Recent University of California Study Indicates Obese Drivers Significantly More Likely to Suffer Fatalities in Car Crash

According to a recent study by UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation and Research Education Center, obese drivers have been determined to be up to 78% more likely than normal weight drivers to suffer fatalities in a car crash. The research center is affiliated with the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and the Institute of Transportation Studies.  Despite the increase in safety technology for both commercial and personal vehicles, the findings show that there is a substantial difference in fatalities for heavier accident victims.  The study is significant because obesity is an ongoing issue in the nation, and the numbers of obese individuals are rising, meaning that fatal car accidents could increase despite potentially safer vehicles. Unlike overweight people, with a body mass index between 25 and 29.9, obese individuals are classified as having a body mass index above 30.

Throughout Southern California, car accident victims can suffer a range of injuries in a collision.  After researching over 41,000 collisions and narrowing research to vehicles of the same size, the data was also controlled for factors such as gender of drivers, failure to wear a seatbelt, alcohol use, and collision type.

Our Southern California car accident lawyers believe that the relationship between obesity and injury outcomes is important, but it is also important to recognize that regardless of the victim’s characteristics, there are legal remedies that provide relief to the victim and their family.  In the case of a fatal accident, the family or their legal representatives have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim against all at-fault parties.

A wrongful death claim is pursued according to California law, which provides that the survivors of the deceased person have the right to damages related to the accident.  Specific individuals are entitled to bring a wrongful death claim, and these often include the decedent’s personal representative or surviving spouse and children.  Putative spouses, including surviving spouses of a void marriage who believed they were married to the decedent, may have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim.

The elements of a wrongful death claim include duty, breach, causation, and damages.  In some cases, there may be other applicable legal theories, such as vicarious liability or negligent supervision.  Damages in a wrongful death claim are intended to  compensate the decedent’s estate for losses associated with the death. Funeral expenses, lost income that would have been earned had the victim survived, and medical bills may be recovered.  Additionally, family members may recover the loss of anticipated financial support and the loss of love they anticipate due to the death of their loved one.

A skilled wrongful death attorney can help you pursue damages for the untimely death of a loved one due to the negligence of someone else.  At Sharifi Firm, our dedicated car accident attorneys understand the emotional impact of a devastating motor vehicle collision, and we are prepared to advocate for clients’ rights to full compensation for their harm.  Call our office at 1-866-422-7222 or reach us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer.

More Blog Posts:

California Court of Appeal Holds that Personal Representative in Wrongful Death Lawsuit Stands in Position of Heirs, Southern California Injury Lawyer Blog, February 4, 2016

California Court of Appeals Rules in Unsafe Intersection Case, Southern California Injury Lawyer Blog, April 30, 2015

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