Head-on collisions might be far less common than many other accident types. However, they are often overrepresented in accident fatality statistics due to the increased severity of these crashes due to the forward motion of both vehicles involved.
If you have been injured in a head-on car crash that a careless or reckless driver caused, you can seek compensation for your injuries through a personal injury claim. An experienced Las Vegas head-on collision attorney from Pacific West Injury Law can help you understand this process and may even provide services to assist you with your claim.
Cause of Head-on Collisions
Head-on collisions are rare but can be fatal. While they only account for 2% of all wrecks, they account for 57% of all fatalities. Even if these collisions are not fatal, they likely carry heavy consequences for physical injury. Here are some common causes of head-on collisions:
- Distracted Driving. Distracted driving is becoming more and more common as technology becomes more and more accessible. When drivers text and drive, navigate from their phones and engage in conversations over the phone while driving, their driving becomes erratic and impaired.
- Drunk or Impaired Driving. Drinking and driving has long been a focus of social and political action. This action, contributing to erratic, swerving driving, often leads to head-on collisions which have dire consequences for the driver and others involved.
- Speeding. While law enforcement makes daily attempts to manage drivers speeding on the roadways, speeding is often the cause of head-on collisions. When attempting to pass other cars on two-way roads, speeding can contribute to many head-on fatalities.
- Defective automobile parts. As automobiles become increasingly complicated, their respective parts are more likely to deteriorate or be defective at some point. Defective automobile parts can contribute to loss of control of the vehicle and a subsequent head-on collision.
These causes of head-on collisions can be devastating to those experiencing the consequences. When you have been the victim of these experiences, you need a qualified legal team to help you build your case to recover compensation for the injuries and losses you have sustained.
Common Injuries Sustained in Head-on Collisions
Head-on collisions are one of the most physically damaging types of collisions. While there are many possible injuries that could result from a head-on collision, here are a few of the most commonly experienced symptoms:
- Trauma to the head or neck
- Spinal cord injuries
- Whiplash and other damage to the muscles of the neck and back
- Broken bones
- Trauma to the torso, damaging internal organs
- Internal bleeding
- Loss of limb
If you have experienced any of these symptoms as a result of a head-on collision, you will need an experienced attorney to assist you to manage the legal aftermath of the wreck. When you are focused on recovery, you will not have time or energy to spend building a legal case. Retain a head-on collision attorney in Las Vegas as quickly as possible after the wreck, so that they can begin gathering evidence and building your case.
How to Avoid a Head-on Collision
Avoiding a head-on collision can be difficult, particularly as so much of this depends on other drivers. However, most collisions are preventable. Here are some steps you can take to avoid this dangerous experience:
- Maintain the speed limit. Driving above the speed limit is tempting, particularly when you are late to work. Speeding can be dangerous on its own but has been shown to significantly contribute to higher rates of head-on collisions.
- Don’t drive impaired. Everyone has heard the adage, “don’t drink and drive”. Be vigilant about driving sober. Driving drowsy has similar effects to driving drunk. Try to drive at your best and most alert.
- Be aware of road conditions. Weather conditions can also impair the ability to drive. Exercise extra caution when the weather or the road conditions are bad.
The Personal Injury Process After a Las Vegas Head-On Collision
Individuals who have been injured in a Las Vegas head-on collision can seek compensation for their injuries through the personal injury claims process. This process generally begins when the victim seeks assistance from an experienced Las Vegas head-on collision attorney.
The attorney will determine all sources of liability for the accident and all insurance resources that can be accessed to compensate the claimant for their injuries. They’ll send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance provider on behalf of their client. The provider can either:
- Pay the requested amount
- Deny the claim
- Negotiate with the attorney to reach an agreement with the claimant to settle the claim for less than its full value
If the insurance provider fails to make a fair settlement offer, the claimant and their attorney can file a personal lawsuit. Settlement negotiations can continue after the lawsuit has been filed, even when the trial has taken place, but the court has not rendered a decision. While still entertaining settlement offers, the claimant’s attorney will also begin gathering evidence and witness testimony in preparation for trial.
Only about 4% of all personal injury claims – including head-on collisions – ever make it to trial, with the rest being settled outside the courtroom.
The Type of Compensation You Can Seek in a Head-On Collision Case
Individuals seeking compensation for the expenses and impacts of their injury can include in their personal injury claim damages such as:
- All past, current, and future medical costs associated with the treatment of the injury
- Wage replacement for time missed from work and lost earning capacity
- Property damage incurred during the accident, such as damage to the claimant’s vehicle
- Physical pain and suffering or emotional distress arising from the injury
In some instances, claimants can also seek punitive damages. Unlike the damages listed above, punitive damages aren’t awarded to compensate the claimant for the expenses and impacts of the injury. Instead, they’re awarded as a way to financially punish the defendant for particularly egregious behavior that led to the accident.
There are only limited circumstances where the court requests and orders punitive damages, including in claims involving intentional or wantonly reckless behavior.
Proving Liability in a Las Vegas Head-On Collision Claim
The foundation of a successful personal injury lawsuit is the ability to prove that someone else was liable for the accident. Liability in head-on collisions is proven by showing:
- The at-fault party owed a duty of care to other roadway users to take reasonable actions to protect their safety and property.
- There was a breach in the duty that occurred when the at-fault party took unsafe or illegal actions contrary to the care they were required to take.
- This breach resulted in injuries due to a head-on collision.
- Those injuries resulted in damages, which caused the victim to suffer expenses and quality-of-life impacts.
A head-on collision attorney in Las Vegas can investigate the circumstances around your case to determine who was at fault for your crash.
If You Have Lost a Loved One in a Las Vegas Head-On Collision
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), more than half of all motor vehicle accident fatalities occur in accidents involving a frontal impact to the vehicle, such as a head-on collision.
In Nevada, if a person dies in a head-on collision due to someone else’s negligence, their surviving family members or a personal representative of their estate can seek to recover compensation for the financial and psychological impacts of the loss through a wrongful death claim.
Just like a personal injury lawsuit, this is a legal claim filed in civil court that seeks to prove who was liable for the accident and show the expenses and impacts suffered as a result.
Compensation Available Through a Las Vegas Wrongful Death Claim
The compensation available in a Las Vegas wrongful death claim after a head-on collision includes:
- Payment for medical expenses incurred during the treatment of the decedent’s final injuries
- Reasonable costs associated with a funeral service and burial or cremation
- The loss of service and support that the decedent provided to their family members
- Grief and sorrow experienced by the decedent’s family members
- Loss of companionship, society, and comfort that the decedent afforded to their family members
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How Long do You Have to File Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims in Nevada?
As noted by Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) §11.190, victims seeking compensation for the expenses and impacts of an injury or a wrongful death have two years from the date on which the injury or death occurred to seek compensation through the civil courts.
This does not mean the case must be resolved within that time frame. It just means that the personal injury lawsuit must be filed in court within that time. Your Las Vegas head-on collision lawyer can ensure your claim is filed on time.
A Head-On Collision Lawyer in Las Vegas Can Assist You with Your Claim
Attorney Kris Helmick, Esq. and his legal team are ready to help you learn more about the process of obtaining compensation for your injuries and the types of services we can provide to assist you. We understand that the expenses involved in being injured in an accident aren’t always monetary, and the pain incurred after a serious injury isn’t always physical.
Pacific West Injury Law will fight for your right to all the available compensation in your case. For your free case evaluation with a head-on collision lawyer in Las Vegas, contact our team at any time.