“How Much Money Will My Car Accident Cost?”
Maryland auto accident lawyer Stuart Plotnick explains
You're driving to work. Or maybe you're running errands, or simply out for a drive. Out of nowhere, another car crashes into your vehicle. Your neck hurts, or maybe your back. All you know is something doesn't feel right.
Getting the best medical care you need should be your first priority after your car accident. You should also take all the time you need to fully recover. And if your car was totaled, you'll need a new one once you're healthy. Or you might need to figure out a different way to get around if you sustained a life-altering, permanent disability.
All these things cost money. But how much? And who will pay such bills? Rockville, Maryland car accident attorney Stuart L. Plotnick hears these questions a lot. That's because he has worked with accident victims for decades. That's why our law firm put together this post aimed at helping you understand the financial impact of your accident.
Financial impact of motor vehicle accidents on America
The financial impact of motor vehicle accidents costs our country billions of dollars every year. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that in 2010, motor vehicle accidents cost our economy $242 billion - but $836 billion is the figure if we consider impact on society as a whole, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). And that figure could be even higher.
USA Today cited NHTSA officials in 2014 who estimated the annual financial toll for motor vehicle accidents to be $871 billion - $277 billion in "economic costs" and $594 billion in "societal harm" due to loss of life or pain associated with injuries.
The Los Angeles Times cited similar statistics in 2014 and estimated that motor vehicle accidents cost the United States "almost $1 trillion" every year.
As for Maryland, motor vehicle accidents cost injury victims and their families an estimated $690 million in 2013, according to state-by-state estimates compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
And here's another sobering statistic. Fatal car accidents cost our society an estimated $210.5 billion in 2015, based on AAA's estimate that every traffic fatality costs families an estimated $6 million, according to another USA Today article. A total of 35,092 people died in motor vehicle accidents nationwide in 2015, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.
Common costs associated with auto accidents
Why are motor vehicle accidents so expensive? The most common costs associated with car accidents include 11 primary components, USA Today reported. The NHTSA identified these 11 components (and provided annual estimates for some) as:
- Property damage $76 Billion
- Lost earnings
- Loss of household activities $77 Billion
- Medical costs $23 Billion
- Emergency services
- Travel delays (including traffic, excess fuel consumption) $28 Billion
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Lost time at work
- Administrative costs
- Pain and lost quality of life
- Legal costs
In our state in particular, the CDC estimates that car accidents cost Maryland residents:
- $684 million in lost work
- $6 million in medical costs
Why you should contact an attorney after your auto accident
If someone clearly caused your crash, you might think you don't need lawyer to get the money you deserve after your accident. But the truth is there's almost no such thing as a simple car accident. Each case is unique, and even seemingly straightforward ones can quickly become complicated. The total cost of an auto accident can greatly exceed your medical bills and lost wages - you need to account for the full impact of the accident on your life.
And if you don't have an experienced attorney on your side fighting for the compensation you need, you might end up having to pay for many of your accident-related expenses out of your own pocket. Why? Because insurance companies do everything they can to keep payments to you to a minimum or deny your claim altogether.
Insurance companies don't intimidate attorney Plotnick. That's because he used to work for them. A former lead trial lawyer for insurance companies, Stuart Plotnick knows how the legal system works and what it takes to build a strong legal case. Contact our Rockville, Maryland law firm and schedule your free case evaluation to learn more about the financial impact of your car accident and how we can help you.