Did you know that each year Americans spend more than 1 million days seeking medical care because of vehicle crash injuries? Based on Centers for Disease Control data, more than 2.5 million of people visited an emergency department in 2012 because they were involved in a car accident. About 200,000 were hospitalized. More than 75 percent of costs were paid during the first 18 months after crash injuries happened. The data shows $18 billion in lifetime medical costs relating to accidents that year.
This backs up what most New Jersey residents already know: Wrecks are harmful and costly. It’s not only medical care expenses that are relevant. Lifetime work lost because of accidents in 2012 alone is estimated to be $33 billion.
The good news is that the CDC statistics indicate that crash injuries have gone down in recent years. State-based safety initiatives such as child and adult restraint laws, improved traffic conditions and visible police presence have contributed to the decline. But still, the impact of vehicle accidents on families is staggering. For every one crash fatality, eight individuals require hospitalization, and 100 are treated and released from hospital emergency rooms.
New Jersey law provides requirements for police insofar as vehicle accidents are concerned. The investigation and reporting of car and other crashes is a necessary duty of law enforcement officers. Drivers involved in an accident resulting in injury, death or damage in excess of $500 must notify the nearest police department that an accident happened. Crashes on private property must be reported in the same manner as public accidents would be.
Information reported by the investigating officer is specific, and the properly completed form must be submitted to New Jersey Motor Vehicle Services within five days after the investigation is complete. It isn’t confidential, and any citizen may inspect the report in a supervised situation during business hours or purchase a copy, which help when individuals or professionals are investigating accidents for use in a compensation claim.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries” accessed Mar. 04, 2015