Head-on collisions are relatively uncommon; they only make up about two percent of all collisions; however, they account for approximately nine or 10 percent of fatal crashes each year, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These collisions, which occur when the front of your vehicle collides with the front of another, frequently result in devastating injuries or death. This is because both drivers are often traveling at speed which increases the force of impact.
If your accident resulted from another driver’s negligence, you may have a claim for compensation. A head-on collision lawyer in Fort Lauderdale can provide the support and assistance you need to help protect your legal rights.
What causes head-on car accidents?
These collisions typically result from one driver departing the boundaries of his lane and crossing into incoming traffic.
Such incidents occur when a driver falls asleep, becomes distracted behind the wheel, or fails to successfully negotiate a curve in the road. Impaired drivers also frequently cause head-on collisions. Wrong-way drivers and unsafe passing on two-lane roadways also pose significant risks of fatal head-on collisions.
Even though modern motor vehicles are safer than past generations, they are lighter and allow drivers to go faster. This can lead to deadly head-on crashes.
Weather conditions, diminished visibility, road hazards, and improperly marked roadways may also contribute to such accidents.
What should I avoid after a head-on collision?
While many people know a few things to do after an accident (e.g., call the police, call your insurer, etc.), most do not know what they should avoid. After an accident, steer clear of the following:
Declining Medical Care
Getting medical care is the most important thing to do after an accident. It helps to protect you physically and financially. Without a medical report linking your injuries to the accident, you are out of luck and will be unable to recover anything.
Note: To receive benefits from your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, you must visit a doctor within 14 days of your accident.
Relying on Memory
The first thing you should do when you are able is write down everything you remember about the accident. This will allow you to give the insurers and your attorney the fullest story possible. It also stops you from accidentally giving incorrect information and jeopardizing your case.
Ignoring Your Doctor’s Advice
Ignoring your doctor’s advice is the quickest way to ruin your case. If you refuse treatment, skip appointments, or do something your doctor advises against, the insurer will use that to claim that you are contributing to your injuries or that they are not as severe as you originally claimed.
Agreeing to a Recorded Statement
This can be detrimental to your claim. In the days following your accident, an insurance adjuster will likely call you to get your side of the story. She will likely ask you for a recorded statement. Decline this request.
During this call, the insurance adjuster will likely lull you into a false sense of security and then use your vulnerability against you. The insurer might trick you into admitting fault or agreeing that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
Fighting Your Legal Battle Alone
Many accident victims would rather handle their claims alone, either because they think they have the experience necessary to get the compensation they deserve or they believe they cannot afford a lawyer.
While you can file a claim alone, unless you have years of experience filing claims or navigating the legal system, you will likely run into something that can trip you up and jeopardize your case.
And you can afford a lawyer. Most personal injury firms, ours included, work on a contingency fee basis, which means we recover nothing unless you win your case.
Who is liable in a head-on collision?
Fault for a head-on collision is typically attributed to the driver who heads the wrong way or departs his lane and crosses into oncoming traffic. However, proving liability requires establishing the four legal elements of negligence:
- Duty of care: A driver has a duty to you and other motorists to drive safely and keep you from undue harm. This duty entails remaining in the lane and obeying traffic signs and laws.
- Breach of duty: If a driver engages in high-risk behavior such as speeding, texting and driving, or driving under the influence, he has failed to uphold the duty of care.
- Causation: The breach caused your accident, e.g., the other driver entered the highway going the wrong direction and crashed into your car.
- Damages: You must substantiate your injuries and damage, through medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of future earning potential.
To establish negligence, your auto accident attorney will collect police reports, photos of the vehicles and accident scene, and witness statements. Your lawyer may also use your medical records, bills, wage and earnings data, and medical expert testimony to prove your damages.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer for assistance
The Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine represents individuals who have been injured in a car accident. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation and case review, if you were involved in a head-on collision in Fort Lauderdale: 800-747-3733.