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The True Cost Of Motor Vehicle Accidents

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The Houston Chronicle recently ran a news series titled "Out Of Control," which explored the many facets of Houston's reputation as America's most deadly metro area. Part six of the series covered one aspect of motor vehicle accidents - the cost.

The costs associated with a car accident can be extremely high. In cases where serious, life-changing injuries result - such as spinal cord injuries or brain injuries, for example - the economic costs are especially high.

Last year, 640 people died and 2,850 were injured in car accidents on Houston roads.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the total cost of car accidents in the Houston area in 2017 was $38.4 billion. This is an 86 percent increase from 2007.

How can car accidents be so costly? Even non-fatal accidents create a ripple effect that impact more than just those directly involved in a collision. This includes car mechanics, traffic accident clean-up crews, and even employers of drivers stuck in traffic after a highway accident. This amount accounts for all accident-related expenses including:

  • Property damage
  • Insurance costs
  • Emergency response
  • Injuries
  • Hospitalization
  • Lost wages, and
  • Lost productivity due to roadway delays

Accounting for all motor vehicle accidents across the U.S., the estimated cost per American is $784 per year, according to the National Center for Statistics and Analytics.

Injury victims and families are rarely equipped to deal with the financial aftermath of an accident. They are forced to deal with complex insurance coverage issues, rising medical bills, and,lost wages for those unable to work due to injuries.

When an accident is caused by a negligent motorist or third party, accident victims may have legal options. It is advisable to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible following an accident. Most insurance companies will promise victims fair compensation only to backtrack when it comes time to pay claims.

We know that motor vehicle accidents have a large economic impact on not only accident victims, but the entire population. With a rapidly growing number of drivers on the road, Houston is consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous metro areas in terms of traffic safety. Houston drivers and residents are certainly impacted by the large number of accidents that happen here.

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