A head-on collision is among the most severe car accidents, leading to many fatalities and irreversible damages to victims. A head-on collision’s consequences include serious injuries that limit your ability to live a normal life. Moreover, you or your loved ones will have to deal with the different financial burdens arising from medical expenses and loss of wages after the accident. Therefore, seeking rightful compensation as a victim of a head-on collision accident is essential.
Choosing the ideal personal injury attorney to help you obtain compensation for your case is also crucial. With the right attorney by your side, you will know the possible causes of your incident and develop strategies to chase compensation. At Dallas Horton & Associates, we endeavor to provide unmatched legal services for all clients seeking redress in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over the years, our team has handled different personal injury cases involving head-on collisions, equipping us with the best experience in the field.
Causes of Head-on Collision Accidents
When you are a victim of a head-on collision accident, you will need to determine the accident’s exact cause. The details will then help to determine the best course of legal action against the liable party. You can also include any case facts that you remember happening moments before the accident. Providing the information is often pivotal to your personal injury lawsuit, as it can show that the liable party did not act as directed by the law. The main causes of head-on collisions are:
Driving While Distracted
Most drivers may give into several distractions on the road, creating a window for accidents to occur. Often, it only takes a few seconds for a motorist to take his/her eyes off the road before an accident happens. Additionally, different forms of distractions may actively shift a driver’s attention at the same time.
Firstly, a motorist may face cognitive distractions in the car, whereby his/her mind is not focused on the immediate environment on the road. This form of distraction is common when a person receives sad news or when he/she is anxious or upset about something. Thus, the driver’s thoughts may dwell on different things, leading to poor mind-body coordination.
Additionally, a motorist may have visual distractions, especially when operating the phone. Texting while driving is another dangerous common practice that compromises motorists’ attention while driving. Consequently, the visual distractions increase the risk of a head-on collision, as the driver may veer off his/her lane and into yours without noticing it.
Sometimes, a motorist may be aware of the impending danger but cannot stop the vehicle on time. Most incidents arise from brake failure, causing a motorist to run into your vehicle in a head-on collision.
The malfunctions may also occur from the improper replacement of spare parts like tires. For example, if one tire was loosely fitted and comes off on the highway, the liable driver may end up on your lane and cause the accident. Regardless of the cause of vehicle malfunctions, you can identify the liable parties and file a personal injury lawsuit against them for breaching a duty of care.
Driving Under The Influence
You may also become the victim of the accident because of the liable driver’s impairment after consuming alcohol. When a person has too much alcohol or powerful mind-altering drugs, their physical and mental capacity reduces significantly. As a result, they put themselves and other drivers at risk from the compromised driving. For example, blurred vision and poor mind-body coordination may cause a collision with you as the victim, especially if the circumstances were inevitable.
You should also note that the impaired driver may not necessarily have consumed alcohol, as some prescription drugs also cause severe side-effects. Thus, you will need to determine the specific cause of the driver’s impairment as you prepare for your lawsuit to provide accurate information in court.
Failure to Observe Road Signs and Traffic Lights
Most head-on collisions are also a result of dangerous driving, where motorists ignore road signs and warnings. For example, highways have indicated the speed limit that drivers should maintain to prevent the possibility of car accidents. However, if a driver ignores the limit and engages in extremely high speeds, he/she may cause a collision.
Additionally, some road signs prohibit overtaking at unsafe turns, especially because motorists cannot detect oncoming vehicles. Thus, when the liable driver proceeds to overtake and collides with your vehicle, his/her behavior will be the primary cause of the accident. Similarly, intersections and junctions have traffic lights and signs warning drivers against proceeding before their turn. Therefore, your accident may have occurred because the liable party did not wait for clearance at the specific intersection.
Excessive Fatigue When Driving
If you were involved in a head-on collision accident with a commercial vehicle, you should consider driver fatigue as a possible cause of the incident. Commercial drivers mostly work long hours before taking their breaks, meaning that they may be drowsy or extremely tired when behind the wheel.
