How Common Are Car Accidents?

How Common Are Car Accidents?

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How Common Are Car Accidents?

They say two things are certain in life, and neither one is a pleasant experience. You can add a third event that happens to an American driver at least once during a lifetime. How common are car accidents? One indicator of the frequency of car accidents is the insurance rates for policyholders that live in your area. Insurance companies calculate insurance rates based on several factors, with the incidence of vehicle collisions representing the most influential factor. The more car accidents that happen in the area where you live, the higher the average insurance rate for policyholders.

There is no one simple answer to the question, “How common are car accidents?” It depends on where you live. If you live in a bustling urban center such as downtown Chicago or Los Angeles, you can expect your neighborhood to experience a relatively high rate of auto crashes. On the other hand, residents of rural areas tend to experience a relatively low rate of vehicle collisions. In addition to where you live, you also have to consider road and weather conditions.

As of 2019, nearly 230 million Americans had a valid driver’s license in the United States. More than 1.2 million vehicles sustained damage as a result of a car accident in the same year. More than half of the vehicle collisions in 2019 involved some type of passenger car. Of the number of car accidents that took place in the United States in 2019, nearly 36,000 resulted in at least one fatality. The fatality rate per 100 million miles traveled ranged from 0.63 in Massachusetts to nearly 2.0 in South Carolina.

If you sustained one or more injuries as a result of an auto crash, you should act with a sense of urgency by contacting one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at Morgan and Morgan. Since 1988, Morgan and Morgan has recovered more than $14 billion in monetary damages for our clients, with the largest percentage of compensation coming from car accident cases. Your personal injury lawyer conducts a thorough investigation into your case, as well as helps you file a persuasive insurance claim before the deadline imposed by your insurer.

To learn more about the legal services offered by Morgan and Morgan, schedule a free case evaluation today with one of our highly-rated litigators.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

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  • What Are the Most Common Causes of Vehicle Collision?

    Before your personal injury attorney determines whether the other party committed one or more acts of negligence, your lawyer must discover what caused the accident. For example, if bad weather caused the auto crash, the other party most likely does not assume legal liability for causing the accident.

    Understanding the cause of the vehicle collision helps your personal injury attorney build a strong enough case to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.

    Bad Weather

    Areas of the country that experienced poor weather conditions typically record more auto crashes than areas of the country that experience relatively calm weather. From flash flooding in the mountains of Colorado to an ice storm that cripples the energy grid in Texas, bad weather remains one of the most common culprits of causing vehicle collisions. The only way to receive compensation for a car accident caused by bad weather is to file a convincing auto insurance claim.

    Driving Under the Influence

    Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol significantly impairs the judgment of the driver. Operators of motor vehicles under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol make poor decisions, such as speeding through red lights and trying to merge into traffic when there is not enough room to complete the maneuver. Intoxicated drivers also experience a dramatic decrease in motor skills, which makes them less likely to avoid incidents that require taking quick action. Most states have established a maximum Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level at 0.08, which for many people is consuming just a couple of alcoholic beverages within a short period. 

    Reckless Driving

    Although intoxicated drivers frequently drive their vehicles recklessly, sober drivers also commit acts of reckless driving that include speeding and running a red light or stop sign. Speeding is an especially dangerous maneuver for causing car accidents, as vehicles traveling at high speeds cause more property and physical damage than cars that travel at slower speeds. To prove another driver committed an act of reckless driving, your personal injury attorney from Morgan and Morgan determines whether the other driver received a traffic citation. Your lawyer also reviews the footage shot by traffic cameras.

    Distracted Driving

    The dangerous act of texting and driving has received intense scrutiny from both law enforcement and public safety officials. Most states have enacted laws that ban texting and driving, along with imposing stiff penalties for violating state law. However, far too many motorists continue to access their electronic communication devices while operating a motor vehicle. If a driver caused an accident because of texting and driving, your personal injury attorney gathers enough physical evidence to prove the presence of the four elements of negligence.

  • What Are the Most Frequent Types of Injuries Associated With Auto Collisions?

    Because medical bills represent the largest percentage of financial losses, the car accident lawyer that you hire from Morgan and Morgan must understand the extent of your injuries, as well as how a serious injury can lead to lost wages. Vehicle collisions produce a wide variety of injuries, but some types of injuries occur more often than the development of other types of car accident injuries.

