Head On Collisions
All that separates us on many roads is a yellow line of paint and our collective responsibility to keep our vehicles in the correct lane. While most drivers are careful to stay on their side of the road, there are many times when this is not the case, and two vehicles are involved in head-on crashes.
When two vehicles collide head-on, it is almost always a serious accident. The forces involved in a head-on collision are significant, and the occupants of both vehicles are at risk for serious injuries. Even at low speeds, a head-on collision can cause significant damage to both vehicles and their occupants.
Common Causes of Head-On Collisions
There are many reasons why head-on collisions occur, but some of the most common causes include:
Drivers who are not paying attention to the road are more likely to cross into oncoming traffic. This can be due to texting, talking on the phone, eating, drinking, or anything else that takes a driver’s focus away from the road.
Drivers who are tired may have trouble staying in their lane and may drift into oncoming traffic. In fact, some studies posit that fatigue is a bigger detriment to a driver’s ability than alcohol.
Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs are more likely to cross into oncoming traffic because they have impaired judgment and motor skills.
Poor weather can make it more difficult to see oncoming traffic, leading to head-on collisions. This is especially true at night, but flooded roads and high speeds can also lead to a vehicle hydroplaning and skidding into oncoming traffic.
Driving too fast for conditions, tailgating, and other forms of aggressive driving put both the driver and others at risk. In some cases, a driver may intentionally cross into oncoming traffic in an act of road rage.
Narrow lanes, obstacles, and confusing detours or road reroutes are just a few of the many factors in construction zones that can lead to head-on collisions if drivers are not careful. This is one reason why construction zones have reduced speed limits and increased fines to deter drivers from acting dangerously in these areas.
Force of Impact In a Head-On Collision
If two identical vehicles were traveling toward each other at the exact same speed, the impact would be identical to one of those vehicles colliding with a wall at double their speed. So, in this example, a head-on crash between two identical cars traveling at 30 mph, where all other factors were identical, would be the same as one vehicle hitting a wall at 60 mph.
Physics is rarely as straightforward, though, and countless factors contribute to determining the actual force of the collision.
The simple answer is that a head-on crash has a much greater force than most other crashes at the same speed. Fortunately, modern vehicles have been designed to absorb the impact of crashes much more effectively by allowing the frame to crumple, distributing the force throughout the entire frame. In the past, vehicles would transfer the brunt of the impact directly to the occupants, and without the combination of seatbelts and airbags, the outcomes were far more often and fatal than today.
This is just one of many reasons why it is so important for drivers to be aware of their surroundings and always drive safely. Speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence are all major contributors to serious accidents, and head-on collisions are no exception.
What To Do After a Head-On Collision
If you have been involved in a head-on collision, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Even if you do not feel like you are seriously injured, the force of the impact can cause internal injuries that may not be immediately apparent. Call 911 to ensure that EMTs are dispatched to the scene and that a police officer will be able to compile an accident report and gather things like driver information, eyewitness contact information, and more.
Even if the EMTs clear you at the scene, it is essential that you schedule a follow-up with your primary care physician because many injuries may not immediately show themselves. The longer you wait to connect with your doctor, the more leverage the insurer will have to argue that your injuries were not caused by the crash. Seeing your doctor will ensure you get the care you need while strengthening your personal injury case.
Before contacting the insurance company to initiate a claim, it is in your best interest to start working with a car crash attorney who can help you navigate the process and ensure that you get the full compensation to which you are entitled. As soon as the insurance company determines that their policyholder caused a crash, adjusters spring into action to find every way possible to diminish the value of your claim and work to settle your case as quickly as possible.
Your attorney will be able to defend against these attempts with experience and knowledge of the legal process — all while you stay focused on your recovery.
The Benefit of Working With an Attorney For a Head-On Collision Insurance Claim
There are many reasons to seek out the help of an experienced injury attorney after a head-on collision, but here are just a few:
Your attorney will know how to investigate your accident and build a strong case. This includes ordering and reviewing pertinent medical records and police reports, interviewing witnesses, and working with expert witnesses who can provide valuable testimony regarding accident reconstruction, causation, and more.
Handling the Insurance Company
Your attorney will deal with the insurance company so you can focus on your recovery. This includes handling all correspondence, negotiating with adjusters, and fighting for the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.
Deep Understanding of Compensation
Your attorney will be able to identify all potential sources of compensation. This includes not only the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, but also your own underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage, health insurance, and more.
You Pay Only If We Win
Your attorney will take your case on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will not owe any attorney’s fees unless and until you recover compensation for your injuries.
Contact Mountain States Injury Law Today
If you or a loved one has been involved in a head-on collision, contact the attorneys at Mountain States Injury Law today to schedule a free consultation. We will review your case and help you understand your legal options to make the best decision for you and your family.