Head on collisions account for a small percentage of car accidents, but when they occur, they can cause catastrophic and even fatal injuries. According to the National Safety Council, about 5,000 people were killed and 277,000 sustained nonfatal injuries in head on crashes nationwide in 2019.
At the state level, data from the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety shows that from 2015-2019, head on collisions accounted for about 10 percent of all fatal lane-departure crashes.
Head on collisions often cause major injuries, significant financial losses, and emotional trauma for crash victims. Because of the significant medical expenses these cases typically entail, the stakes are high.
You need the help of lawyers who will take the time to understand your needs and who will stand up to the insurance company.
Our Las Vegas head on car accident attorneys at Sam & Ash have obtained more than $400 million in total compensation for our clients. We can apply our decades of legal experience to build the strongest case possible for you to receive full compensation.
If you’ve been hurt in a head on collision in Las Vegas and another driver was at fault, you deserve attorneys who care about you and your recovery. The lawyers at Sam & Ash Injury Law, can help you seek compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
What Is a Head on Collision?
A head on collision occurs when the front of one vehicle crashes into the front of another vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. Because both vehicles are frequently moving at high speeds, the injuries from head on crashes tend to be more severe than what you see in other kinds of traffic accidents.
Drivers and passengers involved in head on crashes are susceptible to serious injury because the force of impact is magnified. The impact may compromise the passenger compartment of the vehicle, or the crash victims may hit their heads on the dashboard, steering wheel, steering column, or another hard surface.
The initial impact of a head on collision can send one or both vehicles spinning off in another direction, potentially creating a chain-reaction crash that involves additional vehicles.
Causes of Head on Collisions
Most head on collisions are caused by a driver leaving their traffic lane and crossing into the path of oncoming traffic. This can happen for many reasons, including:
- Distracted driving — A few seconds of distraction is all it takes for a driver to drift into a lane of oncoming traffic, leading to a head on collision. Talking on the phone, sending or reading a text, snacking, talking to other passengers, dealing with a pet, or using in-vehicle controls all take the driver’s hands, eyes, and concentration off the road and make a head on collision more likely.
- Driving while fatigued — Drivers who are struggling to stay awake have impaired cognitive functions, slower reflexes, and can nod off at the wheel and cross the median into an oncoming lane, causing a head on crash. People who have unusual work schedules such as shift workers who work alternating day and night shifts are more susceptible to fatigue caused by disrupted sleep. Alcohol, drugs, and some prescription medications can also increase drowsiness.
- Impaired driving — Drivers who drink alcohol, use illegal drugs, or aren’t careful with prescription medications can find themselves dangerously impaired while behind the wheel. These substances cause a range of effects on drivers, including impaired judgment, dulled reflexes, increased risk-taking behavior, and increased fatigue.
- Taking risks while passing — On Las Vegas roads without medians, especially two-lane highways, drivers who try to pass without giving themselves enough space to do so safely run the risk of colliding with vehicles coming the other way.
- Tires blowouts — When a driver experiences a sudden tire blowout, they may lose control of their vehicle, causing it to cross into the path of oncoming traffic.
- Speeding and reckless / aggressive driving — Speeding, unsafe lane changes, weaving through traffic, and other aggressive maneuvers make it much more difficult for drivers to maintain control of their vehicles. A driver who loses control while speeding and weaving lanes may end up in the path of oncoming cars.
- Poor weather conditions — Adverse weather can make the road surface slick, making it harder for drivers to stay in control. If the tires on a vehicle are worn, the vehicle is more likely to hydroplane on a wet road surface, causing the driver to lose control. A hydroplaning vehicle may end up in the path of oncoming traffic and cause a head on collision.
- Ignoring traffic signals and signs — Drivers who ignore stop signs, intersections, yield signs, and other traffic control devices put themselves and others in danger. By disregarding traffic signs and signals, a driver can end up in the path of other traffic, leading to a head on crash.
Head on Car Accident Injuries
Some of the most common injuries that result from head on accidents include:
- Severe bruises and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Soft-tissue injuries (damage to muscles, ligaments, tendons, etc.)
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord damage, including paralysis
- Crushed, severed, or amputated limbs
- Emotional distress (depression, anxiety, PTSD)
Who Is at Fault in a Head on Car Crash?
It can be challenging to determine who was at fault in a head on crash. The accidents frequently happen at high speeds and cause massive damage. The vehicles may end up in different locations on the road than where the collision occurred, making it more challenging to sort out who is at fault.
The key thing to remember is that fault is based on the legal concept of negligence when it comes to personal injury claims. In basic terms, a driver had a responsibility to drive safely and take reasonable steps to avoid injuring others, but they failed to fulfill the responsibility.
The driver who can be shown to have acted negligently in the moments leading up to a head on collision is the one who will likely be at fault for the accident.
Negligence can take many forms. If a driver was driving while impaired before a head on crash or driving recklessly, the driver would be in violation of traffic laws and could be found liable for the accident.
A knowledgeable Las Vegas car accident lawyer at Sam & Ash can help you determine who should be held accountable for your injuries in a head on collision.
What To Do After a Head on Accident
Here are the key steps to take if you’re involved in a head on collision in Las Vegas:
- Call 911 — Head on collisions frequently cause serious injuries. Call 911 and summon emergency medical personnel to the scene as soon as you can. Even if you feel fine after a crash, you may have internal injuries that need to be diagnosed by a medical professional. Calling 911 will also bring the police to the scene to begin an investigation. A police accident report will be essential if you need to file a claim.
- Document the crash — Evidence from the accident scene often plays a critical role when it comes to establishing liability. You will want to do everything you can to document the accident before leaving the scene. Take pictures of the damage to both vehicles involved, the injuries you’ve sustained, and the area surrounding the immediate accident site. If there are any eyewitnesses, try to get their names and contact information.
- Get the other driver’s information — Most car accident claims are resolved through insurance settlements. You’ll need to have the other driver’s insurance information if you want to file a claim for compensation. In addition to the other driver’s insurance information, you’ll want to get their name, address, phone number, license plate number, and the make and model of their vehicle.
- Seek medical attention — Victims often need immediate medical attention after a head on collision. If you aren’t transported to the hospital by ambulance, see a doctor right away. You may have hidden injuries that haven’t fully manifested. The doctor can also assist you with documenting the injuries you’ve sustained in the head on collision.
- Don’t talk to the other drivers’ insurance companies — You need to be extremely careful about what you say to any insurance representative and decline to provide a recorded statement. The insurance company representing the other driver will be looking for a reason to deny or minimize your claim. Your best option is to let your lawyer handle all the communication with the insurance companies.
- Call a car accident attorney — Calling a lawyer as soon as possible after a head on collision allows the attorney to investigate the accident before critical evidence deteriorates or is lost. It gives you a better chance of recovering fair compensation for your injuries.
Talk to Our Skilled Head on Car Accident Attorneys in Las Vegas
A head on collision can be a terrifying and painful ordeal. Our Las Vegas head on car accident attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law understand what you’re going through. We will be ready to put our skills and experience to work to help you recover — because that is What’s Right.
You deserve a caring attorney who will return your calls and who you can talk to on a first-name basis. Let us discuss your accident and how we can help you get full compensation from the driver responsible for a head on crash. Call Sam & Ash Injury Law in Las Vegas, or reach out to us online for a free consultation.