Head-on collisions are one of the most dangerous types of car accidents due to the amount of force placed on the car and the body. When this type of impact occurs, it typically results in severe injuries and even a high number of fatalities. In 2019, over 12,000 deaths were reported as a result of frontal impact collisions.
Head-on collisions can occur when two cars collide or when a vehicle runs into another object, like a tree, telephone pole, or a building. These types of collisions can be especially dangerous for occupants of small passenger vehicles when they collide with a larger vehicle, like a bus or a semi-truck.
If you or a loved one are injured in a head-on collision, it may be beneficial for you to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. The damages that arise from a head-on collision—such as medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of wages—can be a burden to deal with, but an attorney can help you with your case by advocating for your rights to ensure you get the highest settlement amount possible.
At Zirkin & Schmerling Law, we have years of experience helping car accident victims suffering in the aftermath of a head-on collision. We understand how emotionally and physically damaging head-on collision injuries can be and are here to help you receive the compassionate care and service you need to win your case and get the compensation you deserve.
How Head-on Collisions Occur
There are many factors that can contribute to the occurrence of a head-on collision. Often a head-on crashes when a car ends up on the wrong side of the road or is facing the wrong direction and collides with another oncoming vehicle. Some of the factors that can lead to this type of crashes include:
- Distracted driving: One of the main things that cause a person to swerve into another lane is distracted driving. When the driver is talking with other passengers, messing with the radio, looking in the mirror, or doing anything else that pulls their eyes from the road, they can easily swerve into another lane or miss a stop sign or a red light, which can result in them colliding with another vehicle.
- Speeding around corners or bends: When a driver turns a corner quickly or speeds around a bend, they can lose control and end up over the line, resulting in a collision with another car coming from the opposite direction.
- Unsafe passing: It is not uncommon for cars to pass slower-moving vehicles on two-way, one-lane roads. While this is legal in some areas, if there is a dotted line instead of a solid line, it can still lead to an accident. If the passing car tries to do so without checking for oncoming traffic on the other side of the lane, or if they can see oncoming vehicles but still try to pass quickly, it can result in a head-on collision.
- Impaired driving: Drivers under the influence of alcohol are known for swerving and veering into oncoming traffic. This can either be because they have impaired motor function or because the alcohol is making it hard for them to concentrate or stay conscious. Either way, when they swerve, they can easily collide with another vehicle.
- Fatigued driving: Similar to impaired driving, fatigued drivers can also drift in and out of consciousness and have a hard time focusing on the road and what they are doing. This can happen from medications that make them drowsy or because they are exhausted and need sleep. Fatigued drivers also often swerve or drift into other lanes, resulting in head-on collisions.
- Inclement weather: Poor weather conditions, such as rain, snow, and ice, result in slippery roads. If a driver loses control of their vehicle due to these conditions, they can accidentally find themselves sliding or spinning onto the wrong side of the road and coming into contact with another vehicle.
- Being run off the road: In some cases, the car that ends up on the wrong side of the road may not have been the negligent driver. There are situations where the vehicle that hits another vehicle may have been run off the road by another car or may have tried to swerve to avoid hitting a car that wasn’t watching where it was going. Unfortunately, when this occurs, they can be run off onto the other side of the road or accidentally swerve into oncoming traffic.
Injuries That Can Result From Head-on Collisions in Maryland
These kinds of collisions usually result in a large impact crash causing serious bodily injuries. If a passenger is not wearing a seatbelt, the force from a head-on collision can also propel them through the windshield.
Some common injuries that can occur in head-on collisions include the following:
- Head trauma
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Crushed limbs
- Crushed torso
- Severe bruising
- Internal bleeding
- Damage to internal organs
- Fractured bones
In the most extreme cases, which can often happen with head-on collisions, the injuries the victims sustain can lead to death. Even if a victim survives, the injuries they sustain can result in loss of limbs or severe scarring and disfigurement. They can also be left with a permanent impairment or paralyzed, which can drastically alter their life, especially if a traumatic brain injury occurs.
In Maryland, our car accident attorneys see many victims with severe injuries such as the ones listed above. Though some are worse than others, recovering from any injury can be complicated enough on its own, let alone having to deal with filing an injury claim or lawsuit. If you’ve suffered from an injury due to a head-on collision, our team at Zirkin & Schmerling Law can fight for your rights to get you the compensation you need while you focus on rest and recovery.
Establishing Fault in Head-on Collision Cases
After an accident occurs, fault will need to be determined to decide who is financially responsible for compensating the victim(s). All drivers have a responsibility when operating a vehicle to obey the laws of the road and uphold a duty of care to avoid harming others. If they act negligently and breach this duty of care, they can be held liable.
Typically, if the negligent driver has insurance, it is the insurance company that is responsible for paying damages to the injured driver. However, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to attempt to reduce settlement amounts and deny claims whenever possible. One way they can do this is by trying to show that the victim was partially responsible themself and contributed to the accident. Another way the insurance company does this is by trying to show that the victim’s injuries existed before the crash occurred.
Unfortunately, Maryland is one of few states that still follow contributory negligence laws. This means that if you are found to be more than 1% responsible for the accident that occurred, you will not be eligible to receive compensation from the other negligent party.
This is why it is often necessary to work with a personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you gather information and evidence that can support your case and prove that the other party was entirely responsible for causing the accident. If the insurance company still does not offer you enough money after sufficient evidence is provided, your lawyer can help you pursue further legal action by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Damages Awarded in Head-on Collision Cases
Getting the full amount of compensation you deserve after a head-on collision is important to ensure you have enough money to cover your medical bills and other damages. Damages that you can be compensated for in a personal injury case include:
- Pastand future medical expenses relating to the injury
- Past and future lost wagesPain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment or disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss future earnings capacity
In the event that a victim dies as a result of the head-on collision, their loved ones can pursue a wrongful death claim to recover damages. A wrongful death settlement can help loved ones or dependents get the money they need to cover losses such as the deceased victim’s income and other contributions they may have made to support the family members.
Contact an Experienced Maryland Head-on Collision Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in a head-on collision, our team of dedicated, experienced, and compassionate attorneys can help. The injuries that follow a head-on collision are often devastating and potentially life-altering. You may experience both physical and emotional pain and suffering for the rest of your life. If someone else’s negligent actions lead to the head-on car accident, you have a right to file a claim or even a lawsuit to get the compensation you need to cover your losses. At Zirkin & Schmerling Law, our car accident lawyer will fight hardest to win you the compensation you deserve. We understand how drastically a victim’s life can be altered by a tragic accident. Contact us or call us at 410-753-4611 to set up an appointment with one of our personal injury attorneys today.