The result of excess fatigue is similar to impairment by taking drugs or alcohol. The main reason is that the motorist's vision is impaired, his/her body coordination is off, and the mind is detached from the road. Drowsiness from the fatigue leads to complete detachment from the road making the driver fall asleep. This condition is dangerous, as he/she becomes completely unaware of the surroundings, exposing you to the danger of a head-on collision.
Unfavorable Road and Weather Conditions
Some accidents also arise because of external conditions that make it difficult to control the vehicle accordingly. For example, you may be driving on a poorly maintained road that lacks road signs to warn you of engaging in high speeds or of impending obstacles. Moreover, the poorly maintained road may have numerous potholes that could cause a car to veer into an oncoming vehicle, creating a head-on collision.
The weather may also increase the chances of car accidents, especially when visibility is limited. For example, a wind storm may raise too much dust that blocks visibility on the highway. Due to this, drivers are more prone to accidents, especially if they still insist on overtaking or engaging in high speeds.
Common Injuries Sustained After a Head-on Collision
Based on the various causes of car accidents, you or your loved ones may sustain different types of personal injuries. However, each case’s severity depends on several factors, including the amount of force exerted during the impact. While most accident victims eventually make a full recovery from the injuries, you should also remember that some cases are irreversible, meaning that you may have to live with the effects years after the accident.
Some of the causes of severe injuries include exertion of force onto the body as the colliding vehicle creates high impact. Additionally, you may suffer subsequent injuries after the car deforms under pressure, or if it rolls over after a collision, particularly in multiple car crashes.
Sometimes, vehicles also light on fire after accidents if the gas tank leaks and comes into contact with ignitor sparks. If you or your loved one sustained significant injuries, we recommend getting in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. We will then determine the best options when filing your compensatory suit. Personal injuries include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Bone fractures and joint dislocations
- Whiplash affecting the neck, arms, and shoulder movements
- Deep tissue cuts
- Internal bleeding and trauma to body organs
- Concussions after ejection from the vehicle
Possible Liable Parties for Causing the Accident
Upon suffering significant losses and personal injury after a head-on collision accident, you need to file a personal injury lawsuit. The filing process begins with identifying possible liable parties to the case so that your attorney can focus on gathering specific evidence on them. The common defendants in a personal injury lawsuit for head-on collisions are:
The Driver whose Vehicle Collided With Yours
Doubtless, most car accidents occur because of an at-fault driver who fails to meet several driving standards when driving. Therefore, you can sue the driver whose vehicle collided with yours, provided you have sufficient evidence to prove that his/her actions were the direct cause of the incident.
The driver’s behavior should involve deliberate defiance of traffic regulations or guidelines that every person should observe. This means that the motorist may not be a suitable defendant if the circumstances leading to the accident were beyond his/her control.
Therefore, we advise you to engage with your injury attorney and provide detailed accounts of what happened just before the crash. The information may reveal the driver’s exact fault, making it easier to build a case against him/her.
For example, if you noticed the motorist texting on the phone before he/she lost control and veered onto your lane, the details create a direct line of fault to the defendant. Additionally, it also helps to inform your lawyer whether the driver admitted to fault after the collision. The confession may be a strong indicator of acknowledged fault and liability for the accident.
Vehicle Manufacturing or Repair Companies
As mentioned, some collisions that occur are beyond the driver’s control, primarily if they were from unforeseen mechanical problems. Subsequently, you may decide to file a suit against the vehicle manufacturers for using low-quality vehicle parts during the assembly process.
Sometimes, suing the vehicle manufacturing company requires you to work with the driver who caused the car crash. The reason for this is because you will need access to his/her vehicle for inspection. Without an experienced attorney, you may have a harder time convincing the other driver to provide access to the car. On the other hand, your attorney will have access to other professionals like post-accident vehicle inspectors who can determine the exact problem that led to the collision.
