Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers Provide Aggressive Representation to Victims and Loved Ones Involved in Head On Collisions
Exploring Every Possible Legal Strategy to Help You Find Justice
A car accident is often a frightening event, and head-on collisions are some of the most traumatic, leading to catastrophic damage, injury, or even death. In fact, although they only account for two percent of all car accidents, statistics estimate that 10 percent of all fatal crashes are head-on collisions.
After a head-on collision, it is a very real possibility that you would have lifelong injuries. With mounting medical bills and the likelihood of missing work, you will need all the help you can get. That is why it is imperative to hire an experience Philadelphia car accident lawyer. Your lawyer can do the following:
- Protect your rights and hold the negligent party accountable.
- Go over every detail and explain when you can be compensated for your damages.
- Help guide you through every step of your case.
- Build your case.
Why Do Head-On Collisions Happen?
There are several common reasons why head-on collisions happen:
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in the country, including head-on collisions, particularly in Philadelphia where streets are cramped and lanes are close to each other. When distracted, a driver is unable to focus on the road ahead of them, causing them to veer out of their lane onto oncoming traffic.
- Drunk driving: Consuming alcohol causes various issues for drivers, causing the driver to be unable to safely operate a motor vehicle. Drunk drivers lose focus easily, they are unable to make good judgements like driving down the wrong way on a one-way street, and can suffer from blurred vision. Each year, thousands of drunk driving accidents happen in Philadelphia.
- Drowsy driving: Falling asleep at the wheel is certainly dangerous, yet it happens far too often and can easily lead to a head-on collision. Even if a driver does not fall asleep, just being fatigued alone can cause a driver to lose focus and veer out of their own lane.
- Unsafe road conditions: People may react to unsafe driving conditions, such as potholes or tree limbs in the road, and swerve out of the way without checking for oncoming traffic.
- Reckless drivers: Some drivers are reckless and negligent in their driving, disregarding the safety of themselves and others. They may try passing other drivers or run through intersections, causing a head-on collision that is often catastrophic.
- Mechanical issues: Vehicles on Philadelphia roads need to have passed Pennsylvania’s state inspection and emissions tests to ensure they are safe. However, that does not mean a mechanical failure cannot happen, as brakes may fail, a tire may blow out, or a car’s power steering may fail, leading to a car to erratically go into another lane.
What Are Common Head-On Collision Injuries?
Not only can head-on collisions be deadly, but they could also lead to lifechanging injuries and permanent disability. Here are just a few of the injuries you could suffer from during a head-on collision:
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Burns, bruises, and lacerations.
- Back, shoulder, and neck injuries.
- Broken bones.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
- Internal injuries.
- Soft tissue injuries.
- Crushing injuries.
Some of these injuries can require weeks or months of treatment and extensive surgical procedures. Physical or occupational therapy may be needed as well, even after the injury has healed, which means more medical bills for yourself and your family.
If you experience a head-on collision, you need to seek medical attention right away. Even if the crash seems minor and you do not feel you have an injury, it is a good idea to get checked out anyway and let a doctor determine if you are fine. Many soft tissue injuries can manifest hours or even days after the accident, and without seeking medical help right away, your injury could worsen, or your insurance claim may be denied.
The Costs of a Head-On Collision
Although there are monetary costs, there is also a mental cost. Make sure to keep all of your medical records, property damage receipts, and documentation of time lost from work due to a head-on collision. Present all evidence to your Philadelphia car accident lawyer if possible. Your lawyer can use this information to determine if you are eligible for compensation.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), traffic accidents cost each person involved an average of $1,414. Of course, severe accidents are much more expensive. In total, the total economic loss due to traffic accidents in Pennsylvania cost almost $18 billion a year:
- Fatalities cost over $8 billion.
- Serious injuries cost over $6.5 billion.
- Minor injuries cost over $2.8 billion.
- Property damage cost approximately $650 million.
Following a head-on collision, receiving compensation for your injuries and lost time at work may seem like an upward climb. Determining how much you need is a stressful experience and can differ from case to case. However, having an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer can help, as they could go over your case, your medical bills, and determine what is the best path forward.
Your car accident lawyer may be able to get you the following compensation:
- Compensation to cover medical bills, treatment, and rehabilitation.
- Compensation to cover property damage.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
- Pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages.
- Compensation to cover lost wages and loss of future earning capacity.
What Steps Should I Take Following a Head-On Collision?
A head-on collision can render you unable to think or react, but if you are capable, here are some important steps to remember following an accident:
- Call 911: Check everyone involved to make sure they are okay, and then call 911 so first responders can come to the scene as soon as possible.
- Gather information: Make sure to get the contact information of the other driver, including their driver’s license information, license plate number, and insurance information. Do not admit fault or apologize for the crash, and do not accept blame for it either.
- Witness information: Make sure to get information from witnesses and the details of their accounts of what happened.
- Obtain police report: A police report contains a lot of information, such as details of the accident and the other driver’s account of what happened. A police report can also help the insurance companies determine, as the report is a third-party account of the accident.
- Collect evidence: Not only do you want to obtain photographs or videos of the scene, but get photos of any debris, road conditions, and security camera footage of the area.
- Get medical attention: You want to get medical attention right away, even if the damage to your car seems minor or you do not feel like you have an injury. Many times, injuries can surface well after the accident, which could harm your ability to file an insurance claim if you wait too long to get looked at by a doctor.
- Call a lawyer: Going over your accident with a lawyer can help you get the compensation you need, as they know the ins and outs of Pennsylvania law and know how to build a case.
Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws
There are a few laws in Pennsylvania you should know if you ever get into an accident, such as:
- Statute of limitations: The statute of limitations is the time limit given by law for someone to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for injuries. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the car accident. If you do not file your claim within those two years, your case can easily be dismissed.
- No-fault insurance: Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state. Drivers may choose limited tort or full tort coverage when choosing their auto insurance. Limited tort prohibits you from suing a liable driver for non-economic damages. Generally, you go to your own auto insurance for recovering your damages, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Only in certain circumstances can you file a lawsuit.
- Modified comparative negligence: Pennsylvania is a modified comparative negligence state. If you are found to be less than 51 percent at fault for the accident, you are eligible to collect damages. If you are more at fault than the other driver, you cannot collect any damages. Your percentage of fault will be deducted from the overall compensation award.
Many head-on collisions are caused by human error. It is very likely that a head-on collision will lead to an injury, whereas the plaintiff could receive compensation for their injury. In order to do so, the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit must prove that the other party was negligent.
Plaintiffs must prove that the defendant’s negligence meets four elements:
- Duty: It must be established that the defendant had a duty of care to drive safely. Since they were driving, this can simply be proven because all licensed drivers are required by law to exercise a duty of care to other motorists. All drivers must obey traffic laws and maintain their cars to operate safely.
- Breach of duty: In your case, you must prove the defendant breached their duty of care. You and your lawyer must prove the defendant disobeyed a traffic law, was distracted or drunk, or engaged in any other type of negligent behavior that constitutes as a breach of duty of care.
- Causation: You and your lawyer must then prove causation; the defendant’s actions caused your injuries.
- Damages: There must be a quantifiable harm caused by the defendant’s breach of duty, such as medical bills for a severe injury.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Can Advocate on Your Behalf After a Head-On Collision
Head-on collisions are devastating. If you have been injured in a head-on collision, you need the best legal team on your side. Speak with one of our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC today. Call us at 215-569-8488 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Abington, Media, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.