Personal Injury Cases in the U.S.: Fast Facts and Statistics You Should Know

Each year, millions of Americans are harmed in personal injury incidents. Many of these cases are due to the negligence of either another individual or a company. Personal injury claims—from auto accidents and slip and falls to dog bites—are filed every day. Sadly, they are more common than we’d like to imagine.

It’s also logical that many would want justice for an injury that isn’t their fault. Victims file a personal injury case to demand compensation for the harm they sustained. But how many Americans are actually filing personal injury cases?

We’ve prepared a visual guide on the recent U.S. personal injury statistics to help you better understand the frequency of personal injury incidents in America.

personal injury statistics

Personal Injury Defined

According to the Legal Information Institute of the Cornell Law School, personal injury refers to the harm to a person’s physical or emotional health or reputation due to a wrongful or negligent act of another individual or a company.

There are a variety of incidents that can result in a personal injury claim. The most common instances include dog bites or animal attacks, automobile accidents, slip and fall, and medical malpractice. 

U.S. Personal Injury Cases by the Numbers: Statistics You Need to Know

1. In 2020, personal injury filings in the U.S. surged 97% from the previous year. 

The U.S. experienced an increase in civil cases filings in 2020 due to different reasons, including the filing of personal injury cases. Personal injury claims surged 97% from the numbers recorded in 2019—in particular, product liability cases went up by 55,121.

Multidistrict litigation cases filed in the Northern District of Florida represent most of the numbers. An increase of 183 personal injury cases related to airplanes in the Northern District of Illinois also contributed to the surge.

2. Only 4% of over 400,000 personal injury cases go to trial each year, with the rest settled pre-trial. 

Over 400,000 personal injury claims are filed each year in the U.S. However, only 4% or 16,397 of these claims go to trial. The most common cause of personal injuries is a motor vehicle accident, representing 52% of the total cases. Meanwhile, product liability has the lowest share at 5%. 

3. The number of physician office visits for unintentional injuries reached 24.8 million in 2018. 

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey showed that hospital visits due to injuries sustained from accidents reached 24.8 million in 2018. In another study by the National Safety Council, 200,955 cases of preventable injury-related deaths were reported in 2020, resulting in a 16.1% year-over-year increase.

4. In 2019, there were about 4.5 million medically consulted injury cases due to motor vehicle accidents. 

Motor vehicle accident remains one of the leading causes of fatal injuries in the U.S. In 2019, auto accident costs reached a considerable $463 billion, including wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, property damage, and employer costs.

According to the auto accident statistics released by the National Safety Council, an estimated five million medically consulted injury cases are due to motor vehicle accidents.

5. The fatality rate per 100,000 registered motorcycles is 58.33%. 

Compared to a four-wheeled vehicle, a motorcycle is harder to drive as it requires great effort to balance and is less visible to other road users. Because of this, deaths from motorcycle accidents tend to be more notable, with 5,014 recorded deaths in 2019.

The Insurance Information Institute’s motorcycle accident statistics show that the fatality rate per 100,000 registered motorcycles in the U.S. remains high at 58.33%.  

6. Multiple-vehicle collisions resulted in the highest number of deaths, representing 43% of the total crashes in 2019.

Multi-vehicle collisions are road accidents involving two or more automobiles. These were the most common automobile accidents in 2019, representing 43% of the total crashes. According to the National Safety Council, collisions between vehicles represented 79% of injuries and 74% of all incidents.

7. If rates continue to rise, the U.S. may see 7 fall deaths every hour by 2030. 

Fall accidents do not seem fatal; however, slip and fall statistics say otherwise, as falls can result in serious injuries. 

According to the CDC, one in five falls can result in injuries such as broken bones. They can also cause head injuries, particularly traumatic brain injuries. The CDC notes that if the rates continue to rise, the U.S. can anticipate seven fall-related deaths per hour by 2030. 

8. Each year, 3 million older Americans are treated for fall injuries. 

As people become older, their bodies become more fragile and brittle. Thus, falls that involve older people usually result in serious injuries. Statistics show that about three million older Americans are hospitalized each year due to a hip fracture from a fall accident. 

9. Dog bite remains the leading cause of non-fatal visits to emergency departments. 

Although cases of dog bite-related injuries are declining, dog bite remains the leading cause of hospital visits in the U.S. Recent dog bite statistics show about 4.5 million people in the U.S. fall victim to such incidents, with over 800,000 requiring medical care. 

Meanwhile, experts note that the shift in owners’ perspective of a dog from a security measure to a family pet has helped reduce the number of dog-related injuries in the country.

10. Dog bite incidents are more likely to happen in less densely populated areas and poorer neighborhoods. 

There are various reasons dog bites occur in these types of areas. The most common is that dogs were taught to be aggressive as a security measure in an unsafe environment. Also, owners may not be compliant with the licensing requirements and leave their dogs unattended for a long period, exposing their pets to strangers.

Take a Proactive Approach

There are various causes of personal injuries, such as automobile crashes, slip and fall accidents, dog bites, and medical malpractice. These are often attributed to a person’s negligence, which usually results in severe harm or even death to the victim. 

It’s best to take a proactive approach if you are a victim of a personal injury accident. This way, you can receive the rightful compensation for the losses it caused.

If you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer in Orange County, our team at RMD Law is ready for the tireless representation you deserve. 

For car accidents resulting in personal injury claims, RMD Law uses the Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS). This project from the University of California, Berkeley compiles accident data in California in an easy-to-view GIS map.

TIMS is one of the many tools RMD Law’s attorneys use to help personal injury victims. Give us a call for a free case evaluation.

Aria Miran
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