Have you sustained devastating injuries because another motor vehicle hit you head-on? Are you now dealing with catastrophic repercussions, including debilitating pain and extensive medical bills that have forever changed your life?
If you are going through this ordeal, you may have legal options to secure compensation for your harm and losses. This blog will walk you through these options, what you need to know about head-on car accidents in the Phoenix area, the financial damages you can pursue following this horrifying accident, and how an experienced car accident attorney can help you fight for your rights.
The Dangers of a Head-On Collision in Phoenix
A head-on crash, or a frontal collision, is an accident that results when motor vehicles are driving in opposite directions and run into each other (front to front).
However, while any car crash can result in debilitating injuries, devastating damages, and excruciating pain, studies show that head-on collisions are more likely to cause catastrophic trauma and fatalities to drivers and passengers in either vehicle involved in the crash.
In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there is a 58 percent fatality rate for those involved in a head-on collision.
The Causes of a Phoenix Head-On Crash
Unfortunately, when it comes to head-on crashes, these accidents can result for several reasons. However, in general, these tragic collisions tend to occur because of the following:
Driving Under the Influence
When a motorist gets into a vehicle after consuming drugs or alcohol, it can result in them having issues operating their car safely since these substances can impact their driving abilities, reaction times, and reasoning skills. Consequently, when a driver gets behind the wheel while under the influence, it can lead to a horrifying and fatal head-on collision.
Distracted driving is any activity that takes the motorist’s attention away from driving. These activities include eating, drinking, checking the GPS, texting, and even changing the radio station.
Yet, while these activities are not necessarily dangerous on their own, when they are done while the motorist is driving, it often results in them taking their eyes off the road, which can lead to them losing control of their car and result in a head-on crash. Distracted driver car accidents cause many issues and harm.
Driving While Tired
If a driver does not get appropriate rest before they hit the road or has been driving for an extended period, it can lead to the driver nodding off and veering into oncoming traffic. This drowsy driving can lead to head-on collisions as well.
Speeding endangers everyone on the road, and the consequences are usually far-ranging, including:
- A greater potential for loss of motor vehicle control
- Reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment in the car
- An increased degree of severity from the collision
What is more, even if a driver is traveling at the posted speed limit, they may still be going too fast for the road conditions, such as during the nighttime hours when the lighting on the road is poor.
As a result, when a driver speeds, it can cause them to lose control of their vehicle and end up in front of oncoming traffic, which can cause a massive head-on collision. Plus, as mentioned, because speeding can increase the degree of the crash’s severity, these head-on crashes can often result in severe injuries and death.
Passing Other Automobiles
It is common for a head-on collision to occur when a motorist tries to pass another vehicle. For example, when a motorist is driving behind a slow-going automobile and then tries to pass them by entering the other lane with oncoming traffic, they risk getting into a head-on collision.
Driving in New Locations
If a motorist is in a new location, they can get lost and go the wrong direction—primarily on one way-streets such as Adam’s Street, Black Canyon Freeway, or Butler Drive, or when they enter the highway ramp going the wrong way. Unfortunately, these mistakes can lead to serious head-on crashes.
Head-On Accident Injuries You Should Know About
The harm that results from a head-on accident can differ depending on the circumstances of the accident.
Some of the more common types of injuries that tend to result from these accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Facial injuries
- Internal injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Wrongful Death
These injuries can also lead to extensive medical treatments resulting in astronomical medical bills. That is why if you suffered significant harm because of a head-on car accident, it might be in your best interest to reach out to an experienced Phoenix head-on car accident lawyer as soon as possible. These lawyers can not only review the extent of your trauma and determine if you have a viable legal case, but they can also help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
The Financial Damages You Can Claim Following a Head-on Collision
You may recover financial damages following a head-on accident. These damages are often broken down into the following categories:
These damages refer to the actual and verifiable losses that result from an accident. They include losses related to:
- Bills associated with doctors visits, emergency services such as ambulance transportation, hospitalization, medications, surgeries, and other types of treatments
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Replacement services such as cleaning or child-care services
- Personal property damages
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Additional bills related to the accident
These damages refer to payment for losses that do not generally come with a receipt. Instead, these losses are often hard to quantify and challenging to prove.
