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If you were involved in a car crash, you’re not alone. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released statistics that found in the U.S. alone, car crashes cost $871 billion in 2010. That breaks down to $277 billion in economic costs, which comes out to “$900 for each person living in the United States,” and “$594 billion in harm from the loss of life and the pain and decreases quality of life due to injuries.”

The study, “The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010” gave several reasons why the cost of car crashes came with such a big price tag. Here is what the study is reporting, with a breakdown of costs:

• Seatbelt use: The study found that $14 billion came from crashes where occupants were not wearing seatbelts
• Not obeying the speed limit: $59 billion came from drivers who were speeding or going too fast during adverse weather conditions
• Bicyclists and Pedestrians: accidents involving people on bikes or pedestrians cost the nation about $90 billion dollars
• Driving under the influence of alcohol: Drunk driving accidents cost the United States about $49 billion over the period of a year
• Distracted driving: Drivers who were distracted on the road cost $46 billion due to crashes

The breakdown above only outlines some of the reasons why car crashes occur.

There are several things you will want to do after being involved in a car crash. These include:

• Calling police or any emergency service that is needed
• Call your auto insurance company to open a claim. You will be given a claim number which can be used when you seek medical treatment. Your insurance agent will be able to tell you how much medical coverage you have on your policy.
• Take pictures (if you can) of the damage
• If you are taken to the hospital make sure your injuries are documented and any pictures are taken (if you have scarring or bruising)
• Get information from the opposing driver including: name, address, phone number, auto insurance company name, policy number, make/model of their car, and any other pertinent information to the accident
• Write down or take a picture of the exact location of the crash

Do not give any information to insurance adjusters regarding your injuries. They typically ask for a recorded statement and then can use that statement against you when it comes to liability.

The information you have gathered should be kept in a secure location as this will be helpful if you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you are injured you should be compensated.

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