Indianapolis Head-on Collision Accident Lawyers
Any type of car accident can result in serious injury, but head-on collisions are known for being especially dangerous and often fatal. Even if the injuries a victim sustains are not fatal, they can still have life-altering effects. Severe injuries often require expensive medical treatments that can place a heavy financial burden on the victim and their family, not to mention the trauma of living with any physical and emotional scarring.
At Crossen Law Firm, we have years of experience helping victims of head-on collisions get the compensation they deserve. We understand the emotional, physical, and financial toll a serious accident, like a head-on collision, can have on individuals and their loved ones.
Our team of experienced Indianapolis car accident attorneys is dedicated to advocating for those injured in traumatic car accidents. Our goal is to guide you through the legal process every step of the way to help alleviate any anxiety or stress you may be feeling so you can instead focus on recovering and moving on.
If you have been injured in a head-on collision, contact a skilled personal injury lawyer right away at (317) 401-8626.
The Dangers of Head-on Collisions
Though head-on collisions don’t happen as often as other types of accidents, they can be more severe and deadly when they do occur. Due to the force of impact when two vehicles collide head-on, front-seat passengers are particularly vulnerable. As a result, they are the ones who often experience more severe injuries, either by being crushed or thrown from the car.
In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that nearly 11% of car crash fatalities resulted from head-on collisions, even though head-on crashes account for only around 2% of all collisions. In Indiana, there were almost 5,000 head-on collisions in 2018, with just over 1,700 injuries and 114 fatalities.
Recovery after being involved in a head-on collision can be challenging. At Crossen Law Firm, we understand the difficulty of navigating a claim or lawsuit while also trying to seek treatment and heal without worrying about the financial strain it will cause. We are dedicated to getting injured victims the compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering and to help cover any necessary medical expenses or loss of income from being unable to work.
Common Causes of Head-on Collisions
While many factors contribute to a head-on collision, they most often occur due to driver error and negligence. Sometimes, it is a combination of both driver error and other uncontrollable factors such as weather or a mechanical malfunction. The following reasons, however, are actions that most often lead to head-on collisions:
- Unsafe passing: When a driver speeds up to go around another slower vehicle on a two-way two-lane road, they may not have a clear line of sight for any oncoming traffic. When this happens, it is common for the passing vehicle to collide with another oncoming vehicle as they move into the other lane.
- Distracted driving: When drivers are distracted, especially when they take their eyes off the road, they can easily veer into oncoming traffic and hit another vehicle head-on.
- Speeding around corners: It’s hard to see who is coming when turning around a corner, making it more likely for drivers to run into one another if they are going too fast.
- Impaired or drowsy driving: Those under the influence of drugs or alcohol typically have impaired motor functions and react much more slowly, making it harder to move out of the way if they veer into oncoming traffic. Additionally, those who are extremely fatigued or drowsy may nod off and veer into other lanes.
- Inclement weather: Bad weather conditions that result in low visibility, such as heavy rainfall, snowstorms, or fog, can increase a driver’s chance of hitting another vehicle head-on that they don’t see coming.
- One-way streets: One-way roads can be confusing, and if a driver is not paying attention or makes a wrong turn, they can find themselves stuck heading into oncoming traffic.
- Swerving: When tires blow out, it can cause drivers to lose control and swerve accidentally into other lanes. Additionally, drivers may swerve when there is something in the road they are trying to avoid, and if they aren’t careful, they can easily swerve into oncoming traffic.
Common Head-on Collision Injuries
Due to the nature of head-on collisions, the resulting injuries are often quite severe and even fatal. When these types of accidents occur, the entire front end of a car can be crushed, resulting in various life-threatening injuries. The force from the impact in head-on collisions can also propel passengers from the vehicle if they are not wearing a seatbelt.
