Colorado drivers may not be aware of the many economic costs associated with traffic accidents. In 2010 alone, the financial ramifications of auto accidents across the country amounted to approximately $1 trillion, according to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That figure includes the loss of productivity and the loss of life that often result from motor vehicle accidents.
While private insurance companies cover nearly half of the direct expenses that derive from car crashes, accident victims themselves pay approximately 26 percent, according to authorities. However, the full extent of the costs stemming from any given accident does not become manifest immediately following the incident. In fact, according to authorities, the bulk of the financial repercussions related to crashes are incurred by people who were not directly involved in the accident, in the forms of taxes, insurance premiums and lost man-hours due to traffic delays.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cost of medical expenses and lost productivity stemming from motor vehicle crashes in 2010 was the equivalent of nearly $500 for every licensed driver in America. In this sense, the prevalence of traffic accidents in the country is noteworthy. One study finds that a motor vehicle accident occurs every 14 seconds in the United States. Moreover, the NHTSA estimates that the auto accidents that go unreported each year may total 10 million or more.
These statistics indicate that the costs associated with traffic accidents are multiplex. That is, the damages that people suffer on accounts of crashes are not only physical and emotional but also financial. However, accident victims may seek civil remedies for the pecuniary damages suffered as a result of a wreck by retaining a lawyer and filing a personal injury claim. In this way, accident victims might receive financial compensation for hospital bills, vehicular repairs and even lost wages.
Source: Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, "Cost of Auto Crashes & Statistics", September 30, 2014