Head-on collisions are some of the most dangerous accidents possible on the road, especially when they occur at high speeds. These kinds of accidents usually involve two cars, one of which that has drifted across the dividing line and into oncoming traffic. Often, head-on collisions are caused by distracted driving or involve the use of drugs or alcohol. Because the force of the accident is a combination of the full speeds of the two vehicles involved, these accidents can be particularly catastrophic and are often fatal. In the majority of cases, one driver is clearly at fault while the other must suffer the long-term consequences of the at-fault driver's failure to take appropriate caution.
Contributions of Distracted Driving
As the use of technology grows, distracted driving increasingly affects millions of drivers on the road each year. Many times, head-on collisions are caused by a driver who is not paying attention to the road and, therefore, drifts across the dividing line into oncoming traffic. This lack of attention can be caused by a variety of things, such as:
It is illegal to text and drive, or to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Establishing Liability in Head On Collisions
In most head-on collisions, one driver is clearly liable, as the accident usually occurs in a lane with one car traveling in the correct direction and the other traveling against the flow of traffic.
If a driver is found liable, the injuries and property damage sustained by the other driver, or victim, should be covered by the at-fault driver's insurance policy. At-fault implies liability, and in order to prove liability, generally, the "victim" must prove that the other driver owed a duty of care and that care was breached through negligence.
Furthermore, damages must have resulted from the at-fault party's negligence. When these elements are present and proven, liability has been established. Establishing liability is the same regardless: demonstrate that (1) there was a duty of care; (2) the duty was breached; and (3) damages resulted from the breach.
Examples of negligence include violating a traffic rule or regulation and driving while distracted or while tired.
Common Injuries and Damages
Property damage and personal injuries resulting from head-on collisions may be catastrophic and can be the basis for large sums of damages.
Economic damages can include medical bills, rehabilitation and physical therapy expenses, costs to repair the vehicle, loss of wages during recovery time, and any at-home care required by the victim(s).
In terms of noneconomic damages, victims may be compensated for pain and suffering and a loss of enjoyment of life, especially if there are injuries with lasting consequences, such as facial disfigurement or paralysis.
If you have lost a loved one in this kind of accident, you may choose to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver.