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The Cost of a Traffic Collision

April 10, 2018

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

Over the past five years of the most current available data, from 2012 through 2016, the total number of reported Pennsylvania traffic collisions has increased every single year, starting at 124,092 and rising to 129,395, as reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PDT). This comes as car technology has increased leaps and bounds with safety features that supposedly not only reduce the injuries caused during crashes, but reduce the chances of crashing in the first place. It seems that safety technology has not kept up with the rise of cell phones. Increasingly, people talk, text, and look down at their cell phones instead of looking at the road, and this comes at a great cost to their injured victims, as well as society as a whole.

Economic Cost of Traffic Collisions on Society

The economic cost of traffic collisions in Pennsylvania amounted to $1,382 for every man, woman, and child in the state, as reported by the PDT. The more severe the crash, the more economic impact it has on society. For example, the following is the economic impact for all traffic collisions in 2016 in Pennsylvania:

  • 1,188 fatalities with an average cost of $6.7 million, amounting to $7.9 billion total;
  • 4,397 people seriously injured with an average cost of $1.5 million and a total cost of $6.5 billion;
  • 26,284 minor injuries with an average cost of $99,235 and a total cost of $2.6 billion;
  • 23,050 crashes resulting in possible injuries, averaging $7,755 and totaling $179 million;
  • 68,447 crashes resulting in property damage alone, averaging $3,102 and totaling $212 million; and
  • 29,240 crashes of unknown severity, averaging $7,755 and totaling $227 million.

The total cost of all Pennsylvania motor vehicle crashes amounted to $17.7 billion, more than the individual GDPs of roughly 100 countries. While society pays a great price for motor vehicle transportation in more than one way, the financial impact that a single crash has on a family can be crippling.

Everything Needs to be Taken into Account, Including the Following

  • Medical bills;
  • Future procedures and medical expenses, such as costs associated with physical therapy and medical equipment or home remodeling;
  • Lost wages and lost earning ability;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Permanent scarring or disfigurement;
  • Loss of joy of life;
  • Loss of consortium if a loved one died; and
  • Property damage.

Cost of Pain and Suffering

A rough estimate of your pain and suffering that is used by many car insurance companies is to multiply your medical bills by a number from one to five, with one being a minor injury and five being major. For more debilitating or disfiguring injuries, pain and suffering can be even greater.

Call a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney Before Talking with an Insurance Company

It is not possible to make an accurate approximation of the cost of the crash that you or a loved one were involved in without first consulting with a lawyer. Often times, you may think your medical costs are a certain number, only to have medical costs occur due to future procedures, or unpaid bills show up in the mail months after the crash. Usually, a crash costs much more than the victim believes it will. Call van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim today to speak with a qualified Philadelphia car accident attorney.


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