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How much a car accident really costs in the United States

Getting into a crash is devastating physically, and for that you can make a claim against the driver who hit you. Car collisions can also affect you financially due to damage to your property and because of a loss of productivity at your job. Across the United States, motor vehicle crashes in 2010 alone cost the United States $1 trillion in both the loss of life and loss of productivity.

What is a loss of productivity? It's any time a person has to take off work; for example, if you're injured and hurt your arm, you may not be able to perform your job. If you have to take off 30 days of work to heal, that loss of productivity can add up for your employer. On top of that, you will need to be compensated by the driver who hurt you, and your medical costs also add to the expense of the crash.

A loss of life is also calculated in the above amount; any time a person is killed, the value of that person's life can be calculated based on age, productivity and other factors. The total loss of life for the year is added up based on the legal value of each person.

Other things also add up when it comes to the cost of a car accident. For instance, property damage could be extremely expensive. This doesn't just include the vehicles involved; roadways that are damaged, businesses or homes impacted or even items inside the vehicles that are damaged can add up to thousands of dollars for each collision.

Source: Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, "Cost of Auto Crashes and Statistics," accessed June 03, 2016

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