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By the numbers: the many costs of motor vehicle crashes

Among the many enormous changes in our society in the past century, traffic safety is one of the most positive. Back in 1913, there were 1.3 million cars on America’s roads – none of them equipped with safety features as we understand them today. While “only” 4,200 people died that year in traffic accidents, the number of deaths per 10,000 registered vehicles was staggering: 33. By comparison, the rate had fallen 96 percent by 2017: 1.47 deaths per 10,000 registered vehicles.

But let’s not pat ourselves on the back too enthusiastically. According to the National Safety Council, we lost more than 40,200 people in the U.S. in motor vehicle crashes in 2017.

The economic and health damage to American motorists doesn’t stop there, of course. Traffic crashes caused more than 4.6 million injuries that required medical attention in 2017, at a cost estimated at more than $433 billion.

How could the injuries cost us so much? That figure includes not only medical expenses, but also lost wages for workers and lost productivity for employers. It also includes property damage, administrative costs and more, the National Safety Council says.

The nonprofit organization says there were approximately 3.2 million crashes in which injuries occurred, as well as 37,100 wrecks in which at least there was at least one fatality. There were an additional 10.6 million crashes in which there was property damage, but no injuries or deaths.

Yes, the numbers are staggering. And the economic and health repercussions for accident injury victims can be life-altering.

If you or a loved one has been harmed in a car crash, speak with a Lake Charles attorney experienced in personal injury litigation about compensation and justice.