Few accidents are more catastrophic than a head-on collision. In fact, across the nation, head-on crashes account for only two percent of all collisions but make up nearly 10 percent of all fatalities. This statistic makes clear that although head-on collisions are not that common, when they do occur, drivers and passengers are much more likely to be killed than those involved in other types of car accidents.
Getting Compensation for Victims of Head-on Collisions
Even if a victim survives a head-on crash, the odds are that the victim will suffer injuries, many of which may be serious and may last for years or even the remainder of a victim’s lifetime. When an accident leaves someone seriously injured, it may seem like no one is on the victim’s side and that no relief is in sight.
This is where an experienced car accident attorney who has handled many different types of car accidents can be crucial to a successful claim.
Phoenix personal injury law states that if the negligence of another driver causes someone to become injured, they may be entitled to bring a claim for their damages against the responsible driver. The responsible driver is often referred to as the “at-fault driver” or the “defendant”.
Compensation for damages and injuries caused by a head-on collision can be sought to provide you with adequate funds to cover all your expenses associated with your injuries. And, in the tragic case where a loved one is killed in a crash, the surviving family members may be entitled to bring a claim for their losses against the driver responsible for the collision in what is known as a wrongful death claim.
A lawyer who represents injury victims can help you understand what legal options may be available to you and your family.
Common Types of Damages in a Head-On Collision Claim
Damages in a personal injury case are often divided into Special Damages and General Damages. Special damages are those the can easily be proven and are easily calculated, like medical bills. General damages refer to damages that are not specifically monetary, like pain and suffering.
Some common types of damages in any car accident claim, including head-on collision cases, include:
- Cost of medical bills
- Lost wages from time off work
- Cost of home care or physical therapy
- Cost of transportation or travel
- Cost to repair or replace your car
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental pain and suffering
- Disfigurement or permanent disability
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of a family member
- Loss of consortium
Causes of Phoenix Head-On Collisions
Crossing Over into an Oncoming Lane
Head-on crashes are common in areas where opposing traffic travels in undivided lanes, as well as at intersections. This means that where traffic travels in both directions, like north and south, without a median or other divider between the lanes, head-on crashes are likely to occur.In Phoenix, many roads, including the highways and freeways, have divided traffic. This puts some form of non-road surface between opposing traffic and limits the ability for a head-on crash. But in the more rural areas surrounding Phoenix, and as drivers head to other areas of the state, many of the roads are undivided with two-lane highways and long, straight lanes of travel. These are the areas where many head-on collisions occur and how some of the most serious injuries occur.
When traffic is undivided, if a car crosses the center line they will find themselves in the path of oncoming traffic and in serious danger. If a car is in the opposing lane at the same time another vehicle crosses a center line, a collision is likely to occur.
With any car crash, the speed of the vehicles involved and the weight of the relative vehicles determine the overall force involved in the crash. When speeds are high, the force of impact is also high and the crash that results often serious. As many of these accidents occur when cars are traveling at highway speeds, these accidents often turn deadly.
Head-on Collisions at Intersections
The other common type of head-on collision in Phoenix occurs at intersections, either controlled by a stop light or by stop signs. At these intersections, the rules of the road require drivers to yield the right-of-way, or wait their turn before proceeding into the intersection. That may mean stopping at a red light or a stop sign until the light changes or traffic clears or it may mean waiting until oncoming traffic dissipates before initiating a left turn.
Failing to yield the right-of-way may put two vehicles in the same place at the same time, and if the front ends of both vehicles collide, a head-on crash occurs.
As with any head-on collision, be it at an intersection or on a two-way road, the force of the accident is often compounded. Based on a principle of physics, when two vehicles collide the force applied to the people involved is often doubled. If a person hits a wall at 25mph, then 25 mph worth of force is placed on their body. But if two cars that are both traveling 25mph hit each other head-on, the force put on the drivers’ bodies is 50mph. The two speeds are added together. This is a major factor in why head-on collision accidents often result in serious injuries.
Common Injuries Caused by Head-on Collisions
Aside from the increased risk of fatal injuries caused by a head-on collision, victims are also more likely to sustain the following injuries:
Head and Brain Injuries — These include concussions, traumatic brain injuries, fractures, and internal bleeding, which may require surgery to repair and can have permanent effects.
Neck and Back Injuries — These include whiplash, herniated discs, and spinal cord damage, including quadriplegia or paraplegia.
Burn Injuries — These can range from first-degree burns affecting only the outermost layer of skin to third-degree burns that damage the deepest layers of skin. The most serious of burns can require skin grafting and can leave permanent scars.
Soft Tissue Injuries — These include tears to muscles, tendons, or ligaments, which result in long-term, lingering pain in the areas affected.
Spinal Injuries – Spinal cord injuries can result in pain along the spine or in extremities and may even result in a loss of movement or sensation in the hands or feet.
Claims for Injuries Caused by Head-On Collisions
If an accident results because of the negligence of another, a victim injured in that crash may be entitled to financial compensation for any injuries that result. Commonly, these claims are asserted against the responsible driver, owner of the at-fault vehicle, or any company that manufactured a faulty or defective part that lead to a crash. In some cases, claims may be brought against multiple parties to maximize any recovery made in a particular case.
Many people do not realize that a claim can still be made even if you were in the same car as the at-fault driver in a head-on crash. If you were a victim and you were injured, you may have a claim, regardless of who was responsible for the collision.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Phoenix
Speaking with an injury attorney can help you understand the facts of your case and what relief may be available to you. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we are personal injury lawyers with a history of helping victims of head-on collisions bring claims and obtain the relief they deserve.
To give you the best help possible, we offer a free, no obligation case consultation to all accident victims who call us at (855) 749-5299 or locally at (602) 819-5191. Unlike other firms, we have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we understand that the effects of a collision can be widespread and that the damage can be felt by a family for years. That is why we put our clients’ first and we fight for the best possible result in every case we handle. If you have been involved in an accident, make sure you understand your rights and your options. Call us today and let us help you.