Injuries sustained by survivors of head-on collisions are among the most serious on the road. They can include amputation, paralysis, coma, concussion, permanent loss of one or more senses (e.g., sight or smell), burns, lacerations, and blunt force trauma.
If another motorist collided with your vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation if the other driver was at fault. However, filing a claim and navigating a lawsuit may be complex. You may be unsure where to begin. Bressman Law can help. A head-on collision car accident lawyer serving Marion may be able to help you file a claim and manage your case.
How Much Is My Head-On Collision Car Accident Case Worth?
All head-on collisions claims are different, but the negligent driver who caused the accident may be forced to pay for a victim’s damages, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages or bonuses
- Physical therapy
- Mental health therapy
- Pain and suffering
Both economic and non-economic damages like the ones listed above are common compensation in head-on collision cases. In rare cases, courts may assess punitive damages against a defendant in addition to the above. This occurs as a way of sending a message to a person, industry, or organization that certain behaviors will be financially punished by the courts.
For example, imagine a new semi-truck line started cutting regulatory corners. They begin telling drivers to speed on highways as much as possible and pass other traffic wherever they can. These incentives might lead to short-term profits as they deliver packages faster than their competitors. However, eventually, a head-on collision at the fault of the truck driver would occur, resulting in extensive injuries. The company may be expected to pay punitive damages for the behaviors they promoted that led to the collision.
Is There a Cap on Damages?
Ohio has set a cap on certain types of damages that you can receive in a successful claim.
There is no cap on economic damages. However, non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are set at $250,000 or three times the number of economic damages, whichever is larger. Punitive damages, on the other hand, cannot be more than double the amount of economic damages.
For a free legal consultation with a head-on collisions attorney in Marion, call (614) 538-1116
Why Head-On Collisions Are Especially Tragic
There are myriad reasons why head-on collisions are tragic, no matter where they occur. Physics is essentially working against vehicle occupants in these scenarios.
Velocity on the highway is additive, meaning that head-on collisions result in a total force equal to the two speeds of each car involved. For example, imagine two cars on a city highway are traveling at 55 miles per hour. If one vehicle experiences a mechanical failure that sends it over the freeway median, a head-on collision would be imminent.
This collision would be the equivalent of hitting a solid rock wall at 110 miles per hour, double the speed of both vehicles.
The increased physical impact is why head-on collisions are some of the worst accidents we see on the road. In these situations, there is typically nothing that modern technology can do to save a person’s life, as seatbelts and airbags can only do so much to counteract the powerful change of direction.
Marion Head-On Collisions Attorney (614) 538-1116
When Can a Driver Be Held Responsible for a Head-On Collision Car Accident?
In other instances where drivers may be acting irresponsibly, a reckless driver might attempt to pass a vehicle on a one-lane highway. Head-on collisions caused by reckless driving may involve road rage, delays in an oncoming-lane pass, speeding, and distraction.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rural areas like Marion also experience more fatal collisions than urban areas. Whether a head-on collision occurs out in the country or on urban streets, there could be many sources leading to a head-on collision, such as:
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Driving too fast in bad visibility
- Road defects
- Auto defects
- Medical problems (e.g., seizure or stroke)
These are just some of the factors that can lead to the heightened risk of a head-on collision. Any of these scenarios may call for a different party to your lawsuit. Your head-on collisions car accident lawyer serving Marion may begin the process of your claim, as there is a limited time to act.
How to Prove Fault
In a personal injury lawsuit, you must be able to show that the other driver or drivers were at fault or negligent to receive compensation. The four elements of any negligence claim are:
- Duty of Care: You and your lawyer must establish that the motorist owed you a legal duty of care before filing a head-on collision case. This element is the easiest to move since every motorist on the road has a legal responsibility to drive safely.
- Breach of Duty: It’s pretty simple to establish a legal duty of care for drivers, but you’ll need to prove that the motorist who hit your car acted negligently or irresponsibly. If a reasonable driver, knowing what the driver in the vehicle accident knew at the time, would have done anything differently, a breach of duty has been established.
- Causation: You must establish that the driver’s carelessness was the direct cause of the accident after proving there was a breach of duty. The issue of legal culpability and carelessness boils down to deciding who was at fault. For example, causation can be proven if the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, eating food while driving, or texting on their phone at the time of the accident.
- Damages: Finally, you must demonstrate that the vehicle collision caused injuries, either economic or non-economic.
If you and your lawyer can prove all four elements of negligence, you have a strong head-on collision car accident case.
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Time Is Limited to Pursue Legal Rights After a Head-On Collision in Marion
Every U.S. state has a statute of limitations for civil injury liability, and Ohio is no different. According to Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10, injured parties only have 24 months from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. After this time elapses, courts might not hear a claim regarding any injury.
However, two years is far too long to wait to pursue your legal rights. A head-on collisions car accident attorney serving Marion may be able to act right away to complete urgent tasks, such as:
- Collecting or photographing perishable evidence from the field that the police may have missed
- Managing witness testimony, including any people the police may not have talked to
- Helping ensure that you manage your health records and appointments
- Filing a police report and ensuring it at least reflects your injuries
- Filing other relevant paperwork, such as insurance claims and demand letters
More pressing than the statute of limitations, each of these time-sensitive items is key to building a case. For example, if you wait to visit a hospital about your injuries, it might send the message to the jury that your injuries were not as severe. This delay might also enable defense attorneys to question whether you received your injuries in an unrelated event, and these questions can be among the most difficult to prove and threatening to a case.
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A Head-On Collision Car Accident Attorney From Bressman Law Can Help
If you or a loved one was hurt by a head-on collision in Ohio’s Marion area, Bressman Law may be able to help you recover damages for your injuries and losses. We get to work immediately on behalf of our clients’ legal rights and interests, preserving what evidence exists and building their case.
We offer free consultations and can discuss how the law applies to the facts of your case. Call us now.