Head-on Collision in Philadelphia: Everything You Need to Know
Motor vehicle collisions can happen in numerous ways and vary in the types of resulting damage and injuries. Among the various types of accidents, head-on collisions are among the worst that can happen. In a head-on collision two vehicles collide with the front ends of both vehicles. These types of collisions frequently result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities.
Unfortunately, head-on accidents are also more common than you might think. In 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reported there were 4,780 head-on collisions in the Commonwealth, which accounted for 4.6% of all of the crashes reported in the state during that year. However, these accidents also accounted for 10.1% of all traffic fatalities in the state with 114 deaths in head-on collisions.
Understanding head-on collisions might help you to avoid being involved in one. If you end up being involved in a head-on crash, you will want to find competent legal representation quickly from a car accident attorney in Philadelphia. Head-on accidents have a high risk of severe injuries and fatalities, and an experienced lawyer at Raynes & Lawn can work to help you recover all of the compensation you should receive based on the facts and circumstances of what happened. Here is some information about head-on accidents you should know from a car and motorcycle accident lawyer at our firm.
Where Do Head-On Collisions Occur Most Often?
Head-on accidents can happen in any place when two cars are sharing the road. However, they happen the most often in the following types of locations:
- Highways and roads with heavy traffic
- Rural highways with two lanes
- Multiple-lane intersections
- Parking lots and garages
- Construction zones
- Exit and entrance ramps on highways and interstates
Common Causes of Head-on Crashes
Head-on collisions are typically the result of driver negligence. Some of the types of negligent driving behavior that can cause a head-on crash include the following:
- Drowsy driving
- Distracted driving
- Swerving to avoid debris or an animal
- Disobeying traffic control devices
- Ignoring signs
- Entering the highway the wrong way
- Pulling out to pass in a no-passing zone
- Passing while going uphill
- Failing to use turn signals
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Reckless driving
In some cases, driver negligence might not be the cause of a head-on accident. For example, low visibility or a tire blowout might result in a head-on collision that is not the fault of either driver.
Types of Injuries Caused by Head-on Collisions
The opposing forces released in head-on collisions can cause severe injuries and fatalities. The severity of the injuries suffered by the occupants of each involved vehicle is affected by multiple factors, including whether they were wearing seat belts, whether the airbags properly deployed, whether children were seated correctly in car seats, the speed at which each vehicle was traveling, and the location in the vehicle in which each person was seated.
The following injuries are commonly seen in the aftermath of head-on accidents:
- Seatbelt chest injuries
- Airbag injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Multiple fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Severe lacerations
- Broken teeth
How Is Fault Determined Following a Head-on Accident?
The police and insurance companies determine fault in head-on collisions by assessing the behavior of the drivers, including whether either of the motorists engaged in reckless, illegal, or unsafe driving behavior in the moments leading up to the accident. The process used to make this determination varies based on the facts. Other factors that might be considered include the time of day, month, weather and road conditions, lighting, and roadway type.
Some clear factors might be present that help to determine fault. For example, if a person was driving recklessly, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or talking or texting on their cell phone just before colliding head-on with another vehicle, their fault might be obvious.
Punitive Damages and Head-on Collisions
Punitive damages are monetary amounts that might be ordered in certain negligence lawsuits by juries when the conduct of the at-fault driver was particularly outrageous, willful, or wanton. These damages are ordered to deter them from engaging in similar behavior in the future and to punish them for their egregious conduct. In head-on crashes, punitive damages might be likelier to be available than in other types of collisions. For example, if someone was drunk driving and caused a head-on crash, punitive damages might be ordered in addition to the compensatory damages the plaintiff might recover for their economic and non-economic losses.
Before you can recover compensation in a lawsuit against the driver who caused your head-on accident, you will have to prove that they were liable. This normally involves proving the other motorist engaged in negligent, careless, reckless, or intentional conduct that caused the crash. If you meet your burden of proof, you might be entitled to recover compensation for all of your losses.
Proving your case will require you to present evidence to show each of the elements of negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. An experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer can investigate what happened, gather and preserve critical evidence, work with experts, and negotiate with the insurance company for you.
Talk to a Car Accident Attorney in Philadelphia
If you were seriously injured in a head-on accident caused by another driver, or your loved one was killed in this type of accident, you should consult an attorney at the Philadelphia law firm of Raynes & Lawn. We have helped accident victims recover the compensation they deserve for more than 50 years. Call us today for a free case evaluation at 1-800-535-1797.
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