Head-on collisions are one of the most common types of accidents in California. These accidents occur when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide. Most head-on collision accidents are severe since the impact is a result of speed from other cars. Sometimes head-on collisions are caused by distracted drivers or drivers who operate under the influence of drugs. These accidents produce injuries ranging from minor scrapes and cuts to severe brain and spinal cord injuries. If you or your loved one is injured in a head-on collision crash, you are entitled to compensation for those injuries. At Orange County Personal Injury Attorney, we will guide you through the personal injury compensation claim to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
Overview of Head-on Collisions
Head-on collisions are crashes that occur when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide on the front ends. These accidents are the most severe types of accidents that can happen anywhere. When the speed of other vehicles is low, the impact will be small, and you may suffer minor injuries. However, when heavy vehicles moving at high speed are involved, you may experience severe body injuries.
Usually, head-on collisions will happen when one or both drivers are unable to stop the vehicle on time before the impact. This is as a result of distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, and fatigue for drivers. Such drivers can misjudge the situation on the road and may move out of their lanes, causing a collision with other vehicles. Sometimes, the accident will occur when a driver swerves while attempting to avoid another accident.
If you are injured in a head-on collision, you are entitled to compensation for those injuries. However, you need to identify and prove that another person was at fault for the accident. Even when you think that the dynamics of the collision were straightforward, you will require guidance from a competent personal injury attorney. Also, when you had a part to play for the accident, you are entitled to compensation. This is because California law distributes benefits depending on the percentage of fault.
Common Injuries on a Head-On Collision Accident
Head of collision accidents produces some of the worst injuries. At lower speed, accidents will result in minor wounds that heal with little treatment. However, at high speed and with heavy vehicles, head-on collisions can cause severe and permanent injuries. Sometimes, you may spend a lot of time nursing the wounds, thus affecting your daily life. Regardless of the severity of the injury, you are entitled to compensation. With the help of a competent personal injury attorney, you can recover compensation for all costs incurred from the injuries. The following are some injuries common in head-on collision accidents:
Head and Brain Injuries
Some of the worst injuries you can suffer from an accident are head and brain injuries. These injuries range from simple concussions caused by little impact on the head to severe traumatic brain injuries. In a head-on collision, your head is likely to be moved to the sides of the vehicle. When the impact is low, you will suffer scrapes or cuts on the head, which heal faster. During vehicle crashes, traumatic brain injuries will be abused by a whiplash. When the vehicle hits an object, your head will move forward then backward. This will cause the brain to slide into the skull ad to come into contact with the surface.
Contact of the brain with a hard surface can cause tears or injury of the brain tissue, which is likely to affect your mental health. Sometimes damage to the brain will be produced by sharp objects penetrating the skull and piercing the brain. Direct trauma such as debris that breaks the skull will expose the brain to more severe injuries and internal bleeding. Traumatic brain injuries can produce a wide range of complications, including:
- Severe headaches
- Poor vision
- Nausea and Quadriplegia
- Motor and speech disorders
- Difficulty coordinating
The severity of the brain and head injury caused by a head-on collision will vary for each accident. When the damage is very severe, the recovery time will be long, and you may not be able to return to your formal quality of life. Also, you will be left with substantial medical expenses. Some rai injuries are difficult to identify immediately after an accident. Therefore, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention after an accident. Your medical records will be a piece of evidence to help in your injury compensation claim.
Spinal Cord Injury and Paralysis
The speed at which two vehicles collide in a head-on collision is equal to the rate of both cars. Most head-on collision crashes are caused by distracted drivers or individuals who drive under the influence of alcohol. These drivers will not have the time to engage the rakes ad. The impact of your body may be catastrophic. Spinal cord injury is one of the most severe injuries you can suffer after a head-on collision accident. Spinal cord jury can result from the impact of a blunt object on your back, which may not be too dangerous. Other times a sharp object will penetrate the body and cause bruises and cuts.
Spinal cord injury can be either partial or total. The total severing of the spinal cord will hinder movement in all parts of the body, causing permanent paralysis below the point of injury. Also, spinal injuries will affect the messaging system that goes throughout the body and the brain. When a spinal injury occurs on the lower part of the body, your reproductive organs are affected. After a spinal injury, you may be required to speed a lot of time in the hospital with substantial medical bills. However, there is no cure for this kind of injury, but patients may improve their quality of life with years of therapy. If you suffer spinal cord injury in a head-on collision accident, you can claim compensation by filing a personal injury claim.
