Serving Cape Cod and the Surrounding Areas

Social costs of alcohol-related car accidents equal $1 per drink

Despite years of nation-wide enforcement against drinking and driving, car accidents and injuries caused by impaired driving remain a substantial burden on society. Massachusetts, like the rest of the country, shares in the social costs that result when drunk drivers cause car collisions and serious injuries. It is estimated that impaired driving crashes cost society about $1 for every alcoholic drink consumed. Part of this financial burden arises from the higher insurance rates needed to compensate victims for medical expenses. Of the more than $100 billion spent annually on auto insurance in the United States, about 18 percent of premiums account for the costs of impaired driving. These crashes can also turn deadly. In statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10,322 deaths resulted from drunk driving in 2012. This number accounted for approximately 31 percent of all vehicle-related deaths. Survivors of drunk driving accidents, however, often face a long recovery from serious injuries. Whiplash, spinal cord injuries, back injuries, brain injuries and broken bones are likely consequences. Legal help may be available for victims who desire compensation for their pain and suffering and lost income. An attorney might be able to negotiate with insurance companies that may resist acknowledging the negligence of the driver that caused the crash. In addition, an attorney’s legal team might be able to investigate a crash to determine if a personal injury suit is a viable option. Although impaired driving is a common cause of accidents, each situation and injury is unique. Attorneys might advise their clients on their specific situations as they navigate the insurance and legal systems. Source: NHTSA, ‘Impaired driving in the United States” Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Impaired Driving: Get the Facts“, January 04, 2015

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