Head-On Crashes: The Causes and the Consequences
Vehicular accidents are unfortunately all-too-common occurrences in New Mexico, as they are in general in the United States. The effects of car crashes can range from minor, where there is little to no damage and no injuries, to catastrophic, where fatalities result. Crashes can take place due to poor road conditions or vehicle malfunction. However, most happen because of driver error.
The types of crashes can also vary significantly. Head-on crashes are among the most serious and deadly. Also, head-on crashes are most prevalent in rural areas in New Mexico, though they can occur anywhere. If you have been involved in a head-on crash, you need an experienced legal team on your side. You may be entitled to compensation if someone else was at fault for the accident and acted with negligence. Your lawyer can help you recover damages and have the financial peace of mind you need.
How Head-On Crashes Typically Happen
In 2020, head-on collisions made up a little more than 10% of all fatal accidents on the road in the United States. Such a crash is a full-frontal collision where two vehicles hit each other directly, front to front. This almost always happens when the cars drive in different directions. However, head-on collisions may only involve one vehicle, such as when someone drives into an object like a telephone pole, guard rail, or building.
Distracted driving is frequently the culprit of head-on collisions. Texting while driving or otherwise using a smartphone while at the wheel can take a driver’s eyes off the road. Even a split-second of distraction can lead to a head-on collision. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving while fatigued, or driving recklessly can all cause head-on collisions. Specifically, these conditions can lead to the driver drifting into the opposite lane of oncoming traffic or veering off-course into another car or object.
Common Injuries in Head-on Collisions
Head-on collisions involve a great amount of force when they occur between two vehicles. The combined power of two vehicles driving with momentum can cause serious injuries. Among the most common are spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. Whiplash can also occur, as can broken bones and even internal organ damage. Injuries to the back, chest, and face are common in these types of crashes, too. Victims can also experience burns and scarring from head-on crashes.
Unfortunately, fatalities can be higher with head-on collisions than other types. One reason for this is the fact that speed is often a factor. In New Mexico, speed is involved in 35% of all vehicle fatalities.
When to Seek Legal Help
Because head-on collisions often result in serious injuries and damage, it is not unusual for victims to file lawsuits. You may consider hiring a lawyer and pursuing legal action if someone else was partially or fully at fault for the accident. Furthermore, if you can show that another driver was negligent and breached his or her duty of care while driving, you may be able to seek damages for your injuries. Another factor in whether you will want to speak to your lawyer is if your injuries are indeed severe and require extensive care and treatment. In head-on collisions, the injuries can incur expensive medical costs that exceed what the other party’s insurance pays out. Though an auto insurance policy with personal injury protection can pick up many of your medical bills, your costs may exceed the maximum amount of the plan. A personal injury lawsuit may be able to award you the compensation you need.
Damages You Can Sue For
In a head-on collision, you and those with you will likely have suffered injuries. In many cases, these types of crashes cause life-altering injuries. Your lawyer can help you recover the costs of your recovery. This means you can get compensation for the money you owe or pay for treatment, hospital stays, doctor’s office visits, surgeries, medication, medical equipment, and rehabilitation.
Unfortunately, some injuries can be so severe that you will be unable to perform your regular work duties for a time, if at all. Personal injury lawsuits can cover lost wages and future lost earnings. You may even be able to recover damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and mental anguish. If you lose a loved one due to a fatal head-on collision, you might qualify for loss of companionship damages. Your attorney will help you determine how much you are entitled to for such damages.
Staying Safe on the Road
Though it is comforting to know that an experienced attorney can provide the financial assistance you need during a difficult time, it’s better never to experience a head-on collision. Though you cannot control the actions of others, you can take some steps to reduce the chances you will be in a head-on crash.
Avoid driving while intoxicated. Never get behind the wheel if you have been drinking alcohol. Avoid distractions like cell phone use, turning around in your seat to speak to passengers, or controlling the radio. Even actions like eating or doing your hair while driving can be distracting. You should also obey traffic laws, including driving within the speed limit.
Driving on well-maintained roads can also minimize your chances of being in a crash, including head-on collisions. Roads with wider medians and shoulders are less likely to be where crashes occur. Driving on roads with curve warning signs and pavement markings can also keep you safe.
In New Mexico, you can find legal help to take your case if you have been injured in a head-on collision. These accidents can be serious and have long-term effects on you and your family. It’s important to understand the causes of these accidents and what can happen in them. Also, you need to know that you may deserve a financial payout to help with your medical needs and other aspects of your recovery.