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Costs and statistics of motor vehicle crashes

Individuals who have been involved in auto accidents in New Jersey may be interested in a report done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concerning crashes in 2012. Collisions and fatalities nationwide had steadily decreased for six years in a row but suddenly took a jump in 2012, and 33,561 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes that year while 2,362,000 were injured. On average, a motor vehicle fatality occurred once every 16 minutes, and an injury happened every 14 seconds.

According to a study by the Insurance Research Council, auto injury victims’ medical expenses increased between 2007 and 2012 at a faster pace than the rate of inflation even as the severity of such injuries were declining. The number of people who walked away from an accident with no visible injuries during that period increased, which helped show that injuries were declining in severity.

The average claim for property damage in 2012 was just over $3,000, and the average claim for bodily injury was nearly $7,000. Auto comprehensive claims averaged a little more than $1,500, and collision coverage claims were barely under $3,000 on average. The largest percentage of motor vehicle crash costs are paid by private insurance companies, but individual crash victims, charities, states and local municipalities each pay a portion as well.

Statistics may tell a story, but they are unable to fully reveal the scope of pain and suffering experienced by victims of car accidents. Time lost from work, rehabilitation costs and emergency medical expenses might be reimbursable if a lawsuit is filed and a court determines that another driver was negligent in handling a motor vehicle leading up to the crash.

Source: Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, “Cost of Auto Crashes & Statistics“, October 05, 2014

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