Fractures and broken bones are common injuries in a head-on collision accident. The force exerted on the body during the collision will cause the body to get into contact with heavy objects. Some of how you will suffer broken bones in a head-on collision accident include:
- Tibia, fibula, and femur fractures. If the leg area crumples during an accident, you can end up with fractured bones. Despite being one of the most robust bones, the high impact can cause fractures to the bone.
- Rib fractures. Rib fractures are common and are mainly caused by the airbag and seatbelt. When the ribs are broken, they can cause injuries to other organs resulting in internal injuries.
- Facial Fractures. When your head strikes the windshield after a head-on collision accident, you can easily fracture your facial bones. Other than the pain from fractured facial bones. Injuries to these parts of the body can cause psychological trauma.
- Back fracture. A fractured disc is a common injury in head-on collision accidents. Breaking the bones of your back can have a severe effect on your mortal skills.
- Clavicle fractures. The clavicle is a fragile bone making it susceptible to breakage from the impact of the accident.
Although broken bones will rarely pose a threat to your life, these injuries can cause you an extended stay in the hospital. This will affect your daily activities, and you may not be able to return to your job. If you suffer a bone fracture in a head-on collision, you can claim compensation from the party liable for the accident.
Internal Organ Damage
A head-on collision accident can result in severe injury of the vital organs. The impact from the two cars moving at high speed poses a threat even to the most internal organs. One of the most vulnerable parts is the lungs. By causing broken ribs, a head-on collision accident can cause damage to your lungs. The fractured rib bones will pierce the lungs causing internal bleeding. Other organs that are at risk are the digestive tract, reproductive system, and the bladder. When you suffer an injury to the back, and lower part of the spinal cord function of these organs may be affected. Damage to the internal organs is hazardous and cannot be detected easily. Therefore if you are involved in a head-on collision accident, it is crucial to seek medical attention. This will help you identify even minor injuries and get treatment.
Proving Liability in a Head-on Collision
When you file a personal injury claim, you will be required to establish liability before you get compensation for your injuries. Some of the most common parties that can be held responsible for a head-on collision accident:
Most head-on collisions happen when one vehicle crosses the yellow line and moves into the left of another vehicle’s lane. When the driver from the opposite direction does not run on time, they will collide. Drivers who operate while under the influence of alcohol are known for carelessly swerving since they have trouble staying in their lane. Also, drunk drivers may drive on the wrong way, which could lead to head-on collisions.
There are ways in which a driver can be distracted and focus away from the road. Drivers who text and drive or eat while driving can easily stray from their lane into the path of another vehicle. If you are injured in a head-on collision caused by a distracted driver, you can file an injury lawsuit against the driver.
Sometimes, head-on collisions are not caused by a driver. Poorly maintained and narrow roads can contribute to these accidents. If poor roads cause a head-on collision, the local government responsible for maintaining those roads will be held liable for the accident. This is because the local government has a legal duty to:
- Design roads that are safe to travel
- Set speed limits that do not pose a threat to people using the road
- Warn drivers of any potential danger on the roads
- Do a regular inspection of roads to ensure they are fit for use
- Repair and maintain roads to avoid dangerous conditions.
Since most government bodies do not work to maintain proper road conditions, they can be held liable for your injuries in a head-on collision lawsuit. Filing a compensation against the government in California can be complicated. Therefore, it is crucial to enlist the help of a competent personal jury attorney.
In some situations, a river may follow all traffic rules but is involved in a head-on collision while evading a swerving driver. In this case, either party involved in the crash can be held liable for the accident. It is common for a third party to evade the accident and not be found. However, if you identified them before they continue driving, they can be held liable for your injuries.
Most accidents result from the negligence of the liable party. Therefore you need to prove the following elements of negligence before getting compensation for the injuries:
- Duty of Care
You will be required to show that some wed you a duty of care when proving their liability to the head-on collision. Each driver has the responsibility to ensure the safety of other road users and not pose a danger to them.
- Breach of Duty
It is not enough that someone owed you a duty of care. You must show that the individual reached the duty of care. Some of the ways through which you can prove that one breached their duty of care towards you includes:
- Carelessly changing lanes
- Failure to yield the right way
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
If you can show that another person breached their duty of care, you may get compensation for injuries suffered in a head-on collision.
