Highlights of Accident and Injury Statistics Nationwide
Personal injury claims make up a broad part of civil litigation in the United States. Tort Claim Acts cover these claims, and for a case to be presented, an individual must have sustained an injury or property must have been damaged. Another requirement is that the injury or damage must have been caused by another person’s or entity’s negligent or wrongful behavior. Common cases involve vehicle accidents, construction site accidents, slips and falls, medical malpractice, product defects, and dog bites.
While we do our best to avoid them, these unfortunate events occur around us frequently. However, it’s vital to understand personal injury statistics to get an idea of the occurrences that happen around us and their consequences.
Personal Injury Statistics
According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), one of CDC’s departments, around 31 million individuals in the US sustain injuries every year, requiring medical care. Two million of these are serious, which means they need hospitalization and advanced medical treatment. In addition, around 162,000 of these injuries result in fatalities.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has data revealing that every year, approximately 5.5 million car accidents occur on US roads. These accidents cause around 3 million injuries and 40,000 fatalities. This data also shows that truck accidents cause about 60,000 injuries and 5,000 deaths.
When it comes to construction accidents, they are believed to cause around 300,000 injuries and 1,000 fatalities. On the other hand, some 98,000 deaths happen every year due to medical malpractice.
These nationwide statistics indicate the prevalence of accidental events and their resulting injuries and deaths. Since liability is often not clear in these cases, personal injury cases or other litigation forms may be necessary.
Personal Injury Case Statistics
The US Bureau of Justice Statistics, an agency within the Department of Justice, reported that 60% of 26,928 trials in 2005 involving real property, torts, and contracts were somewhat related to personal injury. This agency also reported that in 75 most densely populated counties in the country, over 7,000 cases involving personal injury were heard in state courts.
Even though there’s no exact data, the US Department of Justice estimated there were 16,397 tort case trials countrywide, based on a countrywide sample of state courts. This is a very significant number, considering only around 4% of personal injury cases are tried. Most cases end with settlements. Therefore, if the estimation is correct, the actual number of personal injury cases throughout the country would be 409, 925, a very high number.
The US Department of Justice also noted the nature of personal injury claims, something that provided clear insights into how common various situations happen. Motor vehicle accidents held the highest percentage with 52%. Medical malpractice covered 15%, while product liability had 5%. The remaining 28% accounted for “other” incidents. These statistics provide insights into the commonality of different personal injuries. They also highlight the high number of motor vehicle accidents, which should be a cause for concern.
The US Department of Justice report also analyzed the outcomes of the cases that went to trial. The findings were interesting, and they showed plaintiffs gained success in approximately half of the cases. However, several differences were evident depending on actual tort case. The results of the analysis were:
- The plaintiffs in motor vehicle incidents had a success rate of 61%.
- Plaintiffs in intentional tort trials had a success rate of 50%.
- Plaintiffs in premise liability cases were successful 39% of the time.
- There was a 38% success rate for plaintiffs in product liability cases.
- Medical malpractice cases had the lowest success rate for plaintiffs, having only 19%. This indicated how challenging it is to prove medical malpractice.
Another interesting fact about these cases is that judges believed the plaintiffs more than juries. Judges believed plaintiffs 56% of the time compared to the juries’ 51%.
Regarding the amount of damages paid out to the victims, the US Department of Justice also investigated and reported its findings. They were as follows:
- Of all the plaintiffs, half did not receive more than $24,000
- For all the cases, the median award was $31,000.
- Motor vehicle personal injury cases had a median award of $16,000.
- The median award was $90,000 in premise liability cases.
- The median award was $100,000 in intentional tort cases.
- Cases of medical malpractice averaged at $679,000 for damage amounts.
- The median award for product liability cases was $748,000.
From these findings, two major things are evident: One, victims in cases that are not often pursued are paid higher amounts. Two, worse or potentially worse injuries result in higher payouts.
Finally, when it comes to the duration taken by personal injury cases that went to trial, they took very long. Again, however, the specific duration was dependent on the case type. Here is the approximate time taken to resolve various cases:
- Medical malpractice cases took 31 months.
- The court process for intentional tort cases lasted 25 months.
- Premise liability cases lasted for 24 months.
- Tort lawsuits took 23 months.
- Cases involving motor vehicles lasted 20 months.
This data shows the varying durations of different lawsuits. Additionally, some case trials themselves took longer than others. Here is the average duration of physical trial time for some of the cases:
- Medical malpractice took six days.
- Product liability cases took seven days.
- Asbestos case trials lasted thirteen days. However, asbestos claims are complex, and that’s why they take this long. For any decision to be made, a lot of evidence is required.
These are some of the personal injury statistics we think you should know at Oberheiden Law. If you have a personal injury case, we are a team of experienced senior attorneys that provides quality legal representation nationwide. We’re available 24/7; call now to discuss your situation with a personal injury lawyer.