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New Jersey crashes take toll on economy

Medical expenses, lost wages and destruction of property that results from auto accidents costs New Jersey residents a significant amount of money each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, claimed monetary losses from auto accidents between 2007 and 2012 grew at an annual rate of 8 percent. Although the rate of bodily injuries declined, the expenses associated with auto accidents continued to make a considerable financial burden on the injured.

In 2012, the average monetary claim for an auto accident was $3,073. If a bodily injury occurred as a result of the car accident, the average claim liability was almost $15,000. While private insurance companies paid approximately 50 percent of the total liability, the injured parties paid an average of 26 percent, and third parties were responsible for 14 percent of the costs of auto accidents. The remainder of the annual costs of car accidents are paid for by local, state and federal authorities, charities and other groups.

Of the 5,419,000 car crashes that occurred in 2012, 1,542,000 caused bodily injuries, and 3,847,000 damaged property only. The primary causes of these car collisions included drunk driving, speeding, running red lights, cell phone use and texting and driving. Fatigue or falling asleep at the wheel is another significant cause of auto accidents.

The pain and suffering and medical expenses that an accident victim suffers can be financially devastating. A thorough accident investigation can determine who has the liability for payment related to serious injuries and other medical expenses. A comprehensive investigation of the circumstances of an accident can also help injured parties get compensation from insurance companies in the event of a hit-and-run or negligent driver.

Source: Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, "Cost of Auto Crashes & Statistics", October 06, 2014

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