It happens without warning: your brain is processing trauma – how did you get there? You were driving, on your way from work, perhaps starting a road trip, the next moment, you’re engulfed in adrenaline and you’re trying to understand the moments of what just happened.
From that day on, you’re in a new reality, physically, mentally, and daily once you have been involved in a head-on collision.
How – why did this happen to you? Head-on collisions may involve an intoxicated driver, collisions with a stationary object, such as a light pole, tree or guard rail. Less commonly but equally devastating are events caused by poor roadway conditions, a third party who leaves the scene unreported, or car problems.
This article provides information about some types of head-on collision cases that The Flood Law Firm has represented. It is one of the most universally feared type of crash; our attorneys know the aftermath is devastating and that the stakes are high.
Your life may have been changed forever. The Flood Law Firm can help simplify the process of restoring your life to as normal as possible. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
How Can We Help After You Have Been Involved in a Head-On Collision?
Head on collisions often have signature injuries to the neck, brain, spine, and joints in the body. It is likely you are in pain and the first recommendation we will make is to be sure you have been seen by a doctor.
Once you have your medical treatment covered, you can talk with us about your legal rights. Depending who is at fault in your accident you have rights that carry a time limit and do expire.
When you call our firm you will be greeted by a member of our team, and we will schedule an appointment to talk with you about the accident, how it happened, and what can now be done.
Our goal is to help you recover and get your life back on track, as it was before the accident. Working with The Flood Law Firm makes the process easier by allowing our attorneys to deal with the insurance companies, the paperwork, and direct the process to help win your claim.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire the Firm?
The good news is that to contact us and have a consultation is free. Once you have received your consultation you have no obligation to hire us, but if choose to do so, there are also no up-front costs. Our firm is only compensated when we win your case and recover monetary compensation on your behalf. If we don’t win your case you own us nothing.
Head-On Car Collisions Statistics
Due to the sustained force by both drivers, a head-on collision is the most dangerous and frightening type of automobile accident. While U.S. statistics indicate that head-on crashes accounted for a mere 2.0 percent of all crashes in 2005, they are responsible for 10.1 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States. In Connecticut, there are between 250 and 350 traffic fatalities each year. Often referred to as lane-departure or wrong way collisions, a head-on collision entails a driver failing to stay in his or her lane by either crossing the center lane or leaving the roadway.
Statistics from 1999 show that 18 percent of non-junction, non-interchange traffic fatalities involved two vehicles striking one another head-on, according to the Fatal Analysis Reporting System. This data correlates with previous years. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of such collisions occurred on rural roads and on undivided two-lane roads. The same year, there were 7,430 head-on collisions in the United States. Of these, a mere 4.2 percent occurred when a vehicle passed or overtook another one. Contrary to what one might expect, only 1.9 percent of such crashes were in construction areas, or those where the roadway was considerably altered on a temporary basis. These facts underscore the need for prevention programs in normal traffic zones, not merely passing areas or those with construction.
Leading Causes of Head-On Collisions
The causes for a head-on collision are nearly as varied as the types of cars involved in them. Although nearly 80 percent of such accidents occur on rural roads, there are numerous other causes and contributing factors. Some of these include:
- Driver impairment, specifically due to alcohol or other drugs;
- Falling asleep while behind the wheel;
- Making a wide turn around a wide curve;
- Poor weather conditions that create low visibility or slippery roads;
- Not following traffic signs and rules;
- Excessive speed, especially while turning a corner;
- Tire blowout;
- Unsafe passing of other vehicles;
- Animals or debris in the roadway;
- Distracted driving;
- Medical emergencies, such as a heart attack or epilepsy;
- Construction or other unfamiliar road changes.
Poor signage and a lack of familiarity with an area can lead drivers to turn the wrong way down a one-way street, thereby causing a collision. Regardless of the cause, it’s important to find a car accident attorney to assist you that is knowledgeable about traffic laws and regulations, and who is willing to fight to ensure fair compensation.
