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Seven Ways the Pandemic Has Affected Car Crash Costs

In the world of personal injury law, the fundamentals have remained the same for a long time. Our firm represents Hudson Valley personal injury victims and their families, and we push back against insurance companies to get the maximum possible compensation for our clients. However, many of the factors and circumstances around that have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The American Property Casualty Insurance Association recently released an 11 page report that outlined some of them:

1. The Costs of Accidents are Surging

Based on a number of statistics, there’s been an increase in careless and dangerous driving behavior, resulting in more serious car accidents. On top of that, due to severe supply chain issues, the medical costs and vehicle costs of those crashes and accidents have increased.

2. It’s Harder to Get a Rental Car After an Accident

Due to supply chain issues, the flow of new cars into the marketplace has slowed down. At the same time, more consumers are seeking used cars, and replacement parts for used cars have gotten more and more expensive and scarce. This means that rental car companies are stretched thin, raising prices (by 87% on average), limiting availability and leaving renters with cars that have more wear and tear on them.

3. 2020 Had the Most Fatalities Since 2007

The NHSTA says that there were about 38,600 motor vehicle crash deaths in 2020, the highest number since 2007, and an increase of 7% from 2019. Insurers believe the increase in fatalities is attributable to an increase in risky behavior, like impaired driving, speeding, and a failure to wear seatbelts.

4. The Rising Cost of Medical Care is Outpacing Inflation

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical costs have increased at nearly double the rate of inflation over the last decade. 

5. Bodily Injuries Have Decreased While Severity Increases

Since 2016, bodily injury frequency has decreased by 30%, but the severity of those injuries has risen by 37%.

6. Getting Another Vehicle Costs More Than Ever

If your vehicle is a total loss after a crash, and you receive insurance money or a settlement, your next move may be to get another car. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, much of the jump in inflation has been attributable to housing, used cars, and gas. There’s been a 45% increase in the cost of used cars, and a 5% increase in the cost of new cars.

7. Repairs Cost More and Take Longer Than Ever

There aren’t exact statistics on this, but just as the manufacturing of new cars has slowed down, there are also many supply chain issues with replacement car parts. After a crash, victims may face longer than expected times and higher costs to repair their car, and their rental car may be more expensive and have more miles on it than usual.

If you’ve been injured in a car crash, do not hesitate. Contact us at 845-600-0000 to set up a free personal injury consultation at our offices in Kingston, NY or Poughkeepsie, NY.