Head-on collisions are by far the most dangerous and deadly type of car crash. A head-on collision occurs when one vehicle crashes headfirst into another vehicle traveling in the opposite direction, putting the most explosive part of the car (the engine) in dangerously close contact with passengers in the other vehicle.
Even at speeds below 45 mph, head-on collisions can be devastating due to the physics and mechanisms at play. Unfortunately, many of these crashes occur due to one driver’s gross recklessness, such as being drunk or distracted.
If you or a loved one were injured in a head-on collision, you have the right to hold the negligent driver accountable. Our Macon car accident lawyers will work to ensure you get the money you need to pay your medical bills now and in the future. Call us at (478) 216-1664 today.
Head-On Collision Statistics
Head-on collisions aren’t as common as T-bones or sideswipes, but they lead the pack in fatalities. In 2019, frontal collisions caused 6,995 fatalities, or 56% of the total death count of car crashes in the United States. For comparison, side-impact crashes caused 3,397 deaths in the same year.
What to Do After Being in a Head-On Collision in Macon
All car accidents are scary, but head-on collisions can be even more frightening. With that being said, if you’re involved in one of these wrecks, it’s important that you try to remain calm and keep a cool head. You can’t make rational decisions about your wellbeing if you’re unable to think straight.
Here are a few other steps you can take to keep yourself safe and protect your legal rights:
Move your vehicle to a safer location.
Check yourself and your passenger(s) for injuries.
Call the police.
Gather evidence and information.
If you aren’t badly injured and can operate your vehicle, move it off the road to a shoulder or grassy area. Many times, head-on collisions lead to pile-ups, extremely dangerous accidents involving multiple vehicles.
Once you’re in a safer location, turn on your hazards and wait for the police. Of course, if you or a passenger are severely injured, you should immediately call an ambulance before trying to move your vehicle. You could hurt yourself further by attempting to drive when you’re badly hurt.
If you or your passenger are in extreme pain or are unable to breathe, call 911 immediately. Your health is the priority; don’t try to hang back at the scene and collect evidence or talk to witnesses if you’re hurt.
If you do plan on filing a lawsuit against the other driver, you can always come back to collect evidence, and you can obtain the police report of the accident later.
Under no circumstances should you allow the other driver to talk you out of calling the police. Head-on collisions very rarely leave vehicles and their inhabitants without damage or injuries; if you don’t call the police, there won’t be an official report of the accident. It’ll be much more difficult to try and claim damages to your vehicle and injuries to your person.
Police reports cannot be used in court, but they are extremely helpful for insurance purposes. They also help point your head-on collision lawyer in Macon, GA to the right sources of evidence.
You are your best advocate in the moments after the crash. Help yourself and your case immensely by gathering crucial information about the events leading up to the wreck and immediately after. If you have your phone on you, try to take pictures of:
- Weather conditions (rain, snow, sunny skies)
- Traffic signs, stop signs, one-way signs, and other markers
- Skid marks or other signs of immediate braking on the road
- Damage to your vehicle from various angles
- Damage to the other person’s car
You should also try and gather the following from the other driver and witnesses who may have seen the crash:
- The other driver’s name, contact information, and address
- The other driver’s license number, registration, and insurance information
- Information from any witnesses about what they saw before and during the crash
You should never divulge your social security number or coverage limits on your insurance plan with the other driver.
Call your insurance company.
The chances are marginal that you walk away from a head-on collision without any damage or injury. No matter the condition of yourself and your vehicle, you need to report the accident to your insurance company. In certain situations, you could even face criminal charges for not reporting an accident.
Call a head-on collision lawyer in Macon, GA.
Head-on collisions often result in major property damage and severe injury. These are costly accidents that could cost you even more if you don’t have a lawyer. An experienced attorney will know what tricks the other party and their insurance company will try to pull to devalue your claim.
Your lawyer will work with your doctor to get a full idea of your injuries and future cost of damages, and they’ll give you resources for recovery. A lawyer will fight for you and keep your best interests in mind.
If you or a loved one were injured in a head-on collision, your best bet is to call a Macon Car Accident Lawyer.
What makes head-on collisions so deadly?
For this question, we must look to science. Simple physics will demonstrate why head-on collisions claim so many lives and cause devastating injuries each year.
In a head-on crash, the severity of the damage depends on the amount of energy your vehicle has at the moment of impact and the amount of energy of the vehicle that hits you. The greater the energy, the greater the force, the greater the effects.
In a normal driving situation when you have plenty of time to gradually step on the brakes, the brakes absorb energy. Collisions are a different story, but the amount of energy still has an impact on the amount of force sustained in a crash. The energy has to go somewhere.
For comparison, let’s look at an example of an inanimate object: If you hit a trash can, the trash can will absorb some of your car’s kinetic energy, lessening the severity of the collision. The trashcan is much lighter and has far less energy than your car, so you’re unlikely to have serious damage besides a little bit of scraped paint.
