Some things are impossible to calculate. But others are routinely figured, such as the total dollar amounts spent on caring for accident victims. Each year the National Safety Council adds up the amount spent on car accident injuries to generate a picture of the impact of car accidents on the US economy.
There is much variation in each car accident, so the numbers the NSC finds may not pertain to your accident, or any other unique car accident and the losses, damages, and injuries the men, women and children involved in it may incur. Injuries and their impacts are very challenging to calculate. It’s a general idea, and gives a clear picture of the staggering impact car accidents can have on victims’ lives.
The numbers below are average estimates from car accidents, including wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, damage to motor vehicles, employers’ uninsured costs, and other expenses and losses.
Average Economic Cost by Injury Severity, or Crash, from 2015:
Disabling but survivable injuries: $90,000
Evident injuries: $26,000
Possible injuries: $21,400
No injury observed: $11,400
Property damage only (cost per vehicle): $4,200
So even if no one is hurt, a car accident could still cost over $4,000 – just in terms of what is lost economically. Now let’s add in some additional factors that the NSC evaluates. The comprehensive costs below also include a measure of the value of lost quality of life. These figures are based on what people actually pay to reduce their health and safety risks.
The average comprehensive costs on a per injured person basis were:
Disabling but survivable injuries: $1,103,000
Evident injuries: $304,000
Possible injuries: $141,000
No injury observed: $46,600
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