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Measuring costs of car accidents

A lot is said about the cost of car accidents. There are thousands of accidents every day in every state that leave thousands dead and millions injured. The cost of these crashes and collisions has been calculated in the billions of dollars.

This includes the medical expenses of emergency surgery, years of rehabilitation, time lost from work, and other losses of productivity that results from motor vehicle accidents.

The losses can be large and small. In some horrific car accidents, an entire family will be killed, and other accidents will leave a victim with a seemingly minor injury, a broken leg or hip caused by the force of the crash. 

While it seems minor, such an injury may compromise the rest of that person's life. They still are able to walk, and maybe even run, but their leg will never be quite the same. It may hurt after a period of standing or walking.

It may be more sensitive to changes in the weather, or cold. Winter days may leave them feeling "it" more noticeably.

And then there is aging. The aches and pains of age may be heightened and sharpened in that leg or hip.

No, they did not die, nor were they permanently crippled. However, they will feel that injury for the rest of their life. How do you calculate the damages for such an injury? It can be difficult to arrive at a formula that encompasses such damage.

A car accident this week in Freehold Township raises the questions of cost and compensation to another level. The cause of the crash is unknown, but the accident left three dead and one in "extreme' critical condition. Sadly, two of those killed were the parents of a 20-month-old daughter.

The cost of such an accident for her may be incalculable.

Drive with care, as the consequences of failing to do so can be extraordinary.

NJ.com, "Victims in triple fatal Freehold Township collision are identified," MaryAnn Spoto, August 20, 2014

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