Around eight-thirty Thursday morning the morning commute for some drivers heading north along I-15 near Alpine was interrupted briefly by a traffic accident. Traffic slowed, then stopped for some minutes as emergency personnel hurried to secure the area, load both the white Honda Pilot and the forest green Jeep Cherokee onto tow-trucks and then clean the roadway of any remaining debris.
Some of the waiting drivers were probably late for work, frustrated that, of all days, an accident had to happen on a day when they were already running behind. Some may have been on their way to school and were bugged that now they wouldn’t be getting a close parking spot. At eight-thirty in the morning there is also the possibility that just a few of the drivers were on their way home, exhausted after finishing the night shift at work. For all of these drivers, regardless of where they were going or what they were planning to do, the traffic accident was probably nothing more than an annoyance.
Anyone that has been involved in a major accident on the freeway, however, knows that an accident like this one can greatly affect, even destroy, lives for a long time. Luckily no one was killed in the accident we are discussing but many are not as lucky. Last year in the United States alone 25,580 people were killed in traffic accidents according to the Department of Transportation.
The loss of a friend or loved one can be a wound that never heals but even when a traffic accident is not fatal the repercussions may still be devastating. Even accidents that are officially classified as minor can cause nagging injuries most often to the neck and back. These injuries may require costly physical therapy sessions and doctor-proscribed painkillers in order to maintain the routines of a normal life. A broken arm or leg can make someone incapable of meeting their professional obligations, leading to a loss of wages.
Aside from the stresses caused by physical injury even “minor” accidents can leave a car inoperable. For someone living on a strict budget this can be more stressful than a physical injury as they fight with their insurance company to simply get the kind of coverage that for years they have been paying for. For families that only own one car even the one-or-two-day delay before the insurance company agrees to pay for a rental car can be more than an inconvenience as they sit at home, unable to go to work and provide for their families.
If you have never had the misfortune of being involved in a serious car accident, and hopefully you haven’t, than you might have passed Thursday morning’s accident other thought than “I hope I’m not late.” But for the people involved in the nearly 6 million accidents each year it’s not that easy. At the Christensen & Hymas law firm we work with people who have been involved in car accidents every day. We have witnessed first-hand the pain and stress one accident can cause and we offer our sympathies and support to those that have recently been in a car accident.
Image courtesy of spaceodissey