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Motor vehicle accident facts and figures

Car accidents can have a toll on drivers in Connecticut and elsewhere in the country. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that traffic accidents cost $1 trillion in lost lives and lost productivity in 2010. In 2012, 33,561 people died in motor vehicle crashes, which was an increase from 2011 and represented the first increase in six years.

While fatalities were up in 2012, they were reportedly down 4.2 percent in the first half of 2013 compared to the first half of 2012. Statistics also reveal that crash numbers had been in a steady decline after a sharp rise in the first quarter of 2012. Injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes also rose in 2012 by 6.5 percent. Overall, 2,362,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents, which was up from 2,217,000 in 2011.

The cost of claims related to traffic accidents has been increasing faster than inflation according to data from the Insurance Research Council. This is true even though the severity of accidents has stayed relative steady. Private insurance companies pay an average of 50 percent of the cost related to a crash while the victims may pay up to 26 percent of the cost. An estimated 75 percent of all costs are paid indirectly by other drivers through insurance premiums and taxes.

Those who are hurt in car accidents may be able to take legal action against the driver who caused the accident. It may be possible to win compensation for medical bills and long-term care costs. It may also be possible to win compensation in the form of punitive damages. A personal injury attorney may be able to help a victim get such compensation in court or through a settlement negotiated outside of court.

Source: RMIIA, "Cost of Auto Crashes & Statistics", December 05, 2014

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