Head-on collisions are the most dangerous type of car crash. Although head-on collisions make up only 2% of the more 276,000 traffic accidents in New Jersey each year, nearly 10% of head-on collisions result in a fatality, and serious injuries are not uncommon. In this blog post, we review why head-on collisions are so dangerous and why victims of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence may be entitled to compensation.
Physics and Debris Make Head On Collisions More Dangerous
In a head-on collision, two vehicles--or moving objects--are proceeding in opposite directions and intended to continue that way but instead directly collide. Common examples of head-on collisions are when a vehicle crosses the undivided center line on a road, crosses a divided median, or when a vehicle goes the wrong way down a highway. A majority of head-on collisions happen on rural roads.
When a head-on collision occurs, the force of the impact destroys a vehicle’s front and creates serious risk of major injury for the occupants. The impact in this type of car crash is measured by both vehicles’ speed. So, if two cars are traveling at only 25 mph and hit each other head-on, the force of the impact is that of 50 mph.
Upon impact, the front end of a car is crumpled, which causes debris, shrapnel and glass to fly everywhere, potentially causing injury to the driver and passengers. The combination of the force and impact of the crash along with debris creates a risk of serious injury and even death in a head-on collision.
Common Injuries from a Head-On Collision
Head-on collisions can cause life-altering injuries such as internal organ damage, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injury, whiplash, and even death. Many of these will cause serious financial hardships in addition to serious medical and emotional injuries. Head-on collisions can cause individuals to miss significant time at work, face high medical bills and result in lasting physical and emotional pain. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or passed away due to a head-on collision, you may have a case to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses.
Who is At Fault in a Head-On Collision?
Determining who is at-fault for a car accident depends on a number of factors. All drivers have a legal ‘duty of care’ to operate their vehicle safely and prevent harm to other drivers, their passengers and pedestrians on the road. Injury claims stemming from head-on collisions are often made on the legal basis of negligence. Examples of negligent driving that can lead to a head-on collision include:
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue
- Reckless driving
- Failure to follow traffic laws, such as inappropriate passing
If a head-on collision is caused by a negligent driver, you may be able to file an injury claim to recover compensation.
Can You Sue for a Head-On Collision?
Whether you were a passenger in the same vehicle as the negligent driver, if you were in another car, or if you were a pedestrian, you can file a lawsuit in order to obtain financial compensation for your injuries, or a wrongful death claim if you lost a family member. Your personal injury lawsuit will be targeted at recovering sufficient financial compensation to pay for all your expenses arising from the accident.
Compensation in a personal injury claim after a head-on collision could include medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. In the event of a serious injury that prevents you or your loved one from working, you may seek compensation for lost earning capacity and your anticipated future medical expenses.
If the accident resulted in a fatality, the surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of companionship, and loss of the deceased’s future earnings. These cases are rarely straightforward and require an experienced attorney who understands the complex nuances of New Jersey personal injury law.
Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, Can Help
If you or a loved one has suffered injury or a fatality in a head-on collision, we can help. At the firm of Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, our legal team takes pride in our mission to fight to protect the rights of those who have been injured through negligence or reckless disregard for human life. You deserve the support of an experienced advocate, and we will fight to recover substantial compensation for you. We can help. Get in touch now.