Common Head-On Collision Injuries
A range of factors impact the extent of injuries sustained in a head-on collision, though most often the results are dire. Common injuries in frontal accidents are serious: spinal injuries, brain injuries, paralysis and broken bones among them. Other devastating results may be:
If involved in a wrong way collision in Connecticut, it’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Prior to speaking with your insurance company, consult with a car accident attorney to help protect your legal rights. So long as you are able, it is also helpful to collect witness contact information while at the scene of the accident. Many details are likely going to be forgotten and these are the people who can help you remember.
How Is Fault Determined For A Head-On Collision
Although head-on collisions are rare, they unfortunately do happen. If you or someone you love is involved in one, proving negligence on the part of the other driver or the road conditions is imperative prior to collecting compensation. To show that the other driver was negligent, you or your attorney must prove that the other person breached their duty as a driver, causation and damage. Proving fault is often difficult given the impact of the vehicles colliding. Since the two cars may be sent in various directions, a forensic engineer or accident reconstruction specialist often needs to evaluate the scene. This underscores the importance of hiring a personal injury lawyer to sort through and document all of the evidence from the collision.
If you are partially at fault for the accident, you may or may not be able to receive compensation, depending on the state laws where the wrong way head-on collision occurred. Where permitted, your attorney or insurance company may negotiate a settlement. Other times, the case will go to a jury. The jury then determines the amount of fault for which each driver is responsible.
Listed below are some of the most common causes of negligence in the Middletown, Bridgeport, Waterbury and Danbury areas, and who is often found liable in these cases.
Driving while intoxicated
A common reason for head-on collisions is due to someone’s impairment from drugs or alcohol. Drunk drivers are well-known for driving the wrong way, crossing the center line, and causing accidents with oncoming vehicles. It is almost inevitable that the driver who is under the influence will be found at fault for a head-on collision.
There are countless ways that people engage in distracted driving, all of which leave the driver responsible for any subsequent head-on collision. Some examples include texting or talking on the phone while driving, paying more attention to the people in the back of the vehicle than the street ahead, programming a GPS device, taking a selfie photograph, or browsing social media. Drivers may look into the back seat to grab something or talk to someone. When their eyes or attention moves away from the road, the likelihood of crossing the left line increases. If distraction can be proven, it is likely that the distracted driver will be found at fault.
Though rare, it is possible that neither driver is at fault due to improper road conditions. This may mean an obstacle was in the roadway or a defect was in the street. Some causes include large potholes, icy patches and cracks in the pavement. In these circumstances, the municipality that oversees road maintenance may be held liable. Due to special time limitations in cases against the government, it is important to find legal representation right away in these situations.
On occasion, a third party will be responsible for a collision that they were not directly involved in. This is called a “phantom vehicle” and is only proven under certain circumstances. If a driver acts in a negligent manner, thereby requiring another driving to veer out of his or her own lane, the negligent driver may be held liable. There are many factors that make these cases difficult to prove. For one, the negligent driver often doesn’t stop, and may sometimes not even know that an accident took place. More, there are greater time restrictions and requirements than in most other cases.
When things malfunction in a vehicle, the chances of a head-on collision increase. Dysfunctional steering systems, brakes and tires can lead a driver to depart from their lane and cause an accident. Under product liability laws, the manufacturer for such parts can be held responsible. Although suing a large firm can be intimidating, an experienced attorney can be supportive and help you navigate the system.
Contact an Auto Collision Attorney
Head-on collisions can be devastating and result in permanent injuries. If any driver or entity was negligent in your head-on collision, it is beneficial to contact an auto collision attorney at The Flood Law Firm immediately. We understand the psychological and physical pain that stems from this type of accident, and we are here to help. Our attorneys have the experience and resources necessary to seek out the highest compensation available to you. We thoroughly investigate the situation to assess all liable parties.
If you live in Connecticut or your accident took place in the state, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation at 877.987.9LAW or 860.346.2695. We serve clients all over the state and have offices in Middletown, Bridgeport, Waterbury, and Danbury.