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment and disfigurement
- Loss of companionship and consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
While the above damages are awarded to restore the victim to their condition before the accident occurred or compensate them for the permanent changes to their life, punitive damages punish the defendant for their egregious actions. They deter others from engaging in similar misconduct in the future.
However, before pursuing these punitive damages after a Phoenix head-on car accident, your attorney must show that the defendant acted with an “evil hand and evil mind.” Or, more specifically, that the wrongful party had ill will towards you and intentionally caused your harm.
As a result, to determine which of these damages may apply to your head-on accident, it may be best to let an experienced car accident attorney help you. These lawyers can help determine which of these damages you can pursue and help you go after the total compensation you deserve.
The Statute of Limitations to Pursue a Lawsuit Following a Head-On Accident
While most head-on car accident claims will settle outside the courtroom, some cases can go to trial. However, before you can bring your case in front of a judge or a jury, you must first ensure that you have enough time to file your claim.
The statute of limitations is a law that dictates the maximum amount of time people have to pursue legal action after an accident or alleged offense. According to this law, individuals involved in a head-on accident in Phoenix will only have two years after the accident to file a lawsuit. If they do not file within this period, they cannot pursue compensation for their harm and losses.
In addition, exceptions to this rule can shorten or lengthen the deadline to file a case. For these reasons, following a Phoenix head-on accident, reach out to a knowledgeable car accident attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers can figure out exactly how much time you have to file your suit while ensuring that, if required, necessary legal files and motions are submitted to the appropriate court before time runs out.
Helping Your Legal Case Following a Head-on Accident
Take these specific actions after a head-on collision to give your legal claim the best chance of success:
Obtain a Police Report
After a head-on crash, you should call 911 immediately. This is the best and quickest way to alert the police and medical personnel of the accident. Once these authorities arrive, they can provide you with the necessary medical care, investigate the accident, and write down their findings in their police report. If you decide to pursue legal action following this accident, this report can provide your attorney with valuable details about the incident.
Get Medical Treatment
Following the collision, you should also get examined by a medical professional right away. These doctors can not only verify that you do not have any severe injuries, like brain trauma, which can take days to manifest, but they can also help you take on the insurance company.
For instance, by not getting medical treatment after the crash, the insurance company may argue that your injuries are minor or that they resulted from a subsequent event. Fortunately, when you visit the doctor after your crash, these medical professionals can provide you with a report countering these assumptions by detailing the extent of your trauma and providing your attorney with evidence of a direct connection between your injuries and the head-on collision.
If possible, you should take as many photos of the accident scene as you can, including pictures of:
- The vehicles involved and their damage
- The placement of these cars on the road
- The injuries you can see
- Skid marks
- Road defects
- Traffic signs and signals nearby, and
- Any other evidence that can show what happened
In addition, you should also try to check for witnesses and get their personal information, including names and phone numbers. These individuals can often provide your attorney with further details regarding the incident and testimony that can help substantiate your case.
Let a Car Accident Attorney Help You Fight for the Monetary Damages You Deserve
If you suffered extensive trauma because another motor vehicle hit you head-on, you deserve to recover compensation for everything you had to go through and endure. Fortunately, if you decide to work with an experienced car accident attorney, you will not have to go after this financial recovery alone.
Instead, with this legal team fighting on your behalf, your lawyers can:
- Go over the facts of your head-on crash, determine whether you have a viable legal claim, and help determine your legal options.
- Provide the answers you need regarding your accident and the legal proceedings involved.
- Investigate what happened and secure the evidence needed to show fault and damages.
- Figure out who was responsible for your accident and hold them accountable for the losses you endured.
- Hire experts, including doctors, accident specialists, and others that can help prove liability and the extent of your harm.
- Handle the settlement discussions with the other side and go after a just amount.
- Proceed to trial if the other side does not want to negotiate fairly and fight for maximum damages.
If a head-on accident rattles your life, and you are now left to pick up the pieces, do not delay getting the legal help you need. Instead, contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney for a free consultation and find out how these lawyers can help you.