Personal Injury Statistics: What Three Studies Reveal About California

What does Google search data reveal about personal injuries across the country? How does California fare compared to other states when it comes to the rate of preventable injury-related deaths? And what are the most dangerous states for workers?

In this post, we take a brief look at the latest numbers to answer most of those questions.

Google Search Data: ‘Urgent Care’ Most Searched Term

If search data is any indicator, the residents of Arizona are the most injury-prone. The data comes from an analysis of the average monthly Google searches of injury-related terms per 100,000 people, divided by state. The Grand Canyon State topped the list with a rate of 1,585 searches, followed by Colorado, Hawaii, North Carolina, and Washington. California ended up in the middle of the pack with 1,017 such searches per 100,000 people, while North Dakota registered only 325, placing last. Now, this is not necessarily definitive when it comes to the number of actual personal injuries, but it’s all the same interesting statistics.

Overall, the most searched injury-related term nationwide was “urgent care,” which was looked up 2.2 million times a month on average. Other personal injury keywords that saw high search volumes included “emergency room,” “minute clinic,” “sprained wrist,” “sprained ankle” and “broken toe.”

Range of factors explain state-by-state variations

The analysts did not speculate on the specific reasons behind the higher accident rates in coastal states. However, the Daily Mail, which published the results, cited existing research that suggested several potential factors that may contribute to the observed trend of higher accident rates in certain states.

For instance, the research noted denser populations concentrated in coastal areas often translate to crowded sidewalks, streets, and public transportation systems, inherently increasing the risk of collisions, slips and falls. Additionally, vibrant nightlife typical of many coastal communities, particularly when involving alcohol consumption, can elevate the risk of accidents. Finally, the higher density of cars and roads may simply expose residents to a greater likelihood of being involved in vehicle-related accidents.

Preventable Deaths: The Figures for California

For almost 10 years, poisoning has been the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. According to the latest figures from the National Safety Council (NSC), the opioid drug overdose epidemic is largely to blame for the persistently high numbers. The NSC also found motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of preventable injury death, followed by fall deaths and deaths caused by choking.

Note: The NSC defines preventable death as deaths and injuries that “do not include natural causes, like illnesses, or intentional events, like homicides or suicides. The NSC uses the term ‘preventable’ instead of ‘accident’ to remind us that these deaths are not unavoidable and can be eliminated.”

In California, the numbers of preventable-injury-related death rates break down as follows (nationwide rate in parenthesis):

  • Poisoning – 27.6 (30.6)
  • Motor vehicle crashes – 20.7 (14.2)
  • Falls -7.2 (13.5)
  • Choking – 0.6 (1.6)
  • All other – 4.9 (7.8)

Workplace Safety: The Most Dangerous States

North Dakota residents may not be quick to use Google for injury-related searches, but for OSHA work-related fatalities, the state tops the list. The result is published in a recent report on job safety in the United States that ranked the safest and most dangerous states for workers.

Using non-fatal injury data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), fatal and catastrophic workplace injury data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Google Trends search data, and a survey of 1,000 workers, the authors gave each state a workplace safety score.

Overall, California ranked as the seventh most dangerous state for workers:

  1. North Dakota
  2. Georgia
  3. Mississippi
  4. Kentucky
  5. Oregon
  6. Maine
  7. California
  8. Minnesota
  9. Wyoming
  10. New York

Looking exclusively at OSHA statistics, the state registered 0.5 work-related fatalities per 100,000 workers, far below North Dakota at 1.7. Also, when researchers ranked states based on the rate of searches for “workers comp” and “how to file for workers comp,” California came in third.

The researchers noted a strong correlation between low rates of workplace injuries and fatalities and stringent safety regulations, effective regulatory oversight, and proactive employers.

Penney & Associates

Seeking justice and compensation for your personal injury? Don’t wait. Contact Penney & Associates today for a free consultation with our experienced team of trial attorneys. We’re here to fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us now.

Read more:
The Alarming Rise in Bicycling Accidents: How to File a Lawsuit
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in California: What to Keep in Mind
Product Liability Claims in California: Pursuing Compensation

* This blog is not meant to dispense legal advice and is not a comprehensive review of the facts, the law, this topic or cases related to the topic. For a full review of our disclaimer and policies, please click here.

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