Head-on Car Accident Lawyer in Raleigh, NC

head on car accident

Head-on collisions are one of the most dangerous types of car wreck. The combined force of two vehicles slamming into each other can lead to severe, even fatal, injuries — at even moderate speeds. In most head-on collisions, someone’s bad decision or negligent behavior caused the crash.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a head-on crash that was someone else’s fault, the personal injury lawyers of Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A. can help you demand justice from the at-fault driver and their insurance company. Our attorneys have decades of experience with a wide range of car accident cases, including head-on collisions. We are proud to combine aggressive advocacy with a compassionate, client-centered approach.

Let us help you hold the person who caused your injuries, and their insurance company, responsible for your medical bills and other accident losses. Contact Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., today for a free consultation.

What Is a Head-on Collision?

A head-on collision is one in which two vehicles moving in opposite directions slam into each other, front end to front end. The physics of head-on crashes makes them particularly dangerous. The two vehicles collide with the combined force of their forward momentum. The resulting impact often causes severe or fatal injuries.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that head-on collisions account for less than 3 percent of all traffic accidents in the United States. Yet they represent almost 11 percent of all fatalities. That makes head-on collisions the deadliest form of traffic accident in terms of fatalities per incident.

Why You Should Hire a Car Accident Attorney

After a head-on collision, your immediate priority should be seeking medical treatment for your injuries. People who survive head-on collisions often have extensive injuries such as traumatic brain injuries and broken bones. The cost of treatment can total tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, as can long-term care. Your injuries may keep you out of work for a long time, or leave you unable to work at all. You may suffer psychological trauma that adversely affects your quality of life. You can accumulate overwhelming medical debt.

After a head-on collision, it is in your best interest to have a knowledgeable attorney review the details of your accident as soon as possible. Building a strong case takes time, energy, and legal experience. By letting an experienced lawyer handle your injury claim on your behalf, you can improve your chances of securing compensation for your losses while giving yourself the time and space to heal from your injuries.

Common Scenarios Where Head-on Collisions Occur

Some of the most common scenarios that result in head-on collisions include:

  • Drivers traveling in opposite directions colliding at an intersection – As motorists proceed through a stop sign or traffic light, one driver may disregard a traffic signal and try to turn left in front of the other driver going straight through the light, causing a head-on collision.
  • Drivers traveling in opposite directions on a highway without a median – Many highways, especially those in rural areas, do not have barriers separating opposing lanes of traffic. If a driver drifts across the centerline into an oncoming lane, the vehicle may cause a head-on collision.
  • Drivers crossing a grassy median – Having a grass median is better than a simple painted line between lanes, but it still allows cars that have lost control to cross at high speed and causing a head on collision.

Causes of Head-on Collisions

Negligent actions that can lead to a head-on collision include:

  • Distracted driving – A driver who is distracted from the task of driving risks drifting into oncoming traffic. Common driver distractions include talking on a cellphone, texting while driving, snacking, grooming, fiddling with entertainment systems, and adjusting a navigation device.
  • Impaired driving – Alcohol, illegal drugs, and certain prescription medications can adversely affect a driver’s awareness, judgment, and reflexes. These effects can cause the driver to leave their lane accidentally or misjudge the distance between their car and other vehicles, leading to a crash. Intoxicated drivers are also more likely to be involved in head-on collisions caused by traveling the wrong direction on an highway.
  • Driver fatigue – According to the National Safety Council, going more than 20 hours without sleep is roughly equivalent to driving with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit in North Carolina. Severely fatigued drivers might fall asleep at the wheel and cause a head-on accident.
  • Improper passing – If a driver does not make sure that there is enough room to pass another vehicle safely on a two-lane road, the driver trying to pass risks moving into the path of an oncoming vehicle and colliding head-on. Drivers who try to pass on hills or blind curves are more likely to cause head-on collisions.
  • Speeding – Speeding multiplies both the risk of an accident and the severity of the injuries that result from the accident. If a speeding driver loses control, runs through a red light, or swerves aggressively through traffic, they could cause a head-on collision.

Common Injuries from Head-on Collisions

The injuries that result from a head-on accident can be debilitating. Some common injuries and complications from head-on accidents in Raleigh include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Injuries to internal organs
  • Internal bleeding
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Crushed, or severed limbs
  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Severe burns
  • Psychological trauma
  • Air bag burns

Who Is at Fault in a Head-on Car Crash in North Carolina?

Drivers in North Carolina have a legal duty to obey traffic laws and drive safely so as not to endanger others on the road.

The driver who is at fault for a head-on car crash is typically the one whose carelessness or negligence led to the collision. The driver who left their lane is usually at fault for a head-on collision, for failing to follow traffic laws. However, North Carolina is in a small minority of states in which contributory negligence is still a valid defense.

You will need to prove the other driver acted negligently and caused your injuries to recover compensation after a head-on collision. The types of evidence commonly used to develop head-on collision claims are:

  • Police accident reports
  • Bystander accounts
  • Surveillance footage
  • Crash scene photos
  • Expert testimony
  • Accident reconstruction
  • Medical records
  • Debris left on the road by the colliding cars
  • Skid marks on the road
  • Video from some modern cars equipped with accident avoidance systems

Statute of Limitations on Head-on Car Accident Lawsuits

North Carolina’s statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits allows three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you file a lawsuit after the three-year deadline has elapsed, your case will likely be dismissed as untimely. You will lose your chance to seek compensation through the court system. Do not wait too long to contact a lawyer. Most reputable law firms do not like taking a case with less than one year left on the statute of limitations (more than two years have passed since the wreck).

That’s why it is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after a serious accident to understand whether you have a valid claim. An experienced lawyer at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks will keep track of the filing deadlines that apply to your case to protect your legal rights

What To Do After a Head-on Accident

Here is what you should do if you have been involved in a head-on collision in Raleigh:

  • Call 911 to report the accident. A police accident report documents the basic facts of who was involved in the head-on accident and serves as a valuable tool in a personal injury case.
  • Collect the other driver’s name, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information.
  • Take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and the damage to all involved vehicles. If you cannot take pictures yourself due to your injuries, have someone else take them for you.
  • Seek medical treatment right away. If you were not taken to a hospital by ambulance following the accident, seek a prompt medical evaluation as soon as possible. A doctor’s assessment of your injuries provides medical documentation to use if needed in a personal injury case.
  • Keep all medical records and receipts.
  • Do not post any comments about your accident or injuries on social media while the claim is pending. Insurance companies often monitor social media accounts looking for anything to undercut an injured person’s case. A comment that may seem perfectly innocent to you may be taken out of context.
  • Do not give any statements to the other driver’s insurance company or sign anything presented by the insurer without speaking to a personal injury attorney first.
  • Hire an experienced lawyer to help you pursue just compensation.

Our Experienced Head-on Car Accident Attorneys Can Help

If another driver caused a head-on collision in Raleigh that left you with injuries, the attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A. are ready to fight on your behalf for full compensation for your medical bills and other accident-related losses.

We combine an old-fashioned, client-first sensibility with the latest in case management technology, which has helped us pursue justice on behalf of thousands of satisfied clients. Contact our office today at (919) 661-9000 for a free case review and to learn more about your legal options.