    Fractured Bones

    The strong impact made by two automobiles can apply a considerable amount of pressure on the most vulnerable bones in the body. Trying to brace yourself with both arms at the time of impact can cause a fractured arm and/or a dislocated shoulder. Both legs also can sustain a fractured bone, especially in the lower leg near the ankles. Healing a fractured bone can take several weeks and if you work a physically demanding job, the injury can put you out of work.


    When your car makes contact with another vehicle, your body moves back before quickly moving forward. Most of your body remains secure with the help of a safety restraint device. However, both the neck and head have nothing to prevent a violent back-and-forth movement. The result can be the development of whiplash, which can cause significant damage to the peripheral nerves that run outside of the brain and spine. Nerve damage can produce debilitating pain, as well as numbness and a serious lack of coordination.

    Brain Trauma

    Because the head is not secured during a car accident, you might experience brain trauma because the head hit a stationary object such as a dashboard or steering wheel. The signs of brain trauma include nausea, slurred speech, and migraine headaches. If not treated quickly, brain trauma can lead to life-threatening internal bleeding. The passage of time usually is the primary way to cure brain trauma, but during recovery time, it is highly unlikely that a victim can return to work.

  • How Much Time Do I Have to File a Civil Lawsuit?

    Every state has established a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit, which is called the statute of limitations. State deadlines for filing a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages typically are between two and four years. A handful of states have set a deadline as long as six years or as short as one year. The clock starts ticking on the statute of limitations on the day when a car accident occurred. For some cases, the deadline is extended to account for victims that report the development of delayed symptoms.

    Regardless of the statute of limitations for filing a personal lawsuit established by your state, you should act with a sense of urgency for two important reasons. First, until you receive compensation, every expense associated with a vehicle collision comes out of your pocket. This means you might be saddled with medical bills that run into thousands of dollars. Like all creditors, healthcare providers want their money soon after sending medical bills. Second, your personal injury attorney needs to speak with witnesses as soon as possible after an auto crash. Witness accounts tend to be more accurate the closer they are made to the date of a vehicle collision.

    If you fail to meet the deadline set by your state to file a personal injury lawsuit, you can expect the court clerk processing your case to dismiss it.

  • What Are the Types of Monetary Damages?

    The primary goal of your personal injury lawyer from Morgan and Morgan is to help you recover from financial losses. If your attorney decides to file a civil lawsuit, you might be eligible to receive the three most common types of monetary damages.

    Economic damages cover the costs associated with tangible expenses, such as medical bills, repairs to property damage, and lost wages. Medical expenses include the costs associated with diagnostic tests, treatment programs, and physical therapy sessions. You also have the right to seek compensation to pay for property damage repair bills and the income lost because the injuries sustained forced you out of work.

    Non-economic damages do not come with a price tag. Instead, you receive compensation for pain and suffering issues such as experiencing emotional distress. The aftermath of a car accident might trigger intense emotional issues such as fear, anxiety, and depression. Your personal injury attorney calculates non-economic damages by using a formula that factors in the value of economic damages.

    Punitive damages do not cover tangible and intangible costs. A judge awards punitive damages to penalize the defendant for committing one or more acts of negligence that caused a car accident. Punitive damages also are supposed to deter the defendant from committing similar acts of negligence in the future. For especially egregious acts of negligence, the value of punitive damages might exceed the combined value of economic and non-economic damages.

  • Contact a Personal Injury Attorney at Morgan and Morgan

    How common are car accidents? They are far too common in heavily populated areas, especially urban areas that have not developed a comprehensive public transportation system. Because statistics show that you will become involved in at least one car accident during your lifetime, you should know how to act in the aftermath of a vehicle collision.

    Schedule a free case evaluation with a Morgan and Morgan personal injury lawyer to learn more about how to address the legal issues that you can expect to face after a car accident.

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“I was in a difficult situation when I was injured by a faulty product. I was hesitant to seek legal help but with the help of Morgan & Morgan, they made the process easy. They took immediate action and got me the compensation I deserved. I couldn't have done it without them. I highly recommend their services.” Estate of Patricia Allen v. RJ Reynolds, et al. | 2014

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