A head-on crash can be a terrifying and dangerous experience for the occupants of both vehicles. These accidents are even more deadly when the vehicles are going at a higher speed—which is common in this type of crash. Although head-on collisions only accounted for two percent of all traffic accidents in 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 10 percent of all fatalities were caused by these crashes. Sadly, no matter what the speed of the vehicles, serious injuries and deaths are the consequences when two cars smash into each other head on.
What Are the Causes of Head-On Accidents?
The majority of head-on collisions are caused by poor driving decisions and other negligent driving practices. Common reasons they occur include:
- Driving the wrong way. It can be terrifying to be driving down a one-way street or onto or off of a highway exit ramp and see a vehicle headed straight for you. Unfortunately, this is a common scenario in one of these wrecks.
- Drowsy driving. When drivers are too tired to safely drive or fall asleep at the wheel, they can veer into other lanes—sometimes into oncoming traffic—if they close their eyes even for a second.
- Distracted driving. Whenever a driver is engaged in distracted driving, his eyes and mind are not on his driving and where his vehicle is headed. Talking on a cell phone and texting are major causes of these crashes, but eating and drinking, looking at a GPS, and other practices are equally dangerous.
- Intoxicated driving. Driving when drunk or high on drugs is never safe. This can cause a driver’s reaction time to be slowed, his judgments to be poor, and his ability to stay awake to decrease.
- Crossing the center lane. Veering over the center lane of traffic will almost always result in a collision with an oncoming vehicle.
- Speeding. When motorists speed, their chances of losing control and heading right for another vehicle’s front end is increased greatly.
- Improper passing. Impatient drivers make poor decisions—such as passing other vehicles when it is illegal or unsafe to do so. This can result in the driver speeding right into vehicles going the opposite direction.
What Injuries Do Victims Suffer in Head-On Accidents?
Accident victims can suffer horrific injuries requiring expensive medical treatments and a lengthy period of time off work while they recover. Even worse, people hurt in these crashes often suffer multiple injuries. Some common injuries people suffer include:
- Head and brain injuries, such as skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries
- Back and spinal injuries, like a herniated or ruptured disc, broken spinal column, nerve damage, and paralysis
- Neck injuries and whiplash that can cause the victim to suffer with chronic pain
- Soft tissue injuries causing damage to the person’s tendons, muscles, and ligaments
- Broken bones and more serious fractures of the person’s legs, arms and hips.
- Amputated limbs either at the accident scene or because of the damage the crash caused
- Internal organ damage and bleeding, which can be life-threatening
- Burns which can cause disfigurement and scarring
Why You Need to Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Soon After Your Crash
One of your first steps after a head-on collision should be to contact an experienced car accident attorney. When both vehicles crash head on into each other, they are sometimes pushed in different directions, making determining liability more complex. You need an experienced car accident attorney who can thoroughly investigate the cause of your crash and has a team of experts—such as an accident reconstruction expert—who can help prove how the crash occurred and who was responsible for causing it.
In addition, an attorney will know the true worth of your case and has experience negotiating settlements with insurance adjusters for negligent drivers. Because your injuries are likely more serious, the value of your claim could be higher. This means that the insurance adjuster will fight longer to try to deny or reduce your claim. An attorney will have strategies to defeat the adjuster’s disputes—often not even legitimate ones.
If you or a family member were hurt in a car accident, call our firm at 855.947.0707 to learn how the legal team at Kennedy Hodges, LLP, can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.