Motor vehicle accidents are a sad reality. Auto accidents continue to occur in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and elsewhere and many are injured or killed as a result. An auto accident can have lasting and devastating effects on accident victims or a victim’s survivors. Additionally, these accidents also impact the whole of America’s society and its economy.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently updated a report, which puts the national economic loss due to motor vehicle accidents at more than $240 billion for the year 2010 alone. According to the report issued last month, this figure is based on the present value of lifetime economic costs of nearly 33,000 fatalities and almost 4 million non-fatal injuries that occurred in 2010. In addition, the report also factored in the costs associated with 24 million damaged vehicles.
Interestingly, the determination of societal and economical losses caused by motor vehicle accidents does not end at $240 billion. The NHTSA said that for that for 2010, adding factors such as quality-of-life valuations to the equation increases the monetary value of societal harm caused by motor vehicle accidents to an astonishing $863 billion. This figure encompasses medical expenses, loss of productivity, damage to property, insurance costs, costs of emergency services, legal costs and so on. Additionally, intangible factors such as pain and suffering also contribute to the total economic and societal costs.
Next week’s blog post will discuss the details of how the NHTSA arrived at these figures. When a court hears personal injury or wrongful death cases arising from auto accidents, it considers the same set of factors to determine any compensation the victim should receive. Therefore, it may be beneficial for victims to obtain an attorney who can help them highlight these factors during a legal proceeding for a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
Source: NHTSA.DoT.gov, “The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010 (Revised),” May 2015, Accessed on June 10, 2015