Throughout the course of the last few decades, a multitude of safety organizations at the federal and state level have launched campaigns to educate the public with regard to the hazards of automobile accidents. As a result, most people are aware that traffic collisions are one of the most common causes of death in the United States, and this is a very good thing. However, with health and safety at the forefront of most educational initiatives the economic impacts of these accidents are often overlooked.
Earlier this week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a new study analyzing the economic toll and societal impact of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. According to data presented by the agency, the price tag of these crashes comes out to a staggering $871 billion, including $277 billion in economic costs, or roughly $900 for every American citizen. The NHTSA explained that the additional $594 billion worth of societal harm stemmed from the loss of life, pain, future health related expenses, and overall diminished quality of life suffered by injury victims and their families as a result of motor vehicle accidents.
Other factors incorporated into the NHTSA’s price tag included productivity losses, damage to property, costs related to rehabilitation, congestion costs, legal and court fees, emergency medical response services and transportation, insurance costs, and the collective cost to employers, etc. What most people don’t know is that approximately 3/4th of these accumulated economic costs end up being paid for by way of federal and state taxes, higher insurance premiums and costs, and various other collective expenses. Still, while $871 billion is an almost unimaginable sum of money, the NHTSA concluded its publication on a rather bright note, pointing out that in 2014, driving a vehicle is now safer than it has been at any point in the past. (The Los Angeles Times)
Our lawyers have been representing individuals and families in personal injury lawsuits since 1992, and this experience has taught us that every time a person gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, they are not only accepting responsibility for themselves, but also for the safety of their passengers and every other person on the road. However, this new study makes it clear that the deleterious affects of our actions while operating an automobile don’t end with road users; traffic accidents have the potential to affect everyone in our society.
Our legal team has successfully handled all types of automobile negligence cases. In one such lawsuit, our client was awarded a $2.4 million verdict for the serious injuries that he suffered when a drunk City of Chicago employee struck him and three others while walking on a Gold Coast sidewalk. We are proud of the role that our firm plays in the recovering of verdicts and settlements for our clients and improving their quality of life after accidents; if there is any way that our firm can help you, please call us anytime for a free consultation.