Head-on Car Accident Lawyer in Raleigh, NC
Injuries and financial losses from a head-on collision can be overwhelming. Not only are you likely in severe pain, but you also have to navigate the insurance and healthcare industries. If the other driver was to blame, the at-fault driver’s insurance should ultimately be responsible for your medical expenses, any lost wages, and pain & suffering.
At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., we want to help you pursue just compensation from the person who hurt you. We are prepared to advocate for your rights and handle all the legal work so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation with a North Carolina head-on car accident lawyer.
What Is a Head-on Collision?
A head-on collision occurs when the front of one car strikes the front of another car traveling in the opposite direction. Because the force of impact is magnified in head-on collisions, they are more violent and destructive than other auto accidents, even at low speeds. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that head-on collisions account for a disproportionate share of fatal crashes. Head-on crashes represent just two percent of all crashes nationwide, but they account for 10 percent of all fatal crashes.
Why You Should Hire a Car Accident Attorney
If you are in pain and stuck in the hospital, you are in no shape to pursue a personal injury claim on your own. At the same time, you could be left with expenses in the six or seven figures. You should not be left to worry about paying those medical expenses if someone else is to blame. A car accident attorney can pursue a claim on your behalf, allowing you to focus on your health and recovery.
At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., we can help with your head-on collision case by:
- Investigating the accident to determine who is responsible for your injuries
- Reviewing your medical records and other evidence to document all your injuries and financial losses
- Filing an insurance claim quickly and accurately, thereby improving your chances of recovering the money you need in a timely manner
- Handling correspondence with the insurance companies and negotiating a fair settlement
- Preparing your case for trial if the insurance company will not agree to a reasonable settlement
Does My Immigration Status Affect a Car Accident Claim?
Your immigration status should not affect your head-on car accident claim at all. Everyone in North Carolina must follow traffic regulations, regardless of their immigration status. If another driver hits you head-on, it does not matter whether you have immigration papers, only whether the other driver broke the rules of the road.
If the other driver caused the crash, you have the right to demand compensation for your injuries. Contact Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A. immediately if the other driver or insurance company tries to deny you compensation because of your immigration status.
Common Scenarios Where Head-on Collisions Occur
Some common scenarios that lead to head-on collisions include:
- Drivers traveling on highways without a median– Many highways do not have medians, especially in rural areas. A momentary loss of control can cause a driver to cross into the path of oncoming vehicles.
- Drivers traveling next to grassy medians– A strip of grass between lanes of opposing traffic lanes provides some separation between opposing lanes. But a driver who loses control or falls asleep at the wheel can cross a median and cause a head-on collision.
- Drivers colliding at intersections– Making a left-hand turn brings a vehicle into the path of oncoming traffic. A head-on collision can happen if the turning driver misjudges the speed of an approaching car and turns into its path.
Causes of Head-on Collisions
Most head-on collisions are caused by some sort of negligence, such as:
- Distracted driving– Distracted drivers can cause a head-on collision if they drift out of their lane and wind up in the path of oncoming traffic. Common driver distractions include texting, talking on a cell phone, eating, grooming, adjusting in-vehicle controls, and looking at an accident in another lane.
- Impaired driving– Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs negatively affects drivers’ reflexes, judgment, and energy levels. All of these factors make it more likely that a driver will lose control and cause a head-on crash.
- Drowsy driving– Fatigue can have impairing effects similar to drunk driving and is a common cause of head-on collisions. The National Safety Council reports that going more than 20 hours without sleep is roughly the same as driving while legally intoxicated in terms of impairment to driver judgment and reflexes.
- Speeding/aggressive driving– Drivers who speed have less time to react in an emergency and are more likely to lose control, increasing the likelihood of an accident. Drivers who weave through traffic or engage in other aggressive behavior put those around them at risk.
- Unsafe passing or lane changes– Drivers need to be especially careful when passing on two-lane highways. They risk colliding with other vehicles coming toward them.
- Mechanical defects– Defective parts can cause a head-on collision if they fail and cause a driver to lose control and cross into the path of opposing traffic.
Common Injuries from Head-on Injuries
Head-on collisions are among the most violent types of crashes. They tend to cause more severe injuries. Common injuries from North Carolina head-on collisions include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Neck and back injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Fractures and broken bones
- Severed or crushed limbs
- Severe burns
- Airbag injuries
- Psychological trauma
Who Is at Fault in a Head-on Car Crash in North Carolina?
All drivers in North Carolina are required to obey traffic laws and take reasonable steps to avoid a crash. If a driver fails to drive safely and causes a head-on collision, they may be held financially responsible for any resulting injuries.
In most cases, the driver who left their lane and crossed into the path of oncoming traffic is at fault for a head-on collision. However, other parties – such as the vehicle manufacturer – could share responsibility for a crash. The facts of the case and the skill of the involved attorneys will ultimately determine who is held responsible for a head-on collision.
An experienced head-on collision attorney will build a case by reviewing and gathering evidence such as the following:
- Police reports
- Eyewitness accounts
- Photos and other evidence from the crash scene
- Surveillance footage
- Cellphone records
- Expert testimony
Statute of Limitations on Head-on Car Accident Lawsuits
Under North Carolina law, you have three years from the date of a head-on collision to file a personal injury lawsuit. These cases take time to build, so you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. If you miss the deadline established by the state’s statute of limitations, you could have a hard time getting the compensation you deserve.
What To Do After a Head-on Accident
Here are the critical steps to take, if possible, to protect your rights after a head-on collision:
- Report the accident– Call 911 to alert the police and summon emergency medical assistance. Unless you need immediate treatment at a hospital, you should stay at the scene until the police say you can leave.
- Take pictures– Use your phone to take pictures of your injuries, every vehicle involved in the crash, and the general crash area. These photos can provide valuable context about the crash and its likely cause.
- Talk to the other driver– If your injuries are not too severe and the other driver is responsive, ask them for their name, address, driver’s license number, vehicle registration number, and insurance information.
- Look for eyewitnesses and nearby surveillance cameras– Third-party testimony can make a difference in a personal injury case. Take a moment to look for anyone who might have seen the crash. Traffic and security cameras can also provide evidence to support your claim.
- See a doctor– If an ambulance doesn’t transport you to a hospital from the crash scene, you should see a doctor promptly for an evaluation of your injuries. A doctor will not only diagnose your injuries and improve your health outcomes but also establish a link between your injuries and the head-on crash. Do not delay in seeking treatment or allow there to be a gap in treatment or medical appointments.
- Stay off social media– Anything you post about the crash can be used by the insurance company to undermine your claim. Your safest bet is to say nothing until the case is over.
- Do not speak to any insurance companies– Insurance adjusters will look for anything they can to deny your claim or reduce your payout. If an insurance company contacts you, tell them to speak with your attorney.
- Hire a car accident lawyer– The sooner you speak to a head-on collision attorney, the more time the attorney has to investigate the accident and gather evidence before it deteriorates or is lost. Hiring a lawyer right away can help you recover the money you need more quickly.
Our Experienced Head-on Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
The attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., understand how devastating head-on collisions are and want to help you through this challenging moment in your life. Contact our office today to learn more about how we can help you claim compensation for your injuries.