Whenever you get into an accident, there are a lot of considerations that follow. Accident victims need compensation if they are not at-fault of the collision. Following through the compensation procedure requires a thorough lawsuit process that has a high probability of losing if you do not have the right legal capacity. That’s why it is recommendable to seek help from a personal injury attorney to increase the probability of winning your case. Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm offers credible legal services to anyone seeking compensation after a car accident.
Definition of Head-on Collision
Head-on collision, also known as a frontal collision, is a type of accident that involves the frontal end of two vehicles. The vehicles usually hit each other when traveling in the opposite direction, which is different from collisions such as side and rear-ends. According to Nationwide Accident Statistics, head-on collision accounts for ten percent of the total accident that has occurred in recent years.
Causes of Head-on Collision
A large number of head-on collisions result from the drivers’ fault. However, other factors can lead to such an accident. Let’s have a look at the common causes of a head-on collision.
This is the leading cause of a head-on collision. Distracted driving includes activities such as texting, eating or driving while driving, conversing with a passenger, and distractions from outside. Such situations lose the focus of the driver on the road and start to move towards the opposite lane. Such a situation will lead to a head-on collision if the other driver is not attentive enough.
An intoxicated diver has impaired judgment. When a driver is impaired, he or she can easily drift to the on-coming traffic leading to a head-on collision. An inebriate drunk driver is disoriented and would make stupid choices when driving. For instance, if a driver leaves a nightclub and blindly drives on a one-way street, there are chances of getting into a head-on collision. That’s why most of these accidents occur late at night.
The driving experience behind drowsy driving is similar to driving under the influence. Once you drive while you are exhausted, there is a possibility of getting sleepy while on the way. As a result, you might end up drifting to the opposite lane, leading to a head-on collision. That’s why there is a recommendation on the resting routine for regular car drivers.
Poor Judgment of the Passing Gap of Incoming Traffic
Whenever one is overtaking on a one-way road, he or she must use the opposite lane to pass the vehicle at the front. For this to successfully work out, the driver must estimate the passing gap between the on-coming traffic and the car that he or she intends to overtake. If the driver makes a poor judgment, this might lead to a head-on collision.
In a similar event, the oncoming driver and the vehicle that is being overtaken should warn or slow down when a driver intends to overtake. If they fail to consider such precautions, the overtaking driver might end up causing a head-on collision.
Sometimes head-on collisions occur due to poor weather conditions. Severe weather such as excess fog, rainfall, and snow reduce the visibility of the roadway. Therefore, if a driver cannot see a driver that is driving in the opposite direction and might end up in a head-on collision. Also, such weather can cause the vehicle to drift in the opposite direction, leading to a frontal crash.
Notorious drivers usually drive on the wrong -way as a way to show off or overtake recklessly. If the vehicle is on the wrong lane and the visibility of the highway is not clear, this might lead to a head-on collision. The driver will not have enough time to shift to the right lane due to the excess speed and presence of another vehicle.
Tire blowouts can be a real problem when it comes to causing an accident. When a tire blows out, the vehicle gets out of control, leading to a possible head-on collision. Different reasons can lead to a tire blowout. This includes:
- Retread failure
- Separation of the tread and steel belt, leading to the exposure of the tire cords
- Bead wire failures
- Improper adhesion of the belt and rubber
When a vehicle is speeding, it is hard to control it. As a result, the driver cannot manage to handle the car when it moves to the opposite lane. Therefore, there will be less time to react to oncoming traffic, which increases the possibility of causing a head-on collision.
Inexperienced drivers are not familiar with the road rules. Teenage drivers will most likely end up in a head-on collision since they do not know how to react to a possible head-on collision or follow traffic rules that will help them avoid such an accident.
Aggressive driving is beyond the commonly known road range. It includes tailgating, cutting off drivers, dangerous change of lanes, and weaving in and out of traffic. It is hard to predict an aggressive driver, and such a driver can easily cause a head-on collision.
Failure to Observe Traffic Signals
If a driver does not know how to yield at a stop sign, this can lead to a disaster. Such a driver can easily cause a head-on collision with the vehicle at the front of him or her.
Altered Traffic Patterns
When construction is going on on the road, there is a lot of alteration that can cause a head-on collision. One of the common modifications includes the blockage of one lane, leaving the other lane for vehicles from both directions. Vehicles from one road should wait for the other cars from the other to pass to proceed with their passing. However, if one driver decides to overlook the traffic rules in such a situation, there is a possibility of a head-on collision.
Such a situation can be hazardous since one of the drivers might end up on the construction site while trying to avoid the oncoming vehicle. Such a situation might lead to fatal injuries.
