Head-on crashes occur when the front of one vehicle strikes the front of another vehicle. Unlike some other types of car accidents, head-on collisions are usually caused by one driver who is grossly negligent. There’s generally no justification for a driver striking another vehicle in a head-on crash. Plain and simple, one driver simply wasn’t paying attention.
Head-on crashes are often fatal especially if either car was traveling at a moderate to high speed. The fronts of the vehicle fold like an accordion causing anyone in the front seat of the vehicles to either die or to suffer catastrophic or permanent injuries.
What are the common causes of head-on collisions?
The leading reasons why head-on car accidents occur in Tennessee are:
- Wrong-way crashes. Most head-on-crashes happen when one driver is in the wrong lane. This can occur if a driver doesn’t realize a street is only for one-way traffic. It can occur if a driver gets confused about where to turn onto an exit ramp.
- Drunk driving is a leading reason why a driver might be in the wrong lane.
- Driver distraction is another reason. A driver who isn’t focusing on the road in front of him/her may miss traffic signs or road markings indicating where the lanes are.
- Drivers who fall asleep or are who are too tired to concentrate may also end up going the wrong way.
- Center-line crossing. Some drivers going down a two-lane highway (one-lane each way) may veer into another lane. A major reason drivers veer into another lane is because they try to pass when there isn’t enough room to pass. In addition to drunk driving, distracted driving, and drowsy driving, other reasons drivers may shift into the wrong lane include roadway construction which blocks lanes, speeding, and poorly designed roads.
- Intersection accidents. Drivers who fail to signal that they’re turning may cause confusion with other drivers – which may cause a head-on crash.
- Taking turns too fast. If a driver speeds or drives too fast for conditions, he/she may veer into an oncoming lane of traffic.
- Inclement weather. Slippery roads, glaring sunny skies, and other weather conditions may cause a driver to lose control causing the driver to shift into the wrong lane.
Who’s liable for a head-on collision?
Our skilled car accident lawyers everyone liable who negligently caused your pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, property damage, or the wrongful death of a loved one including:
- The driver. The driver of the vehicle that struck you is accountable for your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one. In many cases, our skilled car accident lawyers file punitive damage claims in head-on crash cases because the driver’s conduct is often wanton and without any regard for your safety.
- The owners of the car. If the driver who struck you does not own the vehicle, there may be times when the owners may be liable for your damages.
- A governmental entity. The state, a county, or the Department of Transportation for Tennessee may be liable if faulty road design caused the head-on crash. For example, if the road signs fail to indicate which lane you should drive in, the government may be responsible.
- A seller of alcohol. In Tennessee, a seller of alcohol may be liable for a head-on crash if:
- The alcohol was the proximate cause of the injuries or death of a loved one
- The seller knew the person who was drinking the alcohol was under 21 or was visibly intoxicated
What are the types of head-on crash injuries?
In addition to the death of drivers or passengers, head-on collisions can cause:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal organ damage
- Back and necks injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Muscle, ligament, nerve, and tissue damage
- Broken bones
- Other serious injuries
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 13% of all rural deadly crashes are due to head-on-crashes, and 7% of all urban deadly crashes are due to head-on collisions.
At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, we have a strong track record of success in obtaining large settlements and verdicts in Chattanooga car accident cases. We work aggressively to hold all responsible parties accountable for the death of a family member or for all the ways a head-on crash changes your life. To schedule an appointment, call us at 423-756-7923 or fill out our contact form. We represent clients in Chattanooga and Cleveland, TN, in North Georgia, and in all neighboring locations.