A few years ago, Nationwide Insurance ran a series of commercials featuring the tagline "Life Comes at You Fast." The ads were designed to be somewhat humorous while at the same time conveying a fundamental principle: bad things can quickly and unexpectedly happen which negatively impact your life. The essential truth of "Life Comes at You Fast" most certainly applies with regard to car accidents which you can suddenly be caught up in even if you are driving safely and cautiously. In late December 2013, WLOX TV reported on how tragedy quickly and unexpectedly struck on I-10 in Jackson County, Mississippi.
According to WLOX, two people were following their normal routine of going to work when their cars collided. The initial two-car collision became a multi-car pileup. A law enforcement officer described the scene as "horrific" with a lot of "mangled wreckage" in the wake of the pileup. The drivers of the two cars which initially collided survived and exited their cars. They were killed as other cars then ran into them. In addition to the two fatalities, others were injured. Firefighters had to use the "Jaws of Life" to pry one of the injured people from his car. Officials said this man was hurt badly and initial reports suggested that he sustained severe back injuries and possibly neck injuries.
According to Fox News, insurance companies estimate that the average person will file a claim for a collision about once every 17.9 years. Thus, assuming a long driving lifetime, one can expect to be involved in three or four auto accidents. Auto accidents range from fender benders to multi-car collisions. Fortunately, the statistics reveal that your chances of being involved in a deadly collision are rather low. However, injuries of some type are always a distinct possibility.
Medical costs can be staggering
According to the web site for World-Wide Wounds, motor vehicle accidents are a significant cause of injuries caused by either an impact between the victim and his external environment or acceleration or deceleration forces acting on the victim's internal organs. In hard-impact auto collisions, such as the I-10 multi-car pileup, severe head, neck and back injuries can occur.
An insurance trade group, American Health Insurance Plans, states that one-sixth of the U.S. economy is now devoted to health care spending and costs continue to rise each year. Costs continue to rise as a result of increases in prices for medical services, use of new technologies, treatments which do not take into account cost effectiveness, and a lack of "transparency" of information on prices. Higher medical costs force "hard choices about balancing food, rent and needed care."
The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association observes that the economic costs associated with motor vehicle crashes is around 100 billion dollars annually. Further, new studies suggest that medical expenses for auto injury claimants are steadily increasing faster than the rate of inflation and "in spite of the fact that the severity of the injuries themselves remain on a downward trend."
Injuries sustained in a car accident can range from minor to severe. In a worst case scenario, injuries could be permanently life-changing. Medical costs are a heavy burden. Time spent away from work due to an auto accident can be financially crippling. If you or a loved one have sustained injuries due to an auto accident which you believe was caused by another's negligence, you should not hesitate to contact an attorney who is experienced in handling auto accident cases.