The Economic Cost of Traffic Crashes in Pennsylvania

Several heavily damaged vehicles after a collision on a city street

Motor vehicle accidents often come at a high physical, emotional, and financial cost. Pennsylvania car crash statistics show that in 2020, economic losses due to traffic crashes amounted to $2,016 for every man, woman, and child in the Commonwealth. Our auto accident lawyers at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad in eastern Pennsylvania understand that accidents and injuries can result in economic and non-economic damages that can be life-changing.

Car Crash Statistics for Economic Losses in Pennsylvania

Car accidents result in substantial economic losses in Pennsylvania and across the country. According to the 2020 Pennsylvania Crash Facts and Statistics report released by PennDOT, the total estimated cost of traffic accidents in Pennsylvania was more than $25.8 billion for the year. A breakdown of these car crash statistics includes:

  • Fatal accidents – $14.2 billion
  • Crashes involving serious injury – $2.8 billion
  • Minor injury collisions – $5.7 billion
  • Possible injury crashes –$2.4 billion
  • Accidents involving only property damage – $727.6 million

Although in 2020 the number of fatalities in Pennsylvania traffic accidents was the second lowest it’s been in 93 years, it’s likely due to people staying home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with fewer motor vehicles on the road, these car crash statistics are still alarming.

In 2020, an average of 286 collisions occurred daily on Pennsylvania roadways, which means there were about 12 crashes every hour. In addition, 168 people were injured and three people lost their lives in auto accidents every single day. 

What Causes Most Car Accidents in Pennsylvania?

Most motor vehicle accidents occur due to driver error and often are preventable. Common causes of crashes include speeding, distracted driving, tailgating, and driving drunk. Following the rules of the road can help you avoid car accidents and help keep other motorists safe as well. If you are hurt in a crash that was caused by another motorist’s error or negligence, an eastern Pennsylvania car accident attorney can help you recover compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.

Why Are the Economic Costs of Motor Vehicle Crashes So High?

The economic fallout from car accidents may seem exorbitant. However, personal injury lawyers are well acquainted with just how costly a motor vehicle crash can be. As healthcare costs in the U.S. continue to rise, treatment for what may seem like a minor injury can end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you add property damage, costs incurred by government agencies like law enforcement, and the non-economic damages that often result from serious injuries, it’s not surprising that the price tag of accidents ends up being billions each year.

Types of Damages in Car Accident Cases

To injured victims, the economic costs of motor vehicle crashes are more than just property damage, medical bills, and lost time from work. Calculating these types of economic damages often is fairly straightforward. However, putting a price on a victim’s pain and suffering, permanent injury, and impact on their quality of life is much more challenging. When you lose someone in an accident, assigning a dollar value to their life in a wrongful death claim is not only difficult, it’s emotionally challenging for those who loved them.

Although no amount of money can change what happened, monetary damages provide a way to hold negligent parties accountable and help make victims whole. Whether you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, a crash involving a semi-truck, or a collision with another passenger vehicle, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you recover damages such as:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

Each case is different. A victim may be entitled to other recoverable damages based on the specific circumstances. In some situations, an injured victim or a deceased person’s family may be entitled to punitive damages if an at-fault party acted in a particularly reckless or egregious manner.

Punitive damages are not meant to compensate the victim, instead, they are intended to punish the liable party and deter them and others from committing similar acts in the future. A personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case and determine which types of damages may be appropriate for your claim.

Contact an Eastern PA Auto Accident Lawyer to Learn More

At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad, our team understands the high physical, emotional, and economic costs of being hurt or losing a loved one in an accident. If you’ve been injured, contact us online or call 610-867-2900 to schedule a free case evaluation. Our car crash attorneys serve clients throughout eastern Pennsylvania.


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