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Thanksgiving death rate partly due to car accidents

Drivers in West Virginia and throughout the country are more likely to have accidents on Thanksgiving than on any other holiday, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For example, in 2012, 654 Christmas Day crashes resulted in fatalities while on Thanksgiving Day that same year, it was 764. Roughly 50,000 additional Thanksgiving Day accidents were not fatal.

After the initial spike in deaths at Thanksgiving, the death rate remains high throughout the winter. In part, this is due to the cold weather and diseases like the flu. However, in the case of Thanksgiving, experts say heart attacks and car accidents are the culprits. Heart attacks may be more likely because of a higher intake of salt, alcohol and food as well as the fact that the holiday is an emotionally heightened time.

Car accidents are attributed to driving drunk and other factors such as racing to get to a destination. Around 60 percent of people who died in 2012 were not wearing seat belts, and around 40 percent were in accidents involving drunk drivers. The NHTSA also urged people to prepare for winter weather by making sure their tires had sufficient air and that their windshield wipers worked.

A person may suffer catastrophic injuries in one of these car accidents. If the person is not at fault, they might assume that they can file an insurance claim, and the other driver's insurance company will pay for their medical expenses and other costs. However, this may not always be the case. There might be a dispute about who is at fault in the accident, or even if the other driver is deemed responsible, the insurance company might offer too little compensation. In such a case, the injured person may want to look into filing a lawsuit against the driver and any other responsible parties.

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