Unintentional injuries killed 161,374 people in 2016, becoming the #3 leading cause of death in the U.S. for the first time in recorded history, according to a recent analysis by the National Safety Council (NSC). The data reveals that an American suffers an accidental injury every second, and one is killed every three minutes due to some type of preventable event; some of these events include drug overdoses, car accident, drowning, and choking.
NSC data shows that 14,803 more people died by accident in 2016 than in 2015 – a 10% increase in one year. This is the largest rise in 80 years. The spike has largely been caused by the opioid crisis. There were 37,814 unintentional overdoses with opioids in the period studied, including drugs such as prescription opioids, heroin and fentanyl. The data also shows that car accident deaths rose 6.8 percent to 40,327 in 2016. The research indicates there are 442 accidental deaths each day in the United States, many of which could be preventable.
Still, Americans today are safer than they were in the early 1900s; in 1903, the accidental death rate was 99.4 per 100,000. This is double the current rate of 47.2. But the current death rate still is 39% higher than in 1992 when the death rate was only 34. As the article mentions, a major cause of the spike in accidental deaths is the opioid crisis.
Lawsuits for Opioid Overdoses Are Common
While some accidental deaths have been due to drug addicts who overdosed themselves, some have been due to medical errors and malpractice and the over-prescription of powerful opioids. For example, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed in Shaker Heights, Ohio, last month over a man’s overdose on prescription medications. The man passed away suddenly in June 2015 at 66 years old. He had sought treatment at University Hospital since 2005 for various pain-related problems.
The lawsuit alleges the doctors were negligent in prescribing him Xanax and hydrocodone for 10 years with no specific diagnosis, until he died. This was done despite the fact that the doctors knew he had problems with substance abuse and mental illness. The lawsuit documents also allege the physicians contributed to the ‘epidemic of overprescribing, dispensing and use of narcotics.’
The Mann Law Firm has worked on many medical malpractice cases in Georgia where doctors did not treat patients with a reasonable degree of care and skill. This standard is applicable to many medical professionals and facilities, including doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, dentists, hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. If you have lost a loved one to possible medical malpractice from the over-prescription of painkillers, you could have legal options.
Did You Lose a Loved One to a Preventable Accident? Talk To a Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you lost a loved one to a preventable accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The Mann Law Firm is experienced in assisting Macon and Middle Georgia citizens who have lost a loved one in drug overdoses, car accidents, chokings, drownings, and other common accidents due to the negligence of another party. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you to obtain the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. Please call us today at 478-742-3381.