Car insurance accident statistics show more than 12 million motor vehicle accidents occur annually in the United States. These same statistics reveal that the average driver will experience a "near automobile accident" once or twice a month and will actually be involved in a collision about every six years.
Car accidents can be live-changing. In fact they are one of the most common causes of personal injury. Even a minor accident can result in severe trauma and in some cases permanent disability or death. Even if you are involved in a fender bender, it's important to be checked out by a doctor. Many times injury symptoms do not surface immediately. You'll want to have medical documentation to back up your claims if symptoms start to hinder your day-to-day life. Trauma brought about from an accident can result in:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
These numbers include over five million nonfatal accidents. However, non-fatal does not mean accidents didn't result in disabling injuries. In fact, around two million injuries render vehicle occupants disabled. Statistics from the Insurance Research Council show the breakdown of details as to who pays for the care and treatment of these injuries:
- 63 percent paid by the injured individual's car insurance company
- 55 percent paid by the other vehicle's insurance company
- 36 percent paid by the injured person's health insurance
- 20 percent paid by government programs
- 19 percent by workman's compensation insurance
For about 60 percent of these people, two or more sources pay for their treatment.
Car Insurance Accident Statistics
Car accidents cause thousands of injuries and deaths each year and are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 6 and 27. Here some of the sobering car insurance accident statistics from 2006:
- 2.6 million car accident victims were injured
- 42,642 died
- 17,602 fatalities were caused by a driver with a blood alcohol level higher than 0.1, and 15,121 fatalities by a driver with a BAC of higher than 0.8.
- 61,000 pedestrians died
To review current traffic statistics, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has available current accident statistics on national and state-by-state bases, along with many other resources on vehicle statistics and safety.
All of these statistics constitute a need for financial compensation. Unfortunately, most automobile accident victims don't ever collect the full amount to which they are entitled for damages. Often, it is because they don't understand how insurance works and they accept the first offer that an insurance company makes even though they don't understand how much their care will cost and how it will affect their finances overall. Victims often unknowingly settle for less than their claim is worth.
How to Protect Yourself After a Car Accident
Accidents happen quickly. At the accident scene, things can be confusing. It's important to protect yourself from future problems, even while still at the accident scene, regardless of whose fault the accident is. Take the time to collect important information that may be necessary should you have to build an effective personal injury case. If you are able, collect:
- Driver's names, addresses and driver's license numbers
- Passenger names and addresses
- Telephone numbers of everyone including witnesses
- Names and addresses of registered vehicle owners
- Insurance company names and policy numbers
- Car accident location
- Write down how the car accident occurred (while details are fresh). Include things like whether or not a driver showed signs of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Jot down noticeable injuries and damage to vehicles. If you can, take pictures. Cell phones have made this easier.
- Get the names of the police officers who respond to the accident scene
While at the scene, don't admit fault. Wait and speak to your insurance agent. And if you find yourself experiencing disabling symptoms once you go home, call your doctor. You may also want to consider contacting a personal injury lawyer to discuss what you need to do in order to be fairly compensated.