Liability in Head-on Collision
If you want to seek compensation for your injuries, you must establish who is responsible for the injuries that you incur. In a head-collision, you can hold several parties accountable for your injuries. These parties are as follows:
The Other Driver
In most cases, the other driver is usually responsible for a head-on collision. There are different forms that you can use to claim that the other driver is responsible, as described above. You should be sure that the cause that you provide to the court is reasonable and accurate before you present it to the judge or jury.
Your Vehicle Manufacturer or Supplier
In some cases, a head-on collision does not result from the negligence of the drivers but can result from a vehicle’s malfunctioning. If you can manage to establish that the accident was a result of a malfunction, the vehicle manufacturer or dealership should take responsibility for your injuries. Component manufacturers or suppliers also play a part in this kind of liability.
The Vehicle Repair Shop
A negligent vehicle repair shop can cause a dangerous vehicle defect that can lead to a head-on collision. For instance, if the brakes fail or the steering wheel goes off, such a malfunction would lead to an accident. In that case, the repair shop would probably be responsible for the issue hence their responsibility for your injuries. You must be sure that the repair shop is responsible for the malfunction to get your compensation.
State or Local Government Agency
If there are issues such as too sharp turns, narrow medians, or other road issues, there are high chances of incurring a head-on collision. Therefore, if you can establish that your accident resulted from such matters, the state or local government agency responsible for the road repair or construction should compensate for your injuries.
Road Construction Company
If the government or state agency is responsible for your injuries, the road construction company accountable for the construction of the road also plays a part in the liability. Most companies that are liable for such injuries are responsible for the design, development, and design of roads. Therefore, if an accident results from one of their failures, they should take responsibility for your injuries.
In some situations, a driver might be following every traffic rule, but another driver who would be drunk or distracted enters his or her lane space. To avoid a collision, the first driver would probably have jerked the steering wheel, which departs the vehicle off the designated lane. With such a situation, both you and the primary driver are not responsible for the accident, but a third driver is responsible.
Such a driver is referred to as a phantom driver and should take responsibility for the accident. It is hard to get hold of a third-party driver since they are usually runaway drivers. Therefore, the blame typically shifts to the initiator of the accident, who is often the distracted or drunk driver.
Determining Fault in a Head-on Collision
Since you are familiar with the possible parties that can be held responsible for a head-on collision, you need to learn how to determine their fault. In California, the error is determined through California’s Negligence Laws. Under this law, the plaintiff must show that the defendant was negligent, and this resulted in a car accident. There are specific aspects that the plaintiff must prove to the court to verify that the other driver was negligent. These aspects are as follows:
- The defendant owed you the duty of care
- The defendant breached the duty of care through negligent action
- The negligent actions of the defendant had a substantial factor in causing your injuries
In California, the duty of care explains the standards regulations that a driver must follow when operating a car. If the driver fails to comply with these regulations, this will be considered as driving negligence. The standard of care that the driver should take note are as follows:
- Use reasonable care while driving a vehicle
- Control or maintain the relevant speed of the vehicle
- Take note of other cars, obstacles, and pedestrians
Most head-on collisions result from failure to observe the above-stated standard of care. In such a case, the driver ends up responsible for the accident.
Other than the circumstances surrounding the accident, you can use other means to determine who is at the fault of the accident. You can use different evidence, such as:
- Witness statement
- Police report
- Traffic footage
- Assessment from a witness expert
Types of Injuries Sustained in Head-on Collision
The type of injuries sustained in a head-on collision can either be mild or severe. These injuries are as follows:
Cuts and Bruises
These are minor injuries that one would probably incur in a minor head-on collision. They are usually caused by crushed metal, plastic, or shattered glass. Once the shrapnel comes into contact with the driver’s skin, one might incur an abrasion, cut, or bruises depending on the severity of the accident.
Neck injuries are common in a head-on collision. The neck area is quite vulnerable since the seat belt does not restrain it. Neck injuries vary from whiplash to severely herniated disc. Whiplash requires minor medical intervention, while a herniated disc requires significant medical intervention. Herniated discs might lead to severe medical conditions such as paralysis and memory loss.
Head injuries include any type of injury that affects the brain, skull, or the scalp. They can range from a minor bruise or bump to a significant injury such as traumatic brain injury. The common types of injuries suffered in minor head-on collisions include concussion, skull fractures, scalp, and wound.
