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A man was seriously hurt in a 2012 automobile accident when the car he was a passenger in was struck from behind by a woman who swerved to avoid rear-ending another car.

In June 2017, Alvaro R. settled a lawsuit he filed in connection with the crash for $1.4 million, with the majority of the award—$1.3 million—to be paid by Ruth L., the driver of the car that struck Alvaro, while the remainder—$97,500—is owed by Alvaro’s wife, Miroslawa R., according to the New Jersey Law Journal.

Miroslawa parked her car on the shoulder of Route 9 in Manalapan, N.J. on Aug. 16, 2012, so she could drop off a job application at a nearby business, the law journal reported.

While Alvaro waited in the car for his wife, Ruth barreled into the back of the Alvaro and Ruth’s vehicle, causing it to flip on its side and travel 66 feet down the highway, Alvaro’s lawyer told the publication. Ruth, the lawyer said, had swerved onto the road shoulder in order to avoid a traffic jam that she came upon suddenly.

Alvaro’s injuries included herniated discs that required lumbar decompression and fusion surgery, knee injuries that necessitated two arthroscopic surgeries as well as an infection that required a debridement procedure (the removal of the infected tissue to save the remaining healthy tissue).

Alvaro sued Ruth as well as his wife because each were accusing the other of being at fault.

“ also asserted that the plaintiff had significant preexisting degeneration and injuries to his spine, and contended that Miroslawa should not have parked her car on the shoulder of the road,” Alvaro’s lawyer told the New Jersey Law Journal.

More Than 2 Million Injured in Automobile Accidents

According to the Maryland-based Association for Safe International Travel, some 2.35 million people are injured or disabled in U.S. automobile accidents each year, while road crashes claim the lives of another 37,000.

Of the 37,000 annual fatalities in the United States, nearly 8,000 of those are drivers between the ages of 16 and 20, and 1,600 are children under age 15.

While crash death rates have fallen over the past decade, automobile accident fatalities in the United States in 2013 were still more than twice the average of other high-income countries, amounting to about 90 crash fatalities per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The CDC noted that front seat belt use in the U.S. was lower than in most other comparable countries. One-in-three crash deaths here involved drunk driving, and speeding was a factor in almost one-in-three crash deaths.

Rural roads are far more dangerous than those in more populated areas of the country, accounting for 75 percent of all vehicle deaths in 15 states, according to a 2016 story published by the financial news website 24/7 Wall St., which cited data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

“Research shows that drivers tend to drive faster and more recklessly on rural roads, are less likely to wear seat belts, and are more likely to strike a wild animal crossing the road,” 24/7 Wall St. reported.

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