The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has conducted a study to calculate the cost of motor vehicle crash deaths in the United States each year. According to the CDC, over 30,000 lives are lost because of motor vehicle crash deaths each year. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common reasons for death in individuals between the ages of 1 and 54.
The cost of motor vehicle crash deaths in terms of monetary value is easy to calculate based on the actual damages — you simply add up the economic damages. However, the emotional cost experienced by the families of those killed in motor vehicle accidents is unimaginable. You cannot put a price on a life nor can you put a price on the emotional suffering and mental anguish caused by motor vehicle crash deaths.
Economic Cost of Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths in Louisiana
Seven hundred fifty people (750) died on Louisiana roads during 2013. According to the CDC, the estimate cost of motor vehicle crash deaths in Louisiana is $1.01 billion each year. This figure includes $8 million in medical costs and $998 million in work loss costs. This figure is actually higher because it does not take into consideration funeral costs and other out-of-pocket costs associated with motor vehicle crash deaths. The cost breaks down as follows:
- Motor vehicle occupants 16%
- Motorcyclists 11%
- Pedestrians 15%
- Bicyclists 2%
- Other/Unspecified 56%
Young adults make up the largest percentage of the cost with almost one-half of the cost of motor vehicle crash deaths being assigned to young adults (ages 20 to 34). Older adults (ages 65 and older) are the lowest category with only two percent of the total cost of motor vehicle crash deaths in Louisiana.
Non-economic Damages of Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths
When a person dies in a motor vehicle accident, the family suffers non-economic damages including mental anguish, emotional suffering, loss of companionship, loss of support, and loss of guidance. These losses are also compensable in a personal injury claim. Non-economic damages are difficult to calculate; however, an experienced personal injury attorney can use previous case law and jury verdicts to arrive at a figure for the suffering caused by motor vehicle crash deaths.
How Can We Reduce the Cost of Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths?
The only way to reduce the cost of motor vehicle crash deaths is to prevent these deaths. Education and legislation are key elements in preventing motor vehicle crash deaths in Louisiana. Some strategies and ways the CDC recommends include:
- Using a graduated driver licensing system
- Using and/or increasing sobriety checkpoints
- Requiring ignition interlock devices for anyone convicted of driving while intoxicated by drugs and/or alcohol
- Educate parents in the proper use of car seats and booster seats
- Develop programs to provide car seats and booster seats to parents who cannot afford them
- Require car seats and booster seats for all children ages 8 and under including criminal penalties for car seat and booster seat violations
- Enforce seat belt use through primary seat belt laws
New Orleans Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys
You should not have to fight the insurance company to get the compensation you deserve for the other driver’s negligence in any accident. If you hire us, we will not only build the strongest case possible, but we will deal with the insurance company so that you can concentrate on healing & getting your life back in order. Contact The Olinde Firm to schedule a free case evaluation. Our personal injury attorneys want to help you and your family receive a fair and just settlement for your injuries.