Some of the most devastating roadway accidents are head-on collisions. Typically, very severe and often fatal injuries result in these types of crashes. Recovery can take months or even years, rather than days or weeks as we might see in other types of traffic collisions. Those who survive may require 24-hour daily care.
Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm, are familiar with the many challenges accident victims face in the wake of a motor vehicle collision. Instead of being able to simply focus on recovery or working through grief, there are often headaches when it comes to dealing with hospitals, physicians, rehabilitation centers, insurance companies and other professionals.
Our team is dedicated to ensuring the rights of these victims and their families are preserved and their best interests are protected. We know insurance companies will extend settlement offers early on in an attempt to absolve themselves and their insureds of far more substantial liability they are likely to face at trial. We engage insurers and other defendants in meaningful negotiations in an effort to work a favorable settlement for our clients. But we always prepare our cases for the possibility of trial, and we never hesitate to take it before a judge and jury if necessary.What is a Head-On Collision?
The term “head-on collision” refers to any crash in which the front ends of two motor vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc.) collide while traveling in opposite directions.
In many head-on collisions cases, at least one of the vehicles has crossed the center line or median or may even be traveling the wrong direction on the roadway. In some cases, they occur when drivers on two-lane roads are attempting to pass slower-moving traffic ahead by crossing the center line.
When vehicles impact one another head-on, particularly at high rates of speed (as is often the case), the potential for serious injury among drivers and passengers increases exponentially.
In fact, head-on collisions are disproportionately deadly, as compared to other types of crashes. While accounting for just 2 percent of total crashes in the U.S. annually, head-on collisions were cited in between 10 and 20 percent of all fatal crashes.
Commonly-cited causes of head-on crashes include:
- Negotiating a curve too quickly
- Failure to adhere to road signs
- Tire blow-outs
- Poor judgment in passing
- Motorist falling asleep behind the wheel
- Driver suffers a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke
- Operator makes a wide turn around a blind bend
- Debris, animals or other roadway obstacles
- Motorist is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Low visibility due to poor weather conditions
All of these are forms of negligence by the at-fault driver. That is, a driver who is speeding or fails to follow the traffic signals breaches the standard of care owed to others on the road. When someone is hurt as a result – regardless of the at-fault driver’s intentions – the person who caused the head-on collision and/or their insurance company or employer (if driving for work) may be held liable.The Scope of the Problem
The National Highway Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reveals about 18 percent of non-interchange crashes are head-on collisions.
While there is potential for these crashes to happen almost anywhere, there are some locations where they are more likely. According to FARS:
- Three-fourths occur on rural roads
- Three-fourths occur on undivided, two-lane roads
While this indicates significant problems with failed passing maneuvers, the Federal Highway Administration reports a fair number of these incidents happen in construction zones, where traffic patterns have changed and opposing lanes are closer in proximity than usual.
Still, extensive research on the issue tells us most head-on crashes are the result of some unintentional maneuver by the driver. These would include driver distraction, health emergencies, drowsiness and speed.
Many drivers might make the situation worse when they “over-recover” after realizing their mistake.Injuries in Head-On Collisions
Injuries suffered in head-on collision are often severe, and survivors tend to require extensive treatment.
- Some of the most common injuries cited in frontal accidents are:
- Brain and head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries (which may include paralysis)
- Fractured bones
Because early involvement and thorough investigation by a competent Florida injury law firm are essential to obtaining compensation, one of the first things victims should do after seeking medical attention is to contact an experienced lawyer.
Contact Fort Lauderdale Injury Lawyer Richard Ansara at The Ansara Law Firm, by calling (954) 761-4011 for a free consultation.