Some common injuries that result from head-on collisions include:
- Crushed limbs
- Crushed torso
- Deep lacerations
- Broken bones and fractures
- Chest trauma
- Damage to the internal organs
- Internal bleeding
- Head and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Liability and Fault in Head-on Collision Cases
Though the specifics of head-on collisions and how they happen can vary, often it is the result of one driver veering into the wrong lane. When this happens, the driver in the wrong lane is usually determined to be at fault. However, there are times when a driver is forced into the wrong lane because of another driver’s negligence, or there may be other factors such as weather or debris in the road that caused a driver to hit someone else head-on. In these cases, determining fault can become a bit tricky.
If the fault is obvious, Indiana’s laws allow for the injured party to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance to recover compensation for damages. However, if both parties are partially responsible, Indiana also has comparative fault laws, which would mean both parties can hold a percentage of the fault. Therefore, the compensation awarded to you may be reduced based on the percentage of fault you were responsible for when this occurs.
In either situation, insurance companies are known for trying to reduce settlement amounts in whatever way they can. Due to the severity of the damage and injuries that can result from head-on collisions, you must work with an experienced attorney to ensure you get the full amount of compensation that you need.
At Crossen Law Firm, we have experience fighting against insurers and helping determine fault to ensure our clients are awarded damages to cover all necessary costs. Our personal injury attorneys are committed to getting injured victims the compensation they deserve to recover in peace.
Damages Awarded to Head-on Collision Victims
Compensation for damages after head-on collisions means more than receiving a settlement for the physical injuries alone. When a driver is injured in a car accident, there are several types of damages that you can receive compensation for, including:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of wages from your inability to work
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress caused by the accident and your injuries
- Property damage
- Permanent disfigurement
- Permanent disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of life or wrongful death
In some cases, victims may seek compensation for punitive damages. Victims may be eligible for punitive damages if the injuries sustained result from intentional harm and/or negligent actions. Essentially, this is when the accident and your injuries result from someone failing to ensure a safe environment knowing full well that harm could come to you. This could mean they did something on purpose to cause the accident, or they may have turned a blind eye to something they knew would result in a potential injury.
If you suspect that a head-on collision was the result of malicious intent or negligence, you should inform your lawyer as soon as possible.
Seeking Help After a Head-on Collision
When an accident occurs, it is easy to become overwhelmed by your injuries and responsibilities. However, necessary steps should be taken to ensure you are awarded a proper settlement amount. Working with an attorney can help as they will guide you through the process and even do a lot of the heavy lifting for you.
The following are steps you will need to take if you want to build a strong case:
- Seek immediate medical care following the accident. Don’t worry about paperwork or who you should inform. Your health and safety are a priority. Additionally, medical experts may be called on to testify if you decide to pursue a claim. Having medical evidence of your injury will help you win a fair settlement.
- File a police report. As soon as the accident occurs, the authorities should be contacted so they can assist. Be sure it isn’t just emergency medical responders that arrive, but the police as well. Not only will the report help support your case, but Indiana law also requires it if there are any injuries, fatalities, or property damage.
- If possible, collect evidence yourself at the scene. This can include taking photos of your injuries and the car damage, as well as collecting the names of any witnesses present at the time of the accident. If you wait too long to contact these individuals, they may not remember what happened as clearly.
- Once you have collected any initial evidence, contact a lawyer to have your case reviewed. They will use any initial evidence collected in addition to helping you obtain further evidence to prove liability. Your attorney will walk you through the process to help you understand your rights and give you the legal support you need to win your case.
- Most importantly, do not give any statements, sign, or agree to anything without first consulting your lawyer. Insurers may contact you asking for statements, and they often use this information to turn the tables against you. Insurance companies are notorious for fighting claims to mitigate their costs. If they reach out, simply tell them you need to speak to your lawyer first before you agree to anything.
Explore Your Legal Options With an Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney
Discussing your case with an experienced head-on collision accident lawyer can help you during this trying time. At Crossen Law Firm, our team will fight tirelessly on your behalf to help you get what you are owed, and you will not owe us anything unless we win your case.