When claiming compensation for injuries in a head-on collision lawsuit, the actions of the defendant must have been a primary contributing factor to your injuries. The insurance company will require proof that the defendant caused your injuries by acting with negligence.
Compensation Benefits in a Head-on Collision in California
The following are some damages you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit after suffering an injury in a head-on collision:
Medical Bills Compensation
Under California law, a person who causes a crash will be liable for medical bills you incur from the injuries suffered. In most cases, the responsible party will not be quick to accept their fault in the accident. In this case, you will have to settle your medical bills. There are several options you can exploit to pay your medical bills before your injury lawsuit is settled. However, the best option would be to use your medical insurance cover.
If you do not have medical insurance, the law will require the hospital to negotiate discounts for you. Other medical providers may treat you on a lien basis. If you get this kind of service, the payment will be settled with the proceeds of the lawsuit. If the amount of medical bills exceeds the settlement you receive, you may be liable for extra bills. Therefore, it would be wise to use a medical cover for medical bills.
Before getting compensation, you will be required to produce proof of treatment. When getting the treatment, ensure all records are well kept to facilitate settlement. Also, your medical records for the past five years may be used to determine whether you have been treated for similar injuries. If you have pre-existing injuries that were made worse by accident, you can still claim compensation.
If your injury claim is successful, you will be compensated for:
- Ambulance bills
- Treatment at the emergency room
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy
- Medical Supplies
- Ongoing care and treatment resulting from the head-on collision injuries
The process of claiming medical bills compensation can be complicated due to the documents you have to present. Therefore, it is crucial to seek guidance from a competent personal injury attorney.
Lost wages would be all amounts you would have earned if you did not suffer the injuries. Lost wages may be in the form of regular pay, commissions, overtime, or income from self-employment. The law will require you to show proof of lost wages when filing for compensation. If the injuries you suffered are minor, the calculations may be straightforward. However, severe injuries that take time to heal may be complicated to compensate.
Some of the ways through which you can prove lost wages include:
- A lost wages letter from your current employer. Producing a lost wages letter in the easiest way to receive. Through which you can show the lost wages if you have regular employment. This letter will contain your job title, the date of employment, the number of hours you work as well as the amount of payment you.
- You are providing pay stubs and tax returns. If you have an irregular income, it may be challenging to obtain a lost wage letter. In this case, you can prove lost wages by producing tax returns and pay stubs for the past months.
- Lost wages for self-employment. To get compensation for lost wages in self-employment, you need to prove what you would be making at the time you were not able to work. You may use tax can document for previous years and billing statements for months before the injuries to establish lost income.
Lost Earning Capacity
Lost earning capacity is the loss of your ability to make money in the future after an accident. Lost earning capacity is difficult to determine since the damage has not happened yet. You don't need to suffer permanent injury for you to receive compensation for lost earning capacity. If your injuries have not been resolved at the time of settlement, you are eligible for this type of payment. Lost earning capacity is calculated by finding the difference between what you would have made if they were not injured and what you are receiving, given the injuries.
Lost earning capacity may be in the form of overtime pay, salaries, commissions, raises as well as self-employment income. The following are some of the factors that will affect the amount you will receive in lost earning capacity:
- The duration which your injuries last ad the amount of time you are damaged
- Whether or not you expect to return to your regular job
- Your age and life expectancy
- Your state of health before the accident
- Terms of your employment and amount of time remaining before you retire
Wrongful Death Damages
Head-on collisions are some of the fatal accidents. If your loved one dies in a head-on collision, you can file a wrongful death claim. However, some specific people can file for wrongful death compensation in California, including:
- Spouse or domestic partner of the deceased
- Grandchildren if the children are also deceased
- Any other person who is entitled to the deceased’s property under the law
Even when filing for wrongful death, you need to prove that the defendant was liable for the death of your loved one. Wrongful death claims can be complicated since the person who was involved in the collision is not around to give their testimony. Therefore, it is crucial to seek legal representation.
Find a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
A head-on collision will significantly affect your life. Depending on the severity of the accident, you can suffer minor injuries requiring little treatment or severe injuries, which requires you to spend a significant amount of time in the hospital. If you or your loved one suffers injuries in a head-on collision, you can file a personal injury claim against the liable party. A successful personal injury claim can see you get compensation for medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, as well as pain and suffering. If you are in Orange County, CA, you will require the help of an attorney from Orange County Personal Injury Attorney. Call us today at 714-876-1959 and allow us to guide you through the claim.