Automobiles: A Costly Convenience
Paying a High Price
In less than a century the automobile evolved from a curious oddity to a luxury to an everyday necessity. We think nothing of jumping in our car and traveling several hundred miles in an afternoon. However, our familiarity with the auto should never allow us to be casual about the potential dangers we face on our nation’s roads and highways. Unfortunately, the terrible statistics reported each year prove that many people don’t take these dangers seriously. More than 78 percent of all traffic accidents have contributing factors such as alcohol, speed or inattention.
What is the cost of these accidents? They are very high. In fact, it is amazing that we tolerate them. There is an average of more than 30,000 fatalities and 2.5 million injuries every year. It is conservatively estimated that more than 20,000,000 people have lost their lives due to auto and truck accidents since the automobile was introduced. Imagine the reaction if even only a small fraction of that total had occurred in airplane accidents.
Aside from the tragedy of deaths and injuries, the monetary costs of auto accidents are equally staggering. According to a study conducted by the Automobile Association of America, a single traffic fatality creates a total financial loss of at least $3.2 million, with a single injury averaging $68,110. For 2007 alone, these losses exceeded $166 billion. This includes such costs as medical treatment, property damages, lost wages and lost future income.
The news in Florida follows this tragic national trend. Our state averages a quarter-million accidents a year, with more than 2,400 fatalities and nearly 200,000 reportable injuries. As noted, the financial costs of these accidents run into the billions. For many individuals, an auto accident is an event that changes their lives. From disabilities to pain to unending medical bills, the negligence of another can cause your quality of life to change in an instant.
Dealing with Auto Accidents
The simple fact is that as a society we have come to accept this horrendous cost as a price of the convenience of our mobile culture. However, when that attitude creates the reality of a major auto accident for you and/or your loved ones, it can result in circumstances that must be dealt with on an individual basis. If you are a Palm Beach area resident involved in such a traffic crash, you may need to contact a West Palm Beach auto accident lawyer to protect your rights.
Dealing with the many factors affecting the issue of negligence and recovery of costs such as medical bills and lost wages often requires the assistance of an experienced and competent personal injury lawyer. The laws protecting individuals are sometimes complex and difficult to understand. However, most attorneys will provide a free initial consultation to help you sort out your options and needed actions. If you or a loved one is involved in a serious vehicle accident, act today to protect your rights.