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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), illnesses like cancer and cardiovascular disease are the leading causes of death in the United States.  But did you know that unintentional injuries are also a major cause of death, particularly here in the state of Arkansas?  Fayetteville wrongful death attorney Ken Kieklak examines some of the most common unintentional injuries in Arkansas and across the nation.

CDC and AR Dept. of Health Statistics: Unintentional Injuries #5 Top Cause of Death

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The CDC reports that there were 2,626,418 deaths in the United States in 2014: nearly 824 deaths for every 100,000 members of the U.S. population.  A total of 30,467 deaths, or approximately 1.2% of the 2,626,418 deaths reported, occurred in the state of Arkansas, marking an increase from the previous year, when the Arkansas Department of Health reported 29,934 deaths.

While many deaths were attributed to fatal illnesses or complications thereof, such as the 7,581 deaths of Arkansas residents that were attributed to heart disease, a significant number of fatalities occurred due to accidents and the resulting unintentional injuries, suggesting that human errors and careless acts are major yet preventable causes of death in the state of Arkansas.

In 2013, the Arkansas Department of Health reported that unintentional injuries were the state’s fifth leading cause of death, surpassed only by heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory illnesses, and stroke.  However, this figure is the result of merging data on male and female deaths.  When isolated by gender, unintentional injuries were found to be the sixth leading cause of death for women, and the fourth leading cause of death for men in Arkansas.

However, gender wasn’t the only line along which data was analyzed.  The Department of Health also divided unintentional fatal injuries into two categories: unintentional fatal injuries that were caused by transportation accidents, and unintentional fatal injuries that were unrelated to transportation.

Here is how this data broke down in each category, according to the 2013 figures supplied by the Arkansas Department of Health:

  • Female Deaths from Unintentional Injuries – 482 (3.3% of female deaths)
    • Transportation Accidents – 163 (1.1%)
    • Unrelated to Transportation – 319 (2.2%)
  • Male Deaths from Unintentional Injuries – 815 (5.3% of male deaths)
    • Transportation Accidents – 348 (2.3%)
    • Unrelated to Transportation – 467 (3.1%)
  • Total Deaths from Unintentional Injuries – 1,297 (4.3% of total deaths in Arkansas)
    • Transportation Accidents – 511 (1.7%)
    • Unrelated to Transportation – 786 (2.6%)

Unfortunately, the equivalent data set from 2014 is currently unavailable from the Department of Health, whose data on leading causes of death spans from 2000 to 2013 as of January 2017.  However, the CDC supplies additional state-by-state data for 2014, including data on unintentional deaths in Arkansas.

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According to CDC figures, a total of 1,458 Arkansas residents were killed in accidents in 2014: an increase of 161 from the 1,297 accidental deaths reported by the Department of Health in 2013.  The CDC also attributed a total of 532 unintentional deaths to motor vehicle accidents.

By the CDC’s definition, transportation accidents included all vehicular accidents, including boat accidents and plane accidents (“water, air and space”).  Unintentional injuries resulting from non-transportation accidents included:

  • Accidental Burn Injuries
  • Accidental Drowning
  • Accidental Gunshot Wounds
  • Accidental Poisoning
  • Accidental Smoke Exposure
  • Slip and Fall Accident Injuries
  • Accidental Falls

In a separate report based on slightly older data from 2012, the CDC ranked Arkansas number 11 in the country based on its rate of accidental death: 49.9 accidental deaths per 100,000 total members of the population.  In 2012, accidental injuries caused a total of 1,521 deaths among Arkansas residents.

For context, the total population of Arkansas was approximately 3 million as of 2014 (2,966,000).  This is an increase of about 17,000 residents from 2012, when the population was closer to 2,949,000.

Fayetteville Wrongful Death Lawyers Handling Accidental Falls, Burns, and Drowning

Whether they involve fires, swimming pool accidents, automotive accidents, or other types of accidents, unintentional injuries are a top cause of death in Arkansas, causing over 1,000 fatalities every year.  Sadly, many of these deaths are caused by the careless actions of other people, such as drivers who run red lights, landlords who fail to supply adequate building maintenance, and manufacturers of defective products which overheat and start fires.

If you lost a spouse or family member to a fatal accident in Arkansas, you have a right to aggressively pursue justice, compensation, and accountability from the person or business responsible for your loved one’s death.  With nearly 20 years of experience handling personal injury and accidental death claims, Fort Smith wrongful death attorney Ken Kieklak is prepared to fight and advocate fiercely on your behalf.

If you believe that the loss of your loved one was caused by another person’s reckless or careless actions, you are urged to contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law for a free and confidential consultation regarding your family’s legal rights.  To arrange a free consultation, call our law offices at (479) 439-1843 right away.