It is hard to imagine a life without cars. From the daily need of getting to work or transporting groceries home to taking the beloved summer road trip, motor vehicles are part of American culture.

For as much joy as they bring our lives, cars can also be incredibly dangerous. Sure, you take precautions by always wearing your seatbelt, following the posted speed limit and remaining aware of your surroundings as you drive, but this alone cannot insulate you from a careless driver.

Injuries affect millions of people in Massachusetts every year

In 2012, over 2.5 million car crash victims sought care at an emergency department. Of those, hospital staff admitted approximately 200,000 for in-patient care. The lifetime cost of these injuries? More than $18 billion.

Certain individuals face a higher risk of hospitalization after a car crash. Hospitals routinely admit victims over the age of 80 at much higher rates than other age groups. Since in-patient care typically costs much more than out-patient — $10 billion in lifetime costs — and these individuals tend to be on a fixed budget, the financial impact can be especially heavy.

How much will my injuries cost?

Whether caused by a drunk driver, someone texting behind the wheel or other negligent behavior, no two accidents are alike. Injuries can range from minor to serious, which will affect the type of treatment you need. A study from the Centers for Disease Control found the following average costs for individuals:

  • An average of approximately $3,300 for single emergency room visits.
  • $57,000 in average lifetime hospitalization costs.

Your income will suffer if you must miss work because of your injury. According to the CDC, car crash injury victims collectively lost around $33 billion in lifetime pay. You might even feel tempted to return to work before you are ready if you have bills to pay and no income coming in.

What to do after a car accident

The time after a car wreck can be difficult and confusing. You will likely be dealing with hospital and doctor visits as you try to ascertain the full extent of your injuries, and you may be in a great deal of pain.

Vigorous advocating on behalf of injury victims is essential, especially for those who plan to seek legal recourse from negligent drivers. Experienced counsel can help determine negligence and liability, both of which are necessary when pursuing personal liability claims.