Few car accidents are as scary as head-on collisions. The occupants of both vehicles usually suffer injuries due to the impact of the crash. Head-on collisions are particularly dangerous because if the two vehicles are traveling at approximately the same speed when they hit each other, the impact force doubles. Thus, two cars traveling at 50 m.p.h. collide at the equivalent of 100 m.p.h. The front end of the cars may collapse. The results are devastating.
Many victims of head-on collisions succumb to their injuries. In such cases, family members may file a wrongful death suit against the responsible parties.
A car accident lawyer in Stuart at Kogan & DiSalvo can help you receive the compensation you deserve as you recuperate from your injuries and try to rebuild your life.
What Is a Head-on Collision?
A head-on collision occurs when two vehicles hit each other from the front while traveling in opposite directions. Also known as a frontal collision, the situation tends to happen so fast that neither driver has the opportunity to brake to avoid the crash.
While a head-on collision can take place anywhere, they often occur on rural roadways with narrow lanes. Such roads may not have any form of traffic dividers, including center lines, and lighting is usually poor to nonexistent.
Florida is a no-fault state, so minor injuries are covered by your insurance policy. Unfortunately, few people are lucky enough to sustain only minor injuries from a head-on crash.
Only 2 percent of car accidents consist of head-on collisions, but these crashes account for 10 percent of automobile fatalities.
What to Do If Involved in a Head-on Collision
If you are able, call 911 immediately. Check to see how badly you or any passengers are injured. If able, do the same with the occupants of the other vehicle. Get yourself and others out of harm’s way. Try to get the name and insurance information of the other driver. Of course, in such a serious crash, these actions are often impossible.
If you can, take photos of the crash scene, the vehicles, and anything that may have contributed to the accident. If there are eyewitnesses, get their names, addresses, and phone numbers.
Seek immediate medical attention. In a crash as serious as a head-on collision, most victims are taken by ambulance to the nearest emergency room. Some vehicle occupants may think they were not badly hurt, especially if they were in the back seat. Certain injuries are not apparent right away. It is imperative, both for your own well-being and the status of your claim, to have a prompt medical evaluation. If you wait too long before going to a doctor, the insurance company will likely claim your injuries did not result from the car crash.
It is likely an insurance company will contact you soon after the accident. Do not agree to any settlement amount even if it sounds like a reasonable offer. Insurance companies want to settle even the most catastrophic claims as soon as possible, for as little as possible. At this point, you do not know how long it may take you to recover or even if you will ever fully recover. Contact an experienced head-on car crash lawyer to handle your claim.
Head-on Collision Causes
Common causes of head-on collisions include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Drowsy driving
- Inclement weather, such as fog
- Ignoring traffic signals or stop signs
- Mechanical defects
- Road defects
- Road rage
- Turning the wrong way onto a one-way street
- Unsafe passing
Head-on Collision Fault
As with any type of motor vehicle accident, fault is generally determined by negligence or reckless behavior on the part of drivers. In a head-on collision, fault usually involves the driver crossing the centerline or going in the wrong direction.
However, every accident is unique. A head-on collision may involve an accident between two vehicles going in the same direction, with the impact forcing one of them to hit a third vehicle head-on. In this situation, the driver responsible for pushing the other car into a third vehicle is usually at fault.
Mechanical defects may prove the cause of a head-on crash. Should a tire blow out suddenly, the affected car may swerve into the other lane. A driver experiencing a medical emergency, perhaps losing consciousness, could also cause such an accident.
Evidence of negligence includes police reports, medical records, road conditions at the time of the crash, witness statements, and any video of the accident. Drivers are not the only negligent parties. If defective road conditions caused or contributed to the crash, the entity responsible for road maintenance may hold liability. Your head-on car accident lawyer will examine every aspect of your case to determine negligent parties.
Under Florida law, even if you are partly at fault for the head-on collision, you may still receive compensation.
The person who walks away from a head-on collision is lucky. Most vehicle occupants suffer serious and potentially life-threatening injuries.
Common injuries associated with head-on collisions include:
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Internal injuries
- Loss of limbs or digits
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
Besides physical injuries, victims of head-on collisions may suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Car accidents are a leading cause of PTSD, with symptoms including:
- Fear of riding in a car
- Flashbacks of the accident
Statute of Limitations
In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is generally two years from the date of the accident, which means that it is crucial to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Your attorney must investigate the accident thoroughly, and critical evidence may vanish if the investigation does not start promptly. For example, nearby surveillance video may have captured the crash, but most private home and business surveillance systems do not store such video long-term.
If the victim died from their injuries, their family generally has two years from the date of their death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Head-on Collision Damages
After a head-on collision, you may no longer be able to work or support or care for your family. You likely face months, if not years, of rehabilitation. Depending upon the extent of your injuries, you may never prove able to work again, or at least not in your former occupation. Your physical mobility may be impaired permanently.
A head-on car crash lawyer in Stuart knows a fair settlement amount for the injuries you suffered and your potential future burdens related to the accident. While most cases are settled, if the insurance company fails to agree to a reasonable settlement, we will take your case to court.
Compensation, or damages, for a head-on collision may include:
- Medical expenses, current and future
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Contact a Head-on Car Accident Lawyer in Stuart
If you or a loved one were injured in a head-on car accident, you need the services of the experienced Stuart, Florida car accident lawyers at Kogan & DiSalvo. Contact us today and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We will evaluate your claim and let you know your options. Since we work on a contingency basis, you pay no fee unless you receive compensation.