A new report indicates over the last four years, the number of injury-related deaths spiked significantly in 17 states, while remaining relatively steady in 24 states and falling slightly in nine states.
Injuries are the No. 1 cause of death for people in the U.S. between the ages of 1 and 44, resulting in nearly 195,000 fatalities annually.
While Alabama was one of those states that saw the injury rate remain relatively stable over the last four years, the state ranked 13th highest nationally for injury-related deaths.
The analysis, “The Facts Hurt: A State-by-State Injury Prevention Policy Report,” was prepared by Trust for America’s Health, a D.C. health policy non-profit organization.
On a national scale, the No. 1 cause of injury-related death was drug overdoses, killing on average 44,000 annually. Researchers learned over the course of nearly 15 years, the number of people who died as a result of drug overdoses doubled. Approximately 50 percent of those – or about 22,000 each year – can be attributed to prescription drug overdoses. In fact, prescription drug overdose deaths now exceed deaths caused by motor vehicles in 36 states and Washington, D.C.
Our Montgomery injury attorneys recognize that with regard to liability for prescription drug overdose deaths, it depends heavily on the underlying circumstances.
For example, if the drugs were obtained legally from a doctor, we may look at whether the doctor adhered to the applicable standard of care in prescribing narcotic medication. If the drug was obtained illegally through a third-party, in addition to criminal penalties, there is also a chance a civil lawsuit may be filed. And if the drug was prescribed as part of a workers’ compensation regimen, it’s possible workers’ compensation death benefits may be in order.
In examining the figures from Alabama specifically, our state had an injury rate of 73.3 per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, the national average is far lower, at 58.4 per 100,000. Our rates did remain stable over the last four years.
Motor vehicle accidents in Alabama remain the leading cause of injury-related death. Others include:
- Traumatic brain injury
Of the 10 steps researchers identified as being effective at reducing injury-related deaths, Alabama has taken five. Those are:
- Primary seat belt laws
- Requiring bicycle helmets for all children
- Low rates of child abuse and neglect (at or below 9.1 per 1,000 children)
- Fall prevention measures resulting in rates below 7.2 per 100,000 people
- Prescription drug monitoring program
Among the measures still necessary:
- Mandatory ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, including first-time offenders
- Requiring child restraint booster seats up until the age of 8
- Restricting teens from nighttime driving
- Preventing homicide to a rate at or below 5.5 per 100,000 people
- Allowing layperson access to naloxone, a drug used to counteract overdoses
Alabama is one of 29 states to score a five or lower based on these criteria. New York scored the highest, with 9 out of 10, while four states scored the lowest with 2 out of 10. Those were Montana, Missouri, Iowa and Florida.
The vast majority of injury-related deaths are predictable and preventable. If you have lost someone as a result of negligence, contact our experienced legal team for more information on how we may be able to assist you in seeking compensation.
Call Allred & Allred P.C. at 334.396.9200 to speak with a Montgomery personal injury lawyer.
The Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report, June 2015, Trust for America’s Health
More Blog Entries:
Cain v. Lee – Punitive Damages Weighed in Injury Lawsuit, June 20, 2015, Montgomery Injury Lawyer Blog