Fatal motor vehicle accidents affect not only the victims, but also all of their family members, whose lives may never be the same. Moreover, fatal motor vehicle accidents also come with a staggering financial cost. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the annual financial cost of deaths from motor vehicle accidents is more than $900 million, and that's just in Oklahoma.
The data from the CDC paints a vivid picture of the high costs of fatal motor vehicle accidents. The data shows that the vast majority of the costs of deadly accidents are associated with the economic value of lost work when a person dies unexpectedly. For example, in 2013, crash-related deaths cost Oklahoma a total of $902 million. That figure includes $8 million in medical expenses, and a whopping $894 million in work loss.
While all of the numbers sound bad, it is difficult to truly appreciate the steep costs of fatal motor vehicle accidents unless one has had to experience losing a family member to one. If a family's primary earner dies suddenly in a car or truck accident, the family's finances could be derailed for years while they try to replace some of that income.
When a fatal accident is caused by a negligent driver, the surviving family can file a wrongful death lawsuit against that person. No amount of money can fill the deep emotional void of losing a loved one in an accident. But money damages can at least help the family with the financial loss that often goes with these kinds of tragic accidents.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "State-Specific Costs of Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths," accessed on April 6, 2016