Head-on collisions are among the most deadly auto accidents. Victims who survive and their families often face severe physical, emotional and financial losses. In South Carolina, tort law protects the victims of personal injuries and ensures they receive the compensation they deserve. If you suffered severe injuries or lost a loved one, our car accident lawyers can help.
Determining Cause for a Head-On Collision
Determining the cause of a head-on collision is critical to building a personal injury claim. As the claimant or plaintiff, you are responsible for presenting sufficient evidence to prove the other party’s liability, and understanding what made them violate traffic laws and cause a head-on crash is the first step.
Additionally, understanding the exact circumstances of the accident assists in gauging the damages suffered. Then, you can make an accurate estimation of compensation for your losses. Establishing cause is also imperative for gathering solid evidence, ranging from physical remnants to witness accounts. Often, the causes of these accidents are the result of a few common actions.
Common Causes of Head-On Collision Accidents
Auto accidents are the most common form of personal injury cases. Causes we often see for head-on collisions include:
- Distracted driving. Engaging in activities like texting or talking on the phone diverts a driver’s attention from the road, increasing the risk of swerving into oncoming traffic.
- Impaired driving. Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs judgment and reaction times, often leading to head-on crashes.
- Fatigue. Tired drivers can be as dangerous on the road as drivers under the influence. They may fall asleep at the wheel and drift into the opposite lane or fail to react to changes in the road layout.
- Overtaking on two-lane roads. Misjudging the distance or speed of oncoming vehicles when overtaking can result in direct, high-speed collisions.
- Poor road conditions. Wet, icy or poorly maintained roads can cause drivers to lose control and veer into oncoming lanes.
The level of liability can vary based on these causes. We can help you gather the evidence necessary to prove the other driver’s actions directly resulted in the crash.
Common Injuries From Head-On Crashes
The intense nature of head-on collisions often leads to severe injuries. The force exerted during impact is dangerous for those occupying the front seat of both vehicles. Injuries we often see in these cases include:
- Traumatic brain injuries. The sudden jolt or impact can cause the brain to collide with the skull, leading to concussions or more severe forms of TBI.
- Spinal cord injuries. The intense force can damage the spine, potentially resulting in partial or complete paralysis.
- Broken bones. Ribs, legs, arms and wrists are particularly susceptible to fractures because of the body’s position inside a vehicle.
- Internal injuries. Organs such as the liver, spleen or lungs can suffer damage due to the impact or broken ribs. Sometimes, the bleeding is not immediately apparent.
- Facial and dental injuries. Direct impact with the steering wheel, dashboard or airbag can cause lacerations, broken facial bones or dental damage, requiring ongoing surgical intervention to correct.
Seeking medical attention immediately after a head-on collision is imperative, even if the impact was low-speed, resulting in seemingly minor injuries. Some injuries, particularly internal ones, might not manifest symptoms until hours or even days after the accident but still have long-term health implications if not addressed promptly.
How Our Head-On Collisions Lawyer Can Help
Our head-on crash attorney will help you navigate the intricacies of these sometimes complex cases. We investigate the accident, collecting essential evidence, interviewing witnesses and reconstructing the accident scene with the help of experts when necessary. This meticulous attention to detail is required to ensure we have all the required information to build a solid case for compensation.
We also deeply understand the medical complexities associated with such accidents. We may work closely with medical professionals to detail the full extent of your injuries and identify all the damages available for recovery. This assessment is vital, especially when injuries have long-term consequences or require extended treatment.
Additionally, we handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance company, which often seeks to minimize their responsibility and diminish the payout. By representing your interests, we protect your rights and ensure no one pressures you into accepting a lowball settlement. We will prepare your case for trial if necessary to maximize your recoverable damages.
Compensation for a Head-On Collision
Compensatory damages awarded in an auto accident case should make whole what the at-fault driver took from you, including the emotional damage they caused. Every case has specific circumstances impacting the recoverable damages available through civil law. However, some potential examples of economic and non-economic damages include:
- Medical expenses. These cover emergency medical care, ongoing treatments, rehabilitation services and future medical costs associated with the collision.
- Lost wages. This includes compensation for income lost due to the inability to work following the accident, as well as diminished earning capacity in the future.
- Property damage. The at-fault party is liable to reimburse property repair or replacement costs directly connected to the crash.
- Pain and suffering. The court recognizes the physical pain and emotional distress endured as non-economic damages and allows you to recover monetary compensation for those losses.
- Loss of consortium or companionship. The law also recognizes the detrimental effects of the accident on the relationship between you and your spouse or family.
Understanding the potential damages you can recover allows you to make informed decisions when seeking compensation. We will work with you to identify those losses and assign fair monetary value.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for a Fatal Crash
South Carolina tort law also allows the families of fatal car accident victims to recover compensation for their economic and non-economic losses and hold the at-fault party responsible. The state allows the deceased’s estate representative to file a wrongful death claim, seeking damages they will distribute to the qualifying family members.
Surviving spouses and children are first in line to collect. In the absence of a spouse or child, the deceased’s parents can recover damages. Any remaining heirs will collect the award or settlement if there is no surviving spouse, child or parent.
Compensation for a Wrongful Death
The damages available in wrongful death cases can vary significantly depending on the circumstances of the case. For example, the deceased’s age and financial contributions will impact compensation. Specific losses loved ones may recover can include:
- The cost of medical and funeral expenses
- The loss of earnings, inheritance and benefits the deceased would provide had they lived
- The loss of care, guidance and nurturing the deceased offered
- The loss of affection, love and intimacy they brought to a spousal relationship
There are nuances in wrongful death cases that can make it challenging to prove and collect certain damages. Working with our experienced legal team offers an advantage in building your case and collecting fair compensation.
Contact Our Accident Lawyer for a Free Case Evaluation
Suppose you have questions about your right to compensation after suffering injuries or losing a loved one in a head-on crash with a negligent driver. In that case, we can help you understand the legal options available. We help victims and their families rebuild after a devastating accident with aggressive representation, tailoring our plan to meet the needs of your case. Contact Jeffcoat Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation with our head-on collisions lawyer.