Head-On Collision Lawyer
Head-on collisions are arguably one of the most dangerous crashes you can have due to the force both drivers sustain. Unlike most other accidents, the vehicles move toward one another before they collide. Head-on collisions accounted for 10.2% of fatal crashes in 2020.
The most common injuries sustained in a head-on collision are brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, catastrophic injuries, and paralysis. This is why some states have long stretches of steel wire cable installed to ensure head-on collisions don’t occur at highway speeds. The cables help prevent vehicles from crossing the median and veering into ongoing traffic.
The wires have helped to lower the number of fatal accidents, but they also present problems. A simple loss of control can result in more vehicle damage if you hit these cables, and they also increase your chances of sustaining a mild injury.
The resulting injuries or wrongful death from a head-on collision require massive research and investigation. This is why you want to hire an experienced head-on collision attorney in Glastonbury or Simsbury. The firm should also have the resources to take your case to trial. Since every insurance company has an injury law firm working with them, you should have a Connecticut head-on collision accident lawyer in your corner to help you get the best outcome possible.
“Head-On Collision” Definition
A head-on collision is an accident when vehicles are driving in opposite directions and have a front-to-front crash. This is why you may hear it called a frontal crash. While injuries are possible in any car accident, head-on collisions are more likely to cause serious injuries or death for the drivers or passengers in either vehicle.
The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) found that frontal impact crashes had a higher fatality rate of 58% when compared to other types of car accidents. They also found that these crashes are much more common in rural areas, where most deaths occur over urban crashes.
How Often Do Head-On Car Collisions Occur?
The Connecticut Crash Data Repository showed that fatal vehicle accidents skyrocketed from 2019 to 2020. In 2020, there were 303 deaths related to car accidents, up 19.29% from 2019’s 254 auto accident-related fatalities. In 2018, there were 297 fatal car accidents in Connecticut.
Also, the National Safety Council reported 21,340 traffic fatalities in the first six months of 2022. This is an increase of 43 people over 2021. With tragic car accidents on the rise and right in your backyard, understanding how head-on collisions happen can help you avoid them.
How Do Head-On Accidents Occur?
As experienced Connecticut car accident lawyers, we can tell you that no two car accidents are the same, and each collision can have a different set of circumstances behind it. However, a few of the most common causes of these types of accidents include but are not limited to:
For the past 15 years, distracted driving has shot up the list as one of the biggest and deadliest reasons people have head-on collisions in the United States. While technology has become a handy tool in our daily lives, it’s also become a massive threat to practicing safe driving.
Things like using various apps, answering your phone, or playing music all lead to distractions that can easily pose a risk to other people on the road and you as the driver. Every one of these activities can cause you to remove your focus from the road, increasing your chances of ending up in a head-on collision.
Extreme Fatigue or Sleeplessness
This category is valid for every driver, but it’s especially relevant to commercial truck drivers because it’s common for them to forego rest or sleep to get to their destinations in time. Being sleepy or tired can slow your reaction times and make it difficult to make clear judgments in critical situations. In turn, this can cause serious accidents, including head-on collisions.
Inclement Weather Conditions
Bad weather conditions when you drive, like dense fog, downpours, or ice and snow, can cause a very rapid deterioration of your road conditions. Also, these can negatively impact visibility, and it’s very easy for a driver to lose control of the vehicle and cause a head-on crash.
Lack of Driving Experience
It’s common for new or teenage drivers to lack the typical driving experience more seasoned drivers have, and they may have little to no understanding of road regulations or etiquette. When you add inexperience with overconfidence, you have a terrible combination that leads to dangerous situations for everyone involved.
Construction zones can be hazardous because you have to slow down, have patience, and carefully navigate them. A driver in a hurry may miss the new traffic patterns that road work creates, and they can cause a head-on collision by going against the flow of the new traffic pattern.
Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs results in poor judgment on the driver’s behalf. In addition, being intoxicated, whether it’s by drugs or alcohol, can cause you to lose your concentration, makes you unable to make clear decisions in a crisis, and massively slows down your regular reaction times.
If the driver makes poor decisions, this can be catastrophic for anyone else in the vehicle, the driver, or anyone else on the road. Drinking and driving under the influence can easily lead to a head-on collision. The result can be catastrophic injuries or death.
As you age, your reaction time tends to slow down, and you may not see as well. As a result, it’s easy to miss road signs or lose the ability to make critical decisions very quickly.
Speeding can be a huge safety hazard for anyone who is driving. Any driver who moves at excessive speeds increases the risk of running red lights, missing road signs, or crashing into oncoming vehicles.
Unpredictable or Aggressive Driving
Unpredictable and aggressive drivers who weave in and out of traffic, change lanes with little warning, cut off other drivers, or tailgate vehicles ahead of them cause severe accidents. In addition, they create very hazardous conditions for themselves and anyone who shares the road with them.
How Is Fault Determined in a Head-On Crash?
The impact of this type of crash can spin each car in a different direction, making it challenging to figure out how the crash happened. However, your head-on collision attorney can retain an engineer or a specialist in accident reconstruction who can determine the root cause of the accident and who caused it.
The at-fault driver’s insurance will usually pay if you lose a family member or sustain injuries in a head-on collision. But the first thing you have to do is figure out which party was at fault. Unfortunately, even if the lawsuit turns into a personal injury case, the plaintiff must establish what the at-fault driver owes them. So your head-on collision accident attorney will look for the following:
- Cause – In a car accident, the cause is very straightforward. For any injury claim, the injured party has to prove that the defendant caused the injuries. For example, you wouldn’t have gotten a head injury if the at-fault driver didn’t swerve into your lane and caused the crash.
- Duty of care – Every driver on the road has a legal obligation not to harm another driver or pedestrian. This duty of care includes being rested, sober, alert, and paying attention when you drive. If, at the time of the accident, the at-fault party is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this is a breach of care. It’s important to note that drugs include over-the-counter and prescription medications that could cause driver impairment.
- Negligence – For a driver to be negligent, they had to have conduct that was outside what you expect from a reasonable individual. This could be using the off-ramp to enter the highway, driving down a one-way street the wrong way, or speeding.
It’s also important to note that Connecticut has the 51% Rule or the Modified Comparative Fault Rule. This rule states that the plaintiff has to share below 51% of the fault in the head-on collision to get compensation. Also, the court can subtract the percentage they find you at fault for the accident from your compensation. So, if the court awarded you $100,000 but found you 20% at fault for the accident, you’d get $80,000.
How Much Is My Head-On Crash Case Worth?
The compensation amount from your head-on collision will depend on several factors, including the vehicle damage level, injury severity, hospital expenses, lost wages, and more. As a result, there is no average settlement amount. The figures can start at $15,000 and go upwards of $2 million, depending on the crash circumstances.
The easiest way to understand how much your head-on crash case is worth is to consult an experienced car accident lawyer in Glastonbury or Hartford, CT. They’ll look at your case’s circumstances and facts to help build a solid case to get the most damages possible. Also, your settlement should take into account your current, past, and anticipated losses, and it can include compensation for the following:
- Ambulance services
- Diagnostic testing
- Doctors’ appointments
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of wages
- >Medical expenses for medication, surgery, or assistive equipment
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced earning capacity
- Vehicle repairs or replacement
Fatal Head-On Collisions and “Wrongful Death”
Although head-on collisions represent a minimal amount of vehicular accidents in the US, they have a higher death rate. The deceased’s dependents and close family members might have a claim for wrongful death if someone other than the decedent was at fault for this crash. You may be able to recover damages for out-of-pocket costs, funeral expenses, and consortium loss.
Each state will differ on who can sue for wrongful death. However, a surviving spouse is usually right at the top of the list to get a car accident attorney and build a wrongful death case if the deceased was an adult. If they were minors, the parents are first in line.
What to Do When the Insurance Company Calls You
Once you notify your insurance company of the head-on collision, agents from the at-fault party’s insurance company or your insurance company may reach out. You want to tell your insurance agent of the crash, but you don’t want to speak to the at-fault driver’s insurance agent. They can manipulate innocent comments to make it seem like you caused the accident or your injuries weren’t as severe as you claim. They may also try to pressure you into a settlement.
Unfortunately, it’s very common for insurance adjusters to try and mislead victims about their compensation amounts, so you must enlist the services of an experienced head-on collision accident attorney.
What Does a Collision Lawyer Do?
After an accident, recovery should be your priority. However, you may want to consider retaining a car accident lawyer when you’re well enough. On top of your emotional and physical burdens from your accident, you may have financial hardship as you try to deal with vehicle replacement or repairs, medical bills, and lost wages. A car accident lawyer has several jobs helping build a solid case for your head-on collision accident. Your legal team can help with what we touched on above and the following:
- Address any concerns you may have and answer questions
- Establish a compensation strategy
- Gather eyewitness testimonies
- Investigate by looking at medical records and police reports
- Prove who the at-fault driver is
- Represent you in court or negotiations
- Speak on your behalf with the lawyers, insurance companies, and other parties
- Update you throughout the process
Car Accident Lawyer in Simsbury and Glastonbury
If you need a reputable head-on collision attorney in Simsbury, Glastonbury, or Hartford, CT, look no further than Hassett & George, P.C. We have a solid commitment to helping our clients achieve the best outcomes possible with their cases. Our legal team can handle various claims, including fatal car accidents, rear-end accidents, wrong-way accidents, Uber accidents, and Lyft accidents. Reach out for a consultation.