Head-on collisions are as terrifying as they are catastrophic. The combined force of two cars slamming into each at high speeds can inflict massive injuries on anyone involved in the crash. Victims frequently face financial turmoil due to expensive medical bills and missed work.
If you have been injured in a head-on collision in Virginia, you might feel like your entire life has been thrown into chaos. But you don’t have to face this difficult time alone. Our Virginia head-on collision attorneys have over 40 years of experience helping people seek compensation for their injuries. It’s our goal to help people who have been injured by others, and we will fight for a fair and just outcome.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
What Is a Head-on Collision?
A head-on collision happens when the front of one car hits the front of another car coming the opposite way. Because both vehicles have forward momentum, the combined force of the vehicles hitting each other can produce catastrophic injuries to anyone in either car.
Even though most cars are now built with crumple zones designed to protect people involved in head-on collisions, drivers and passengers can still hit a car’s dashboard, steering wheel, steering column, or loose objects that fly through the air. In the worst cases, these injuries can leave victims with permanent injuries or even prove fatal.
Common Causes of Head-On Collisions in Virginia
Many head-on collisions result from drivers making poor or careless decisions behind the wheel. Some of the most predictable causes of head-on collisions related to driver error are:
- Distracted driving — A distracted driver may not notice that their car has drifted out of its lane, putting them in the path of oncoming traffic. Common driver distractions include talking on a cellphone, texting while driving, eating, looking in the mirror, listening to music, and using a navigation device.
- Driving while fatigued — Severe fatigue can cause drivers to lose awareness of what they are doing and what is happening around them. Drivers may leave their lane and wind up in the path of vehicles coming from the opposite direction. Drowsy drivers can also cause a head-on collision due to dulled reflexes or impaired judgment. In the worst-case scenario, a driver can fall asleep, never noticing they are veering into oncoming traffic.
- Failing to adjust to poor weather or low visibility — In situations where darkness or weather makes it difficult to see what is going on, drivers should slow down to keep themselves and others safe. Rain, snow, fog, and ice can lead to a head-on collision. Drivers who do not account for bad weather or changes in visibility are much more likely to cause a crash.
- Using poor technique when overtaking a vehicle — Passing another car on a two-lane road requires careful judgment and timing. If a driver chooses the wrong time to pass or cannot pass quickly enough to avoid oncoming traffic, they could cause a head-on collision.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol — Alcohol, illegal drugs, and certain prescription medications can affect a driver’s concentration, awareness, and reflexes, leading to a head-on collision. Drivers who are severely intoxicated may even pass out at the wheel and drift into the path of traffic coming the other way. Though the dangers of driving while impaired are well-known, they are not always heeded by drivers.
- Ignoring traffic signs and signals — If a driver runs a red light or blows through a stop sign, it is easy for them to end up in the path of cars coming from the opposite direction. Drivers might ignore traffic signs or signals because they are intoxicated, distracted, or tired.
Common Injuries Caused by Head-on Car Accidents
Head-on collisions are understandably life-threatening types of accidents. They can leave drivers and passengers with significant injuries, such as:
- Facial injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Head-on collisions account for about 11 percent of all fatal accidents nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), making them the second most common type of fatal accident after angle collisions.
Potential Compensation for Your Injuries from a Head-on Collision
Virginia law allows victims of head-on collisions to demand compensation for the injuries they have incurred due to someone else’s negligence. If you are reeling from the physical and mental trauma of this type of crash, there is a path to recovering money for your losses, including:
- Any income you lost while recovering from your injuries
- Future earnings you will lose due to a long-term disability
- Medical bills and related expenses
- The physical pain and suffering from your injuries
- Emotional or mental distress related to the accident
- The value of any damaged personal property
A skilled car accident lawyer will be able to give you a better idea of exactly how much your head-on collision settlement could be worth.
In the most catastrophic instances, a person could lose their life in a head-on collision. In this tragic circumstance, their surviving loved ones could file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Proving Liability for a Head-on Collision in Virginia
Recovering compensation after a head-on collision in Virginia requires proving that the other driver or another party acted negligently to cause your injuries. In other words, they must have failed to take reasonable precautions to avoid causing an accident.
Many sources could provide the valuable evidence you and your attorney can use to prove another party is liable for your injuries, such as:
- Police accident reports
- Your medical records
- Photos from the crash scene
- Accounts from eyewitnesses
- Testimony from expert witnesses
- Your personal account of the crash
- Forensic accident investigations
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Head-on Collision Claim
You have only two years from the date of a head-on collision in Virginia to file a personal injury lawsuit. Building a solid case for compensation takes time, so do not wait to speak to a car accident lawyer after a collision. The earlier you talk to an attorney, the better your chance for a successful and just settlement.
Contact a Head-on Collision Attorney from Arrington Schelin
In the aftermath of a head-on collision, getting back to some semblance of normal life is all you want. Let the Virginia head-on collision attorneys at Arrington Schelin take some of the burdens off you and your family. We are ready to provide exceptional and compassionate guidance while you focus on healing.
Contact our office today for a free and honest case evaluation.