compensation awarded from a successfully litigated civil claim could prevent a family from suffering for years or even decades in the aftermath of a fatal highway accident. At this difficult period in their lives, this could help ease their pain and suffering and allow them to focus on the grieving process.
Source: NHTSA, "Traffic Safety Performance (Core Outcome) Measures* For Alabama", July 29, 2014