Wisconsin has seen an increase in fatalities due to car accidents from this time last year. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, 333 people have died in connection with a car accident. That’s 44 more than this time last year.

The department reports that there is normally an increase in fatalities associated with car accidents in the summer months due to higher speeds. Winter may see more crashes, but drivers are generally going more slowly due to weather conditions. That may not save on property damage, but tends to save lives. As an example, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation says that 70 people died in the month of July, and July isn’t ordinarily the month with the highest fatalities–that tragic distinction is reserved for the month of August.

What does all of this mean? It means that drivers may want to apply the same standard of care to their driving in the summer months as they do in the winter months. Losing a loved one is hard enough when you know it’s coming, but when it happens suddenly as in a car accident, the impact can be overwhelming. Furthermore, if a driver is found to be at fault in an accident involving a fatality, that driver may be subject to not only criminal charges, but also to a wrongful death action.

When a loved one is ripped away from a family in a car accident, the loss of that person is tremendous, but the impact goes well beyond emotional. The financial impact of losing a loved one, especially without warning, can be catastrophic and possibly cause irreparable financial damage to a family. Wisconsin law provides a way for families to recoup at least some of that loss through a wrongful death action based upon proof that the fatality was caused by the negligence of others.

Source: Beloit Daily News, “Vehicle deaths up slightly this year,” Shaun Zinck, Aug. 3, 2012