A lawyer texting a client while working on a case on his laptop.The United States produces about 10 million motor vehicles each year, including private cars, commercial vehicles, and large trucks and buses. And yet, demand for new cars in the country is more than double what it can manufacture, with distributors selling upwards of 20 million passenger vehicles alone per year (more than 30% of all sales worldwide).

This all adds up to more than 271 million cars on American roads today… plenty of opportunity for things to go wrong when the right conditions are met. This danger is particularly evident in large cities such as Hartford, Connecticut.

The Impact of Car Accidents in Hartford

The average car weighs just around a ton, which, assuming the average urban low speed limit of 25mph in the US, is more than enough to deal serious damage to objects, structures, people, and the car itself in the event of a collision.

Car crashes extort both a physical and an emotional toll on victims. Statistics reveal that out of 336,282 car accidents in Connecticut in the past three years, 1,042 involved fatal injuries, 4,482 involved serious injuries, and 39,605 involved minor injuries.

That is a total of around 13.42% of all crashes. But while that seems like a small number relative to the 291,153 remaining accidents where injury was only either possible or avoided entirely, they still cost the state resources in terms of damage and manpower.

Of these crashes, 18,920 occurred in Hartford. These events resulted in 57 fatal injuries, 250 serious injuries, and 2,587 minor injuries.

The most common accident type in Hartford was the rear-ender. 31.03% of all Hartford collisions were rear-enders, and 87.80% of which took place on a roadway.

Physical and Emotional Toll

No matter how minor the accident, it will almost certainly have some effect on any and all people involved. What this effect is will vary, of course, with the severity and the specific differences between different accidents.

Victims can suffer different physical difficulties after an accident.

  • Immediate Injuries: From minor cuts to bruising and swelling to multiple severe fractures, every part of a person’s body is at some risk when a car accident occurs. Spinal injuries, TBIs, and internal bleeding are also common effects people suffer.
  • Chronic Pain: Even after initial injuries heal, accident victims can suffer ongoing pain. Depending on the type of injury sustained, this could mean lifelong and recurring struggles with an expensive maintenance cost attached.
  • Loss of Mobility: Sometimes, accidents result in a loss of mobility, such as when an injury leads to an amputation or paralysis. Accident survivors who sustain these injuries often have to make stressful adjustments to their lives.
  • Sensory Impairments: Some injuries sustained in a car accident can lead to blindness, deafness, or loss of some other senses. If you’re lucky, the disability will turn out to be temporary, but this is still an incredible challenge to deal with… if you’re unlucky and the injuries are permanent, then you will have lost one or more ways of experiencing the world around you.
  • Scarring: Injuries can leave scars. While one can argue they aren’t as serious as the other physical consequences listed, scars are often a source of distress for many people, and while sometimes treatable, they can be expensive to get rid of if the option is available at all.

In addition to these are the emotional weights a person suffers after an event.

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A common response to stressful situations, PTSD can manifest after car accidents. This disorder can be extremely difficult to manage, as patients can have recurring flashbacks, bouts of anxiety, nightmares, and hypervigilance.
  • Anxiety and Depression: While already common mental health conditions on their own, anxiety and depression are much more likely to occur among people who have experienced events such as car accidents. This is especially true for accidents where a victim suffered major losses, such as in the form of permanent injuries, money spent in recovery, or, in the worst scenarios, a loved one’s life.
  • Phobias: Vehophobia – the fear of driving – can result from particularly serious accidents. This is particularly crippling for some people who need to drive to get around or whose entire livelihood depends on driving.
  • Survivor’s Guilt: If people were hurt – or worse, passed away – in an accident, anyone who survived can experience survivor’s guilt. This emotional response leaves sufferers facing feelings of shame and self-blame as they grapple with their own survival.

Accident victims can usually expect a combination of both physical and emotional suffering. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to get compensation for all of these after a car accident, as while physical damages are quantifiable, emotional ones are not.

