Lower Gas Prices Impacting Personal Injury Law

by Jenny Madison | September 22, 2016

at the gas station

You know that glorious moment when you hear the gas pump click off and you find out you were able to fill your tank for under 20 bucks? Well, that’s an experience that more drivers have been able to appreciate since gas prices have dropped around $1.30 a gallon from two years ago. The cheaper gas equates to more drivers on the road and more money in people’s pockets.

For the most part, this is good news…but sadly, more people behind the wheel has also caused a sudden rise in serious traffic accidents. In fact, within the first six months of 2016, traffic fatalities spiked 9% with 19,100 deaths and 2.2 million injured during that time. Those are devastating numbers—and they’re going to have a profound impact on those who practice personal injury law.

This surge in traffic accidents represents a reversal to a decades-long decline in motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and fatalities published by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA). Because of safety advances in vehicles and increased seat belt use, the frequency of serious traffic accidents had consistently fallen for years.

More auto accidents + rising costs=an important time for lawyers

Any uptick (or even a leveling off) in auto accident frequency is a major development for personal injury attorneys. Because while the rising frequency of serious accidents may be a new thing, the skyrocketing costs associated with those crashes are not. According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), the impact of rising auto-accident claim frequency, coupled with a “relentless increase in auto injury claim (cost) severity,” packs a one-two punch for insurance companies… and all industries beholden to the ebb and flow of traffic incidents.

We in Creative Services wanted to share this data because it’s our job to help personal injury lawyers meet the demand for legal services in their communities. If the reports are correct, it’s a demand that’s growing.