According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were between 5.3 million and 6.8 million police-reported motor vehicle accidents every year in the United States between 2010 and 2018. On average, these accidents kill about 30,000 people every year, and many of these fatalities result from head-on collisions. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimated 4,900 head-on collision fatalities in the United States in 2018.
Airbags, vehicle crumple zones, driver care, and safe driving laws can only do so much to protect you in the event of an accident. It is unfortunate that head-on collisions occur as frequently as they do. Still, if your accident was caused by the negligence, recklessness, or incompetence of another party, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. An Oakdale head-on collisions lawyer at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. can assist you with your case. Our team can be reached at (631) 600-0000.
All of the factors below can lead to a head-on collision:
- Road damage
- Narrow roads
- Dangerous overtaking on single-lane roads
- Poor weather or low visibility
- Vehicle malfunctions
- Driver errors
- Roadside construction work
- Unclear traffic control signs or devices
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving
- Texting and driving
- Driving while drowsy
Of these, the most dangerous factors are driver related. The NHTSA has found that in about 94% of accident cases, the critical factor that caused or contributed to the accident was driver-related.
Injuries and Damages
It can take months or years to recover from your accident injuries after a head-on collision, and you and your family may face substantial medical care bills and other outlays. In the event of losing a loved one, you may also have to face a permanent loss of income, emotional pain and trauma, and burial or funeral costs.
Common injuries seen in head-on collisions include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head, neck, and back injuries
- Amputations, lacerations, and disfigurement
- Crushed, broken, and fractured bones
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Torn or damaged nerves, muscles, and tendons
- Death or physical incapacitation
Other damages you may face after an accident include:
- Vehicle damage
- Property damage
- Medical treatment expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of earning ability
- Mental or emotional pain or trauma
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of service
- Loss of independence
- Funeral, burial, or cremation costs
According to the NHTSA, motor vehicle accidents cost society roughly $150 billion every year. Many of these losses are in the form of property damage, medical care costs, insurance administration, lost worker income, and lost business productivity.
Depending on the nature of your injuries and your accident-related losses, you may be able to sue for compensation. Contact Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. today for a free consultation with a team member by calling (631) 600-0000. If you choose to hire us to represent you, our Oakdale head-on collisions lawyer can walk you through everything you need to know about your case, from how to gather evidence and quantify your losses to identifying the at-fault party and putting together a claim or lawsuit.
We discussed some of the causes of head-on collisions above. When negligence or incompetence leads to an accident, you may be able to sue for damages. For example, if a drunk driver crashes into you head-on, you may be able to hold the driver responsible for breaking the law and causing the accident. You may be able to hold a construction crew accountable if construction site dangers cause or contribute to an accident, just as you may be able to hold a maintenance or service team liable for damages if poor vehicle repair led to an accident.
In general, a party may be at fault for an accident if you can show that:
- The party in question owed you a duty of care.
- They somehow breached the duty of care.
- The breach of the duty of care led to an accident.
- You suffered losses or damages of some kind in the accident.
A breach of the duty of care can take many forms. It can take the form of driver negligence, rule-breaking behavior such as speeding or reckless driving, and even the form of poor road or traffic control device maintenance. In such cases, you may be able to hold a town or a municipality liable for damages caused by damaged roads or faulty traffic signs or devices if those factors led to your accident.
Filing a Claim or Lawsuit
To file a claim or lawsuit for damages, you must gather evidence to substantiate your claims. Evidence needed to prove a head-on collision usually includes:
- Dashcam or traffic surveillance footage of the accident
- The official police report of the accident
- Eyewitness statements
- Cell phone usage data
- Prescription or illegal drug usage
- Vehicle service logs
- Evidence of driving hours to prove drowsy driving
Armed with this evidence, you can file a claim or lawsuit. You must do so within the statutes of limitations, and you must submit the proof above to your insurer for compensation if you are seeking compensation from your insurance. If you want to sue for damages, you must submit a letter of intent to sue to the at-fault party’s insurer and a certificate of merit that shows that the injuries you sustained in the accident are catastrophic and warrant a personal injury lawsuit.
How We Can Help
Our team can help you:
- Understand the rules that apply to your case
- Identify the at-fault party
- Navigate the intricacies of insurance
- Gather evidence
- Quantify your damages
- File a claim or lawsuit within the statutes of limitations
- Negotiate with your insurer on your behalf
- Represent you in court if a settlement cannot be reached
Head-on collisions are very serious and can leave you and your family reeling for months or even years. Do not hesitate to reach out to us today for legal guidance and representation. Our team can be reached at (631) 600-0000. Our Oakdale head-on collisions lawyer and the Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. legal team can help you gather evidence and file a claim or lawsuit based on the specifics of your case.