People often ask themselves if they need to hire a Houston auto accident lawyer after they have been injured in a collision. You may wish to consider it if you have been seriously hurt and are having extreme difficulties paying your medical bills. You may be unable to work. This makes it impossible to support yourself and your family, but the main issue is that the accident was not your fault. Someone else’s negligence placed you into an intolerable situation, and you need help getting out of it.
The Monetary Impact of Traffic Accidents
Car accidents are taking a definite toll on our economy. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA stated in a report that car collisions cost Americans $1 trillion every year. This amounts to an actual cost of $277 billion dollars, but fatalities, pain and suffering and decreased quality of life has been estimated to equal $594 billion.
Grim Statistics for 2010
While conducting a study of 2010 crashes, the agency discovered the following:
- 32,999 people lost their lives
- Victims suffered 3.9 million non-fatal injuries
- 24 million motor vehicles were damaged
These unfortunate statistics also permeate into other areas of people’s lives. For example, car collisions caused crash victims to miss work, and this amounted to lost productivity in the amount of $93 billion. The total bill for property damage was equal to $76 billion, and the sum of everyone’s medical bills added up to $35 billion. The agency even calculated how much these accidents affected the environment. Because of increased traffic congestion, pollution also increased, and this caused another $28 billion in expenditures.
The Results for 2012
Statistics for the year 2012 (most recent statistics available) are not any more encouraging. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC learned that 23,000 individuals died in car collisions during that year. This averaged out to 63 people a day.
The fact is that not everyone loses their lives in these crashes. Some people survive after suffering extremely debilitating injuries, such as irreversible brain damage and paralysis. Needless to say, these victims’ lives will never be the same.
According to the CDC’s research, 2.5 million people needed to be treated in the emergency room because of injuries suffered in car collisions. The agency estimates that lifetime medical costs for these crashes are equal to $8 billion. A total of 200,000 of the 2.5 million people injured required hospitalization, and their lifetime healthcare expenses are expected to be equal to $10 billion. The CDC also estimated lost work hours for those affected to be $33 billion over their lifetimes.
What Causes Motor Vehicle Crashes?
The NHTSA’s report listed three major contributors to motor vehicle accidents: drunken driving, operating a vehicle above the speed limit and driving the vehicle while distracted.
The Good News
The news is not all negative. If they had not been wearing their seat belts, another 12,500 people would have perished in car collisions. Also, they would have experienced 308,000 more serious injuries than they did. This lowered the collective lost productivity and medical bill by $69 billion. Unfortunately, not everyone opted to wear their seat belts, so this decision caused the bills to increase by $72 billion.
The CDC would like the states to do more to decrease the number of crashes that occur, but this will not help you if you have already been hurt. As explained in this article, collisions cost a great deal of money, and people often have difficulties obtaining what they deserve from the at-fault drivers’ insurance companies. That is the main reason that a Houston car accident personal injury attorney is needed. A Houston auto accident lawsuit may be just what these people need to convince insurance companies to offer fair settlements.