Common symptoms of brain injuries include headache, amnesia, and commas. Once you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical intervention to determine the likelihood of TBI. Medical expenses in head injuries vary according to their severity.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are the worst injuries that one can get in a head-on collision. Severe spinal cord injuries can lead to permanent paralysis, incontinence, and memory loss. There is no cure in a spinal cord injury, so the victim has to rely on therapies and rehabilitation. Also, if the patient lost consciousness due to the injury, he or she must be placed in an Intensive Care Unit, which is quite expensive.
Your chest might get injured despite having an airbag to protect you. However, the kind of chest injuries that one incurs in such a situation is not as severe as expected. It might involve minor bruises. In severe chest injuries, you might experience a couple of broken ribs. Broken ribs can be dangerous and can end up puncturing adjacent organs, which can turn out to be deadly.
Even if your ribs remain intact, they can still leave you in significant painful breathing, which can last for a long time after the accident.
Damage of the Internal Organs
A head-on collision risks injuries to a lot of vital internal organs. The organ that is at the highest risk is the lungs. If you incur a broken rib, it might puncture your lungs, which can lead to death. Besides that, a broken rib might also puncture the heart, which might also lead to death. Besides the vulnerability of the lungs and the heart, your digestive tract organs are also at risk of damage. This usually affects the kidney, both small and large intestine, liver, and spleen. It is hard to detect injuries in such parts immediately, which increases the risk of their infection or failure. That’s why it is recommendable to seek medical care once you suspect that your internal organs are damaged.
The sheer force that results from a crash leads to broken bones. For instance, your arms and legs are at risk of breaking once they dash on the steering wheel and the lower part of the vehicle. There is no item restraining the legs and hands from the injuries, hence the risk of breaking.
There are a lot of psychological injuries associated with a car accident. This is common when a victim loses his or her limb or ends up disfigured due to the accident. The most common type of emotional injury is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD), which requires therapy. Psychological therapy is quite expensive and might incur a lot of expenses on the victim’s loved ones.
Disfigurement and Loss of Limb
If the victim loses a limb or gets a significant scar, this is referred to as disfigurement. In the case of scarring, you might require to undergo a surgical restoration procedure. If you lose a limb, you might need a prosthetic to restore your normality. Such medical interventions are expensive and might incur some additional expenses.
Recoverable Damages in Head-on Collision
Victims can recover several types of damages when filing for compensation from the at-fault party. There are three types of injuries that one can recover from a car accident. These damages include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic losses represent those types of injuries that have a financial value, and one can easily manage to calculate them. Non-economic losses represent those types of accidents that have no monetary value and are quite hard to figure. Here is a detailed description of all the recoverable damages in a head-on collision.
The biggest concern after an auto accident is the expenses incurred in medical care. Medical care is part of economic damages and usually has the highest percentage. You need to provide medical bills, homestay prescriptions, proof of ongoing treatment, and documents that prove your doctor’s visitation if you want to get compensated for your medical expenses. The injured party can recover full medical costs, even if the liable party has insurance coverage.
In severe cases that lead to loss of limb or paralysis, you must find ongoing physical therapy, The cost of these services must be compensated through the provision of mobility aids such as slings, a cane, and wheelchairs. In severe conditions, you might need a unique bed at your home and home care nurse.
If you had to miss work for a couple of days due to your injuries, the at-fault party should take responsibility for the injuries and compensate for the lost wages. If the injuries render you unable to work or force you to seek a different job, the responsible party should take responsibility and compensate you. In this kind of damage, the responsible party should put you in a similar financial position that you would have enjoyed without the injuries. All you need to do is provide proof such as a note from your employer, tax return form, and your pay stub.
Pain and Suffering
It is hard to determine the monetary value of a physical or mental injury. However, this kind of damages intends to achieve compensation for such types of injuries. These damages also consider costs such as anxiety and trauma.
In Nevada, there is a cap on pain and suffering injuries, despite the number of victims in the accident. The limitation allows a maximum compensation of $350,000.
Loss of Consortium
The law allows compensation for the loss of companionship of a victim. Loss of consortium does not only consider the loss of relationship companionship but involves other types of rapport, such as emotional support and sexual relationship.
In rare cases, the state might decide to add another type of damage as a form of punishment. This is considered when the at-fault party puts the public and the victim at significant risk due to gross negligence. For instance, if one was in road rage or was driving aggressively, the state views such a situation as gross negligence. Therefore, the state might place punitive damage as a way to punish the driver.
Punitive damage is quite high and might reach up to five times the value of other costs.
Find a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
Handling a compensation lawsuit is stressful. It takes a lot of time and requires someone with substantial legal knowledge to handle such a situation. Hiring an attorney would be the perfect choice since it helps you manage the case with ease. Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm offers credible legal services to people living in Las Vegas, NV. Contact us today at 702-996-1224 and let us handle your case.