Car accidents remain one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in our communities. Motor vehicle collisions take a significant toll. The total economic and social harm of car accidents is enormous — and many of these crashes could and should have been avoided with proper care. Here, our Vermont car accident attorney provides an overview of the annual cost of motor vehicle collisions.
Serious Crashes Happen Nearly Every Day in Vermont
Even as one of the smallest states in the union, Vermont still sees more than its fair share of major car accidents. According to data from the Vermont Highway Safety Office (VHSO), 62 people were killed and 202 were seriously injured in car accidents in 2020. In its annual highway safety report, Vermont defines “serious injury” as one that is likely to result in long-term or permanent impairments, such as a broken bone, severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), or spinal cord injury.
The data understates the number of significant crashes. Not all car accident emergency room visits are classified as serious injuries. The VHSO notes that more than 1,000 people seek medical attention for motor vehicle accidents in Vermont each year. Ultimately, the cost incurred by car accident victims can be massive, including those associated with:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages, both now and in the future
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
While the cost of each of those above will vary depending on the circumstances, the financial impact on victims can be severe. In light of this, those injured in car accidents should always consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
Federal Government Study: Car Accidents Cost the U.S. $1 Trillion Per Year
The most comprehensive study on the total cost of car accidents comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In a study of car crashes for the year 2010, the agency estimates the economic toll at $871 billion.
The report found $277 billion in direct economic damages, including for motor vehicle repairs and medical bills. Beyond that, the report also estimates that our country endures another $594 billion in non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, permanent disability or impairment, and wrongful death.
Based on the NHTSA assessment of the cost of car accidents, Vermont’s proportional share of the impact is likely between $4 billion and $6 billion per year.
In 2020, the total collective cost of car accidents was undoubtedly far higher. Not only has there been inflation, but there were far more serious traffic collisions reported last year than there were a decade prior. In 2010, approximately 33,000 people were killed and 3.9 million were injured in crashes.
The preliminary report from the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that approximately 42,000 people were killed and 4.8 million were injured in accidents in 2020. Based on the NHTSA’s work, the cost of car accidents last year was likely more than $1 trillion.
Contact Our Vermont Car Accident Lawyer Today
At Larson & Gallivan Law, our Vermont auto accident attorneys have the professional skills and legal knowledge to get you and your family results. If you were injured in a car crash, we will maximize your financial recovery.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation initial consultation. With an office in Rutland, we represent auto accident victims throughout Rutland County, including in Brandon, Fair Haven, Castleton, Wallingford, West Rutland, Poultney, and Shrewsbury.