Hiring a lawyer to work your case can mean the difference between these damages being included in your claim and them being thrown aside by the insurance company. Bert McDowell Injury Law has the people and skills you need on your side to maximize your claim.

Economic Consequences

Car accidents can also weigh heavily on a person’s finances. Economic impacts frequently reach five- or sometimes six-figure sums, sending entire households into debt and potentially ruining multiple lives.

Some economic losses – also called damages – include the following:

  • Medical Expenses: These usually make up the majority of a personal injury claim. Medical expenses include hospital bills, doctors’ fees, medications, and any therapy deemed necessary for a full recovery.
  • Lost Wages: It isn’t uncommon for accident injuries to prevent victims from working for the duration of their recovery period. This can mean a lack of income for the household, which can be devastating if the injured person is the primary breadwinner.
  • Loss of Earning Potential: If the injuries sustained from an accident are severe enough, they may affect a person’s ability to earn income for the foreseeable future (sometimes permanently, depending on how the injury relates to the person’s job), much in the same way as lost wages. This is a major threat to long-term financial stability.
  • Property Damage: Damage to personal property is extremely common in car accidents. Physical property, such as items on the person of a victim at the time of an accident, as well as vehicles themselves, are included here, but so is digital property (for example, any unrecoverable data on damaged or destroyed devices).
  • Miscellaneous Expenses: Any expenses that can be attributed to injuries can also be considered economic damages. For instance, if you had to purchase a specialized bed or a wheelchair or if a caregiver’s services were deemed necessary, you can include these expenses in your claim.

This list does not include all possible economic losses a person can suffer after an accident. However, this is a general overview of the different ways an accident can lead to or contribute to financial difficulty.

Factors Contributing to Hartford Car Accidents

The vast majority of accidents in the US are caused by driver error. The NHTSA reports that 94% of accidents, in fact, involve some sort of mistake on the part of the driver.

This does not mean that other factors were not at play, of course; car accidents are the result of a complex interplay between people, objects, and the environment, after all. It only means that driver error interacting with other factors is often the tipping point that leads to an accident.

Awareness of these factors and vigilance when driving around them, therefore, helps drivers avoid errors on the road that lead to accidents.

  • Traffic Conditions: Generally speaking, the heavier the traffic, the harder it is to avoid accidents (despite low speeds seemingly meaning the opposite). An increased number of vehicles means congestion, reduced visibility, raised driver stress levels, and more complex and confusing intersections, all contributing to a greater likelihood that someone makes a mistake.
  • Driver Behavior: Aggressive, distracted, and impaired drivers are a threat to responsible road users across the country. In Connecticut, 2019 arrest data revealed that 7,577 people were taken into custody by police for DUIs alone.
  • Environmental Factors: The conditions a person drives in can contribute to an accident. The more hazards surround a vehicle, the more effort drivers have to exert to keep their vehicle safe.
    • Weather conditions such as rain, snow, fog, and ice can affect the road and any vehicles on it by reducing both visibility and traction. This problem is exacerbated at night when puddles and/or patches of black ice are next to invisible.
    • Sometimes, the road itself is a danger to those who would use it. Potholes and uneven surfaces can cause a driver to lose control and, if bad enough, can actually deal damage to a car’s wheels and/or suspension system.

Get Compensation for Your Car Accident With Bert McDowell Injury Law Firm

Accidents are an ever-present risk on Hartford roads, especially with the growing population of Americans with access to motor vehicles. We can do our best to avoid them but at some point, we have to expect something to go wrong.

When things do go wrong on Hartford roads, call Bert McDowell Injury Law. Our expert car accident lawyers are always ready to help you get the compensation you need after a tragedy.

Lead Attorney Bert McDowell looks after the interests of our clients with a personal touch and a drive to help and serve those in need. Since our founding, we have consistently taken care of the interests of Hartford accident victims, securing fair personal injury claims even in situations where insurance companies had initially refused to make an offer.

Call us today at (203) 590-9169 for your free consultation. It’s time to Bring On Bert!