Each year, there are more than 10 million car accidents across the United States, which costs Americans billions. While the exact cost of car accidents can only be estimated, certain cost models present an indication of just how much money is spent recovering from crashes each year.
The Real Cost of Car Accident Injuries
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 27,000 car accidents happen each day and that lost wages, property damage, medical bills and legal fees cost Americans over $870 billion.
The cost to replace a car or repair damages is minor, compared to what is experienced by those injured in a car accident, and their families. Even minor collisions can lead to huge expenses. The National Safety Council has estimated the average cost of fatal and nonfatal injuries. This places a spotlight on the importance of safety and prevention.
Many factors were considered when these estimates were developed. Included in the figures were wage and productivity loss, medical expenses, administrative costs and vehicle damage. The average cost for each individual’s death in a fatal crash came in at over $1.5 million. In a disabling accident, the average cost is over $88,000. When an injury is evident, the estimated cost is $25,600. In cases when only property damage occurs, the average cost drops dramatically, to just $4,200.
Why Do Car Accidents Cost So Much?
Medical costs alone can cause families immense financial strain, following a car accident. Unfortunately, some injuries do not manifest right away, meaning that some individuals find themselves facing medical complications for years to come.
When an injury is serious, missed work or inability to work in the way that an injured person once could also leads to financial loss. Of course, the pain and suffering of families that have lost a loved one in a car crash cannot be measured, but these families still often find themselves dealing with the high cost of recovery, funeral expenses and unpaid medical bills.
In some cases, compensation is available to those who are injured in car accidents, and their families. Attorneys for car accidents work with insurers to help recoup these costs, but unfortunately, crash victims still end up paying over 25% of the costs when a crash occurs. Charities and healthcare providers take on up to 14% of the remaining costs.