Now for vehicle-to-vehicle collisions. Unless you drive a tank, the force of impact will not be enough to move the other vehicle out of your vehicle’s way. When a vehicle slams into yours, your car absorbs an enormous amount of energy and force.
The situation becomes deadly when the other vehicle has a much larger mass than your vehicle. Let’s say a semi-truck is driving in the wrong direction and hits you head-on. In this scenario, your car is like the trash can above: you have far less mass, far less energy, and far less chance of survival. That’s not to say that collisions between passenger vehicles aren’t deadly; unfortunately, plenty of people are injured and killed in crashes between smaller cars every day.
If you or a loved one were injured in a head-on collision in Macon, GA, you have the right to seek justice and hold the negligent party accountable. Call Macon Car Accident Lawyers today for more information.
Common Causes of Head-On Collisions
Head-on collisions aren’t caused by a sober driver pulling a U-turn in the middle of a busy highway. Head-on collisions are almost always caused by distracted or intoxicated drivers who fail to realize that they’re driving in the wrong lane or wrong side of the road.
These are some of the most common causes of head-on car crashes:
Any activity that takes and keeps a driver’s attention away from the road can be referred to as distracted driving. When someone’s distracted, whether they’re eating or drinking, adjusting their seat position, or reprimanding their child in the backseat, a moment of inattention can cause them to swerve off the road and into another lane.
Some head-on car accidents occur due to inclement weather, including snow, sleet, heavy rain, or dense fog. These weather events can dramatically reduce road visibility, especially when reckless drivers don’t slow down.
Drunk or Drugged Driving
People with BAC levels above the legal limit have drastically impaired judgment, meaning they are more likely to make a mistake or lose control of their vehicle, potentially driving into another lane or even onto the wrong road.
A drunk driver may also be so inebriated that they fall asleep at the wheel and drift out of their lane into another.
The faster a vehicle is traveling, the greater the amount of kinetic energy, which translates to greater force in the event of an accident. Speeding can cause devastating accidents; a person who is driving too fast may miss a temporary redirection sign, such as in a construction zone, and collide with another vehicle head-on.
Determining Fault in a Head-On Collision
Like any other car accident case, fault is determined in a head-on collision case by establishing negligence. You and your head-on collision lawyer in Macon, GA must prove that the other driver was negligent in their actions, that those actions caused the accident, and that the accident directly caused your injuries.
You and your lawyer must prove the following to receive compensation for your injuries:
Duty of Care
In a car accident case, “duty of care” simply means that every driver has the duty to operate their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner. Your attorney must prove that the other driver was the one operating the vehicle and therefore owed you, another driver, duty of care.
Breach of Duty
After establishing the other driver’s duty of care, your attorney will move on to breach of duty. This means that the other driver breached (broke) the duty to operate their vehicle reasonably, putting others in danger.
In the case of a car accident, a driver breaches the duty of care when they fail to operate their vehicle in a manner consistent with the rules of the road or fails to do what a reasonably safe driver would have done in the same situation.
Breach of Duty Directly Causing the Accident and Your Injuries
It’s not enough to prove that the other person failed to operate their vehicle safely. You must prove that that failure led directly to the accident, which directly led to your injuries. You can’t sue another driver for a neck injury that occurred the day before; you and your lawyer have to establish that the driver’s actions caused your injury.
Actual Injuries, Damages, and Losses
To make a successful claim, you and your attorney will have to show that you suffered real, non-speculative injuries and losses. You can’t recover money for injuries that might happen in the future.
Dedicated attorney Mike Rafi has helped thousands of clients across Georgia to recover from their injuries and obtain the money they need to move on with their lives. He’ll work hard to prove that the other party was negligent, and he’ll represent you with vigor until the desired result is achieved.
Mike Rafi doesn’t settle for anything less than what his clients deserve. Call today to schedule a free consultation.
Statute of Limitations for Georgia
Georgia law provides that any personal injury case involving a car crash must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. If you miss this deadline, you won’t be able to sue. Don’t sacrifice your legal rights; make sure you’re proactive and file your claim as soon as possible.
Common Injuries from Head-On Collisions
Head-on collisions are often deadly, but many more result in serious injury. Occupants can be violently thrown around the interior of the vehicle or may crash through the windshield, suffering further when they hit the ground.
These are some of the most common injuries that result from head-on collisions:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) and paralysis
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
Even if you feel fine after the crash, you must visit your doctor for a check-up. They’ll be able to identify any latent injuries and can give you an idea of the cost of future care, which will be extremely helpful in determining how much compensation you require.
To learn more about the legal strategies and benefits of hiring a head-on collision lawyer in Macon, GA, call our office at (478) 216-1664 today.