Car accidents are an unfortunate fact of life. The majority of people, at some point in their lives, will likely be involved in a car accident. It could be a minor fender bender, or, sometimes, a serious crash involving lawyers, doctors, hospitals and repair shops.
A car accident can be a physical and mental pain. Besides the injuries resulting from the actual crash, your insurance premiums may go up, you'll have to pay for car repairs and doctor visits, and you may be involved in a lawsuit as a result.
Collectively, car accidents cost a lot of money. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that the costs of car crash injuries are more than $99 billion a year1.
In addition, car crash-related injuries are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of one to 34. From Car-Accidents.com:
Car Crash Stats: There were nearly 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2005. The financial cost of these crashes is more than $230 billion dollars. 2.9 million people were injured and 42,636 people killed. About 115 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States - one death every 13 minutes.
What We Can Do to Reduce this Impact?
The CDC's fact sheet shows ways to reduce the human and economic toll of car accidents. Suggestions include:
What about Fraudulent Accidents?
Besides the high costs associated with accidents, there are also the costs of fake accidents and insurance scams. Each year, insurance companies spend millions of dollars defending themselves against fraudulent car accident claims. These include purposeful, fraudulent crashes and real accidents where people fake or exaggerate injuries to get more insurance money.
While insurance companies are the ones who initially pay these expenses, you, as the consumer, eventually pick up the tab. Higher costs end up being shifted to the customers who end up with higher premiums to make up for these costs.
Such scams also affect your record when the other party files a report with the police and the insurance company, and your insurance premium usually increases.