From DUI to personal injury, discover the top US legal statistics

Do you know how many people are arrested for drink driving every year? Or how much money is paid out for slip and fall or personal injury compensation claims?

We researched some of the top US legal statistics for you, so you can find what you need in one place. Read on for legal statistics for:

Been arrested for DUI? Find out what penalties you may receive in your state using our DUI penalty calculator.

DUI statistics

According to FBI data in 2021, the most recent year statistics are available for, police arrested more than 443,000 people on suspicion of DUI. 

The three states with the highest number of arrests for DUI in 2021 were Pennsylvania (25.0% of all arrests), Washington (17.4%) and Wyoming (15.5%).

The three states with the lowest number of arrests for DUI in 2021 were (Louisiana 3.1% of all arrests), Delaware (1.3%) and Alabama (0.6%). 

New York was the first state to prohibit driving while intoxicated in 1910. However, the law did not clearly define ‘drunken driving’. 

In the 1970s, states and the federal government attempted to reduce drinking and driving by implementing laws that criminalized driving while intoxicated. 

In 2020, 20% of drivers polled by TIRF Road Safety Monitor reported driving drunk at least once, and 10% said they did it often.

According to the 2021 NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts, traffic fatalities in the US increased by 10% from 2020 to 2021.

The highest number of deadly wrecks caused by people who were legally intoxicated is between 6pm and 6am (31%). 

Utah has some of the toughest DUI laws in the US. In 2018 they lowered the BAC (blood alcohol content) to 0.05. An NHTSA analysis of traffic deaths in the state before and after the law discovered that this reduction helped cut fatalities by almost 20%. 

About 37 people in the US die in drunk-driving crashes every day – that’s one person every 39 minutes. In 2022, 13,524 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths.

Young people are the most likely to drink and drive. Drivers aged between 21-24 account for 29% of all fatal alcohol-impaired crashes. And 25-34 year olds account for 28%.

Some quick DUI statistics

  • Drunk driving accidents are responsible for around one third of all traffic-related deaths.
  • More than 280 children were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2022. 
  • Drinking and driving costs more than $58 billion in deaths and damages every year.
  • A first DUI offense can cost $10,000 or more in fines and legal fees.
  • Drunk driving accidents are most likely to happen in the summer, particularly July.

Driving accidents statistics

It’s important to wear a seatbelt in a car – even if it’s not the law. 76% of the passengers killed in vehicle accidents in New Hampshire in 2021 were unrestrained. 

55% of all motorcyclists killed in 2021 in states without universal helmet laws were killed. In states with universal helmet laws, this number dropped to 9%. 

Motor-vehicle death rates per 10,000 registered vehicles have decreased dramatically from 33 in 1913 to 1.66 in 2021.

Some quick driving accident statistics

  • Motorcycle accidents have a fatality rate of 58.33 per 100,000 registered motorcycles.
  • In 2019 there were 81,000 motorcycle-related injuries.
  • Multiple-vehicle collisions were responsible for 43% of all traffic fatalities in 2019.
  • Vehicle accidents involving 19-44 year olds are the most frequent.

Public defender statistics

As of 2024, there are over 9,470 public defenders currently employed in the US. 54.9% of all public defenders are women, while 45.1% are men. The average age of a public defender age is 46.

The right to a public defender did not exist until 1963, when the Supreme Court interpreted the Sixth Amendment to mean that everyone, rich or poor, had the right to counsel, and if the accused could not afford an attorney, one would be provided for them.

Today, around 5.6 million Americans rely on public defenders to guide them through the justice system, advocate for them and ensure their civil liberties are not unfairly taken.

Slip and fall claims statistics

Slip and fall injuries cause 21% of preventable injury-related deaths in the US – the same percentage as motor vehicle accidents. 

One in 10 falls causes an injury that leads to an older adult to restricting their activities for a day or more or seeking medical attention.

In 2019, 83% of hip fracture deaths and 88% of emergency department visits and hospitalizations for hip fractures were caused by falls.

The average slip-and-fall settlement varies by case and depends on the severity, financial impact, and long-term consequences of your injuries. Compensation can range from a few thousand dollars to millions, but is usually between $10,000 and $50,000.

Some quick slip and fall statistics

  • At 33%, falls are the leading cause of non-fatal preventable injuries in the US. 
  • They’re also the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
  • Around 3 million older adults are treated for falls every year.
  • Approximately 800,000 older adults are hospitalized each year as a result of a fall.
  • Women are 59.6% more likely to experience fall incidents, according to cases.
  • Every year, one in four Americans over 65 experiences a fall.

Workers’ compensation claims statistics

According to NCCI data, the most costly lost-time workers’ compensation claims by cause of injury result from motor-vehicle crashes. They averaged $89,152 per claim that occurred in 2020 and 2021. 

The other most expensive workers’ compensation claims for lost time due to injury were burns ($52,161), falls or slips ($49,971), and caught in or compressed by equipment or objects ($47,076).

The most expensive lost-time workers’ compensation claims for injury in 2021 and 2022 were for those resulting from amputation. These injuries averaged $126,033 per claim.

The next highest costs were for other trauma ($63,044), injuries resulting in fracture, crush, or dislocation ($62,240), and burns ($52,222).

The construction industry recorded the highest number of accidents in 2021 with 958 cases. It’s closely followed by transportation and warehousing, with 748 fatal injuries.

Personal injury claims statistics

In 2020, personal injury filings nearly doubled compared to the previous year, and product liability cases rose by 55,121.

Only 4% of the over 400,000 personal injury cases each year go to trial. Most are settled out of court.

The most frequent cause of personal injuries in the US is motor vehicle accidents, which account for 52% of all cases. In 2019, around 4.5 million injury cases were linked to motor vehicle incidents.

After motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, workplace accidents and premises liability are all the most common types of personal injury cases.

Unintentional injuries are the third leading cause of death in the US. Poisonings alone cause about 65,000 deaths every year.

The deadlines for filing personal injury claims vary by state – this is known as the statute of limitations (SOL). In most states it ranges from one to six years from the date of the injury.

39.5 million personal injury cases require medical treatment in the US every year – around 126.3 cases per 1,000.

Around 70% of people who file a personal injury claim receive a payout. This could be an out-of-court settlement or an award after a trial.

Auto vehicle personal injury cases usually take less time to settle than other cases. Half are usually settled within 14 months.

70% of people who held out for a better personal injury settlement received, on average, $30,700 more than those who accepted the insurance company’s first offer.

In 2021, insurers and self-insurers paid $246 million to defend 3,375 medical malpractice claims – an average of $72,971 per claim.

Some quick personal injury settlement statistics

  • 67% of payouts or compensation for personal injury cases came from a settlement
  • 57% of people in accidental injury cases receive compensation between $3,000 and $25,000
  • People with a personal injury lawyer receive payouts nearly three times higher than people without
  • Around 91% of people with an experienced personal injury attorney receive a settlement payout
  • Only about 51% of people without without legal representation receive a settlement payout
  • Half of all plaintiffs receive no more than $24,000 in personal injury claims
  • The median award is $31,000 for all personal injury cases

Some quick personal injury law firm statistics

How long personal injury cases last on average

  • Tort lawsuits last 23 months
  • Motor vehicle accident cases last 20 months
  • Medical malpractice cases last 31 months
  • Premises liability last 24 months
  • Intentional tort cases last 25 months

Have we missed any important legal statistics?

If we’ve missed out any important legal statistics, let us know and we can add them to our list.