Filing bankruptcy is an incredibly trying and unfortunate thing that more and more people are having to do. In the United States alone more than 1 million people file for bankruptcy every single year. When we break down WHO is filing for bankruptcy, we find that only 3% of bankruptcies in 2014 were businesses. That means that a staggering 97% were personal.
Filing bankruptcy most often occurs after a catastrophic accident or emergency situation. It was found that over 60% of bankruptcies come after medical expenses, often in the case of unexpected injury of illness. Many of these injuries happen in car accidents. The rate of motor vehicle accidents is ever increasing, in part due to drunk driving. Drunk drivers get on the road over 300,000 every single day but only a fraction of those drivers are actually caught and arrested. Drunk driving accounts for 32% of fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents. 16% of fatalities in car accidents are caused by distracted driving. Distracted driving is most often caused by cell phone use. At any given moment, over 600,000 drivers are driving distracted. Distracted driving caused over 3,000 deaths in 2013 alone. These types of accidents can cause serious injury when they do not kill, resulting in temporary or even permanent disability. In fact, studies show that 1 in 4 20 year olds will be disabled by the time they reach 67.
Many Americans need to resort to filing bankruptcy after events like this because they simply cannot bear the burden of the medical expenses. Most Americans cannot, in fact, bear the burden of any emergency expense that could come their way. Up to a staggering 75% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and over 20% don’t have any money in savings. There is no safety net, no cushion in case of emergency. In fact, less than 25% of Americans could sustain themselves for six months in the even of accident or emergency.
Filing bankruptcy can be a difficult, emotionally and physically draining process, but a legal team and local attorney can help to make that process go as smoothly as possible. A lawyer can help clients understand their next steps and how to get back on their feet in the event of a car accident and subsequent bankruptcy.