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Despite downward trend, there are still many fatal N.J. crashes

Statistics can help people understand the world around them and make it easier for people to make informed decisions. However, statistics can also mislead people into a false sense of security and can take serious issues out of their human context.

For example, if someone were to tell you that the number of fatal crashes in New Jersey has trended downward since the beginning of the new millennium, that might make you feel like you don't have to worry as much about your safety on the road. However, dozens of people still die in crashes around the state every month, and thousands more wind up hurt.

The statistics don't look at the very human experience of losing a loved one or dealing with a catastrophic injury after a collision. Those individuals who get hurt or lose a loved one in a crash often incur thousands of dollars in medical expenses, property damage and lost wages.

The unspoken cost of serious car crashes

In 2018, 524 people ended up dying as the result of motor vehicle collisions around New Jersey. Another 61,043 people suffered noteworthy injuries in crashes. For the families dealing with a fatality, the financial impact of the collision will likely include not just the loss of the vehicle and the medical and funeral cost for their deceased family member, but also that individual's lifetime of wages and their unpaid contributions to the home, such as cooking, cleaning and childcare.

For the tens of thousands of families dealing with injuries stemming from car crashes, the consequences can be nearly similar. While they don't lose a loved one, their loved one could very well still incur tens of thousands of dollars in medical costs, to say nothing of the lost wages that injuries can produce.

The more severe the injury, the more the financial impact of the crash. Spinal injuries and brain injuries, in particular, could lead to lifelong disability and even the need for another family member to stay home and provide nursing care to the injured individual, meaning the loss of two streams of income, not just one.

Insurance doesn't always cover all the costs

When individuals purchase motor vehicle liability insurance, they choose a maximum amount of compensation for their policy. Unfortunately, it is very possible for the cost someone incurs in a crash to vastly exceed the amount of medical coverage available from a liability insurance policy.

Depending on the situation, it may become necessary for the victims of a serious crash to take legal action via a civil lawsuit against the other driver. Looking over the financial impact of the accident, the details of the crash and other factors can help you determine what the next step should be after your family has to deal with the fallout of a car wreck.

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