Improved automobile engineering and advanced car safety systems have substantially reduced injuries in automobile accidents. Even with these improvements, however, drivers and passengers can be badly hurt in head-on collisions.
The New York and New Jersey car accident attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman P.C. have studied the most common injuries in head-on collisions and the financial impact on victims and their families. We use this knowledge and expertise to negotiate the largest possible damages awards.
How do injuries in head-on collisions occur?
Modern vehicles have seat belts and crumple zones that absorb as much of the impact of a head-on collision as possible, as well as supplemental restraint systems (i.e., airbags) that protect the occupants. Injuries can still occur, even in low-speed head-on collisions. For example, if a driver or any passengers were not using seat belts or loose objects in the vehicle collide with occupants. In addition, the car’s sudden deceleration in the crash could cause an occupant’s brain or organs to shift or collide internally. Although airbags protect vehicle occupants from more serious injuries, their sudden inflation and deflation can cause bruises that can be equal in severity to injuries caused by a punch from a prizefighter.
A thorough understanding of how these injuries occur in a head-on collision will lay a foundation to demonstrate how another driver’s negligence was the proximate cause of them. This analysis is a prerequisite for recovering damages from the negligent driver and their insurance carrier.
What kind of injuries can occur in a head-on collision?
Some of the more common injuries in head-on collisions include:
- Concussions, when an impact or sudden deceleration causes a person’s brain to shift or slam into the interior of the person’s skull. Symptoms can last from several days to many months and can leave an accident victim with permanent long-term disabilities.
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises from impact with interior surfaces of a car. Deep lacerations that affect major blood vessels and internal organs can be life-threatening.
- Head, neck, and spinal injuries caused by jerking motions from the collision.
- Broken bones, particularly arms, legs and feet, and ribs.
- Traumatic loss of digits or limbs when the collision pushes metal or glass into a vehicle’s passenger cabin.
- Internal organ damage from the sudden stopping forces in a head-on collision.
- Severe burns from gases that inflate airbags.
- Psychological injuries that are similar to post-traumatic stress disorders.
How do head-on collisions happen?
A head-on collision is most often caused by a negligent driver’s failure to follow the rules of the road. That negligent driver, for example, might:
- ignore signs and drive the wrong way down a one-way street
- cross over a road or highway centerline and swerve into oncoming traffic due to reduced visibility, inattention, or impairment from drugs or alcohol
- lose control of a vehicle while speeding
- fail to judge passing distance properly.
In a limited number of special cases, a driver might cause a head-on collision while fleeing from the police. If the pursuit was reckless– and without regard for the safety of other vehicles on the road, an accident victim might have a valid cause of action against the police department.
Lawsuits against municipalities have shorter deadlines and special notice requirements that must be followed to avoid a dismissal. If you suffer injuries in a head-on collision with a vehicle being pursued by the police, you need to contact a lawyer as soon as is possible—to secure your right to sue and to collect damages from the municipality.
Contact us for a free consultation
Please see our website or call any of the offices of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman P.C. when you are seeking a car accident lawyer for Rockland and Bergen Counties in New York or New Jersey. Our expertise in the common injuries that can occur in a head-on collision gives our clients the assurances that they will recover the compensation they deserve from negligent parties.