The most common causes of head-on collisions are failure to yield the right-of-way to another driver and alcohol usage. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a head-on collision as an accident where two cars hit each other from opposing directions so that the front ends of both vehicles collide.
Head-On Collisions Can Often Be Prevented
Per the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP), there were more than 34,000 traffic accidents in Franklin County in 2019. Of these, 1,249 involved alcohol, 2,426 involved a speeding driver, and 5,188 involved a driver who failed to yield the right-of-way.
As the figures show, the elements listed above frequently contribute to or worsen head-on collisions.
Failure to Yield
A head-on collision occurs when two cars are traveling in opposite directions. By necessity, therefore, one of them must have been going the wrong way, and they must have failed to yield to the driver going the right way. If the at-fault driver had noticed their error sooner, the accident would not have occurred.
Speed also plays a role in head-on collisions; the faster the cars are traveling, the more damage is likely to be inflicted when they hit. Further, if the cars were traveling at a lower rate of speed, one or both of them might have had time to avoid the crash.
Even small quantities of alcohol can affect a driver’s perception and ability to make safe decisions. Under the influence of alcohol (or, for that matter, any other type of drug), a driver may make an illegal turn or perform some other illegal action that puts them on a collision course with another driver.
Figuring Out What You Qualify For
A head-on collision can leave you with both physical and psychological scars, as well as extra bills and reduced income. You can seek compensation for all of these things through a lawsuit.
When preparing your lawsuit, you will have to compile a detailed list of each type of injury—physical, mental, and financial—you suffered, as well as how much money you believe those injuries entitle you to. Monetary losses are referred to as economic damages and may include:
- Loss of wages: Your injuries forced you to take days or weeks (or longer) off from work.
- Loss of employment: Your injuries cost you your job or prevent you from performing any job in your chosen field.
- Medical expenses: You needed and/or continue to need treatment for your accident injuries.
Physical and mental injuries are referred to as non-economic damages. They may include:
- Pain and suffering: The accident caused or worsened your physical or emotional health problems.
- Diminished quality of life: Your injuries prevent you from doing things you enjoy and/or make it impossible for you to take care of yourself.
- Disability: Your injuries have had a negative impact on your physical and/or intellectual capabilities.
What type of lawsuit should you file? That depends on who the primary victim of the accident was. If it was you, then you will file a personal injury lawsuit. If it was your deceased loved one, then you will file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Getting a Lawyer’s Help
It is understandable—even natural—to feel confused or dazed after a head-on collision. You may wonder what you should do now or if filing a lawsuit is your only option for getting the money you and your family need.
If you have any questions or doubts at all, please contact a law firm. Its job is to help people like you evaluate your case, sort through your options, and pursue damages. More specifically, a lawyer can:
- Collect evidence: This way, you will have hard evidence (e.g., medical records, expert testimony) to support and bolster your claim for compensation.
- Quantify damages: Your lawyer will make sure that the damages you request are accurate and recoverable under state law.
- Offer advice: Throughout the process, you will always have someone to call with your questions and concerns.
- Communicate with others: You can relay all messages to the liable party—and vice versa—through your lawyer.
- Negotiate a settlement: In many cases, it is possible to get money from a pretrial settlement and avoid the courtroom—although your lawyer can certainly represent you at trial, if necessary.
Call for Your Free Consultation Today
Whether your accident was the result of one of the most common causes of head-on collisions or any other factor, the Fitch Law Firm LLC may be able to help. By calling our Columbus office at (614) 545-3930, you can receive a free case evaluation, find out what services we provide, and more.