Head-on collisions occur when two cars crash into each other while driving in opposite directions. Although these types of accidents are rare, the aftermath can be devastating for everyone involved. Some head-on collisions might even result in one or more wrongful deaths.
The mistake of one driver might cause the collision from behaviors such as driving the wrong way on a road. Distracted driving, drunk driving or some type of mechanical failure are among other causes.
If you are involved in a head-on collision, there are certain things to do and prove after the accident. First, you will need to show the other driver was reckless or negligent. Proving negligence means you must show that the other breached his or her duty of care.
Generally, it is the responsibility of all drivers to sow a duty of care to others on the road to avoid risking personal injury. For example, choosing to drive drunk could be considered a breach of that duty. Impaired driving from alcohol can lead to mistakes such as driving down the wrong side of the road and swerving when faced with oncoming traffic.
Filing a Lawsuit
In some cases, determining who is responsible for a head-on collision can be difficult. The impact typically sends both vehicles into different directions, which leaves them in a different spot from the initial impact.
With the assistance of an accident reconstruction expert or forensic engineer, it might be possible to figure out the at-fault driver. Other evidence such as skid marks on the road provides crucial information.
Retaining a person injury attorney soon after the accident will help to ensure all evidence is freshly documented should you decide to file a lawsuit.
What Happens if Both Drivers are At-Fault?
When you and the other driver share responsibility for the crash, both of you can bring an injury claim against each other. In some situations, attorneys for both sides can negotiate a settlement with the insurance companies.
In other cases where your claim goes before a jury trial, the jury could distribute fault between both of you. Whether your state follows the comparative negligence or contributory negligence doctrine determines if you will recover damages when you share blame for the accident.
Contributory negligence means you will not be able to recover if you are at-fault.
Injuries after this type of accident can be very traumatic. Some people suffer from:
• Multiple broken bones
• Brain trauma
If it is determined that the other driver was the only one at-fault, you might be able to recover damages for economic and noneconomic losses for past and future medical bills to treat your severe injuries.
Not being able to work your job any more may also provide damages for past and future lost wages. If someone is killed in the collision, you might be able to file a wrongful death suit.
Wrongful Death Resulting from a Head-On Collision
A good portion of crash-related deaths in the United States occur from head-on collisions, although these accidents are only a small percentage of all types of vehicle accidents.
Close relatives and those who are dependents of the person who was killed can recover damages after an accident if someone other than the decedent was at-fault for the crash. Damages eligible for recovery include:
• Funeral expenses
• Out-of-pocket costs
• Loss of consortium
Laws surrounding who can sue for wrongful death also differs among states. Typically, the surviving spouse is the first person who has a right to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their deceased spouse. When the deceased person is a minor, his or her parents are the first ones in line to file.
Contacting Auto Accident Lawyers
Head-on collisions are one of the most devastating and most deadly types of accidents. Our personal injury firm understands how frightening this can be. We are dedicated to helping victims fight for a fair settlement.