While all car accidents are potentially dangerous for the parties involved, there are certain types of collisions that are notorious for being particularly deadly. Head-on collisions, which occur when two vehicles that are traveling in opposite directions crash into each other, fall under this category. Although some victims may be fortunate enough to survive these kinds of crashes, many are not so lucky and end up suffering fatal injuries.
Why are Head-On Collisions So Dangerous?
Head-on collisions tend to have especially brutal consequences, simply because the forces involved in these kinds of crashes are more intense. This is largely because most head-on collisions occur at very high speeds. In fact, it is not uncommon for the intensity of these collisions to result in an occupant’s ejection through the windshield.
Common Head-On Crash Injuries
Head-on collisions, because they occur at such high speeds and involve significant impacts, are much more likely to result in serious injuries than other types of crashes. These injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) from blunt force trauma;
- Internal injuries, including ruptured organs and internal bleeding;
- Spinal cord injuries, which occur when the spinal cord is damaged or severed and can lead to paralysis, a loss of sensation in the limbs, and chronic pain;
- Broken or crushed bones from blunt force trauma; and
- Burns, which can occur in cases involving engine fires.
These injuries are often permanently disabling and can prove deadly, in which case, a victim’s family members could be entitled to wrongful death damages.
Frustratingly, head-on collisions are almost always the result of driver error, often occurring when:
- One driver attempts to pass another on a two-lane highway; or
- A driver accidentally crosses over the centerline of the road, drifting into a nearby lane.
The first instance is an example of reckless driving, while the latter occurs most often because a a driver:
- Fell asleep at the wheel or was driving while drowsy;
- Wasn’t paying attention to the road; or
- Was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Unfortunately, the very nature of how these accidents occur makes it more likely that injuries will be serious. Fatigued, distracted, and intoxicated drivers, for instance, are rarely aware of the impending collision until the moment of impact and so make no attempts to brake or swerve out of the way, meaning that the crashes occur at high speeds, resulting in a devastating impact.
While the actions of negligent drivers are usually the cause behind most head-on accidents, there are other factors that can contribute to these kinds of crashes. Bad weather, for instance, as well as poor road conditions and unexpected mechanical problems can contribute to head-on crashes. Highway design, however, may be the second most likely culprit (behind driver error) for causing head-on collisions. Improper road design can take a lot of different forms, including:
- Poor road geometrics;
- Inadequate signage;
- Inadequate traffic control measures;
- A lack of artificial lighting;
- Inadequate or improper pavement markings; and
- A lack of centerline rumble strips or median barriers.
When these kinds of issues contribute to or cause head-on collisions, the government agency responsible for the road in question could be held partially liable for a victim’s damages.
Wrongful Death Damages
In Florida, when someone passes away because of another party’s negligence, the at-fault party can be held legally liable for that death by the victim’s family members via a wrongful death lawsuit. Unlike criminal cases, which come with penalties like jail time, civil cases are pursued to help accident victims recover compensation for their monetary losses after an accident. In wrongful death cases, claimants could be entitled to compensation for their loved one’s medical bills, as well as lost income and benefits and the loss of companionship and emotional distress they have experienced. While monetary damages can never replace the loss of a loved one, recovering them can go a long way towards giving family members one less thing to worry about while they grieve for their loss.
Call Today for Proactive and Aggressive Legal Advocacy
At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, our team of Miami wrongful death lawyers and experienced support staff are dedicated to representing those whose lives have been turned upside down by the tragic and unexpected death of a loved one. For an assessment of your own case, or to learn more about how our firm can help you pursue your legal rights, please call 305-371-2692 or send us an online message today.