Nevertheless, some cases may also include drivers who neglected their roles in maintaining their cars. If you discover that the driver was partly at fault for vehicle neglect, you may include him/her as a co-defendant alongside the vehicle manufacturer.
Despite this, you should note that creating the joint liability suit requires your attorney to conduct more extensive research for a credible case presentation. As a result, the preparation process may be slightly longer compared to when you only have one defendant.
Road Maintenance Authorities
Poor road conditions also contribute to a significant number of head-on collisions. Therefore, you are also entitled to sue the local road maintenance authority that should prevent safety risks on the highways. However, your case strategy should be straightforward when suing a government authority because the success of your case is not always assured.
Thus, the grounds for including the authority as a defendant should create a direct link between the negligence in road maintenance and the accident. For example, liability may fall on the relevant authority if the collision occurred.
You will have sued them because you lacked enough space on the sidelines of the highway to evade an oncoming vehicle. Thus, if the road was filled with rocks, glass debris, or dried thorny branches that should have been cleared, the maintenance authority is answerable for delayed execution of duties.
How Your Lawyer Helps after a Head-on Collision Accident
When building a case against the liable party, your lawyer will apply several principles in tort law to gauge the legal liability that the party owes you. Often, car accident cases arise from the negligence of liable parties, meaning that they fail to observe an established duty of care.
Hence, your attorney will apply the different elements to determine if a party was negligent, and therefore liable for the damages caused. The first element to determine is whether there was an established duty of care that the defendant should have upheld.
A duty may be imposed by statutory provisions, especially from traffic regulations. Therefore, all motorists on the highway have a duty to observe traffic regulations and engage in reasonable behavior to avoid creating safety risks.
Upon establishing that the duty of care existed, your attorney will then look for evidence to prove that the defendant breached this duty. So, in a case where the collision arose from a DUI, you can prove that the liable motorist breached the regulation preventing drinking and driving. Alternatively, if the road maintenance authority did not clear debris from the road on time, there will be sufficient proof of the breach of duty.
Thirdly, your attorney needs to show that the breach of duty directly caused the collision. He/she will apply the ‘but for’ test that describes the defendant’s actions, and their consequences. For example, the test may reveal that, but for the motorist overtaking in an unsafe road spot, the collision would not have occurred. If the argument is sensible, backed by sufficient evidence, the presiding judge will accept it.
Finally, there must be sufficient proof that you are entitled to damages from the car accident. Usually, you will have an easier time proving this element compared to the first three, because the award of damages is a conclusive step in the case. The proof of having valid claims for damages should encompass all the losses you suffered after the accident. However, you should ensure that the evidence points back to the respondent’s unlawful actions.
Possible Claims to Raise in the Personal Injury Lawsuit
We recommend informing your lawyer of all the financial losses you suffered after the head-on collision to help in the drafting of a demand letter. The document should include all the claims you intend to make against the defendant, along with the exact figure you are asking from the respondent. Some claims to consider are:
- Compensation for loss of wages or a source of income
- Medical expenses incurred
- The wrongful death of a loved one
- Permanent disabilities from the accident
Contact a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
Head-on collisions may cause devastating outcomes for you and your loved ones after sustaining personal injuries. These accidents often result in fatalities or a significant disruption of life due to the severe injuries you sustain. Therefore, you deserve to receive compensation for the harm caused to help you support yourself while you recover.
While seeking compensation is justified, you may find the legal process frustrating, mainly when you work alone. Therefore, you need a diligent and reliable personal injury attorney to help you throughout the filing process, and in-court representation. At Dallas Horton & Associates, you will receive excellent legal guidance for your personal injury case, thanks to our well trained and experienced team.
With our help, you can receive damages for the head-on collision you suffered, to help you receive compensation for the ordeal. If you or a loved one requires personal injury legal services after a head-on collision in Las Vegas, Nevada, contact us today at 702-380-3100.