Perhaps you were fortunate to survive a head-on collision recently here in South Carolina. What was your life like during recovery? What will your life be like in the future? Will you continue to require medical care? Have you been permanently injured? No doubt you’re suffering in various ways physically and mentally.
If you or a loved one have sustained life-changing injuries in a head-on collision you may be entitled to compensation against the responsible driver.
How Do Head-On Collisions Happen?
In South Carolina, traffic collision occurs every 3.7 minutes – an eye-opening number. Unfortunately, a majority of South Carolina head-on collisions end in fatalities.
Sadly, these accidents are usually the direct result of human error. Negligent and distracted driving, mechanical issues, and defects originating directly from the manufacturer are often the top culprits behind many head-on collisions. Sadly, many head-on collisions can be avoided.
The top three reasons behind most South Carolina head-on collisions are:
- Distracted driving: Whether distracted by a smartphone, radio, or even a passenger, drivers who take their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel are putting themselves and others in danger. Distraction on the road takes many forms, unfortunately. But no matter how your head-on collision occurred, you can experience devastating injuries as a result of someone else’s carelessness and disregard.
- Inebriated drivers: Drugs and alcohol play a key role in many head-on collisions. Despite safe alternatives, far too many people still get behind the wheel after drinking or using intoxicating substances. Year after year, stories of head-on collisions caused by drunk driving pop up in the headlines and the news.
- Manufacturer issue: Sometimes there isn’t a driver to blame. The crash may have been due to the manufacturer or maintenance crew responsible for the care and function of a vehicle. Brake failure, for example, could cause a car or truck to cut into an opposing lane and oncoming traffic.
Injuries After A Head-On Collision
When head-on collisions don’t result in death, they may still result in severe and life-altering injuries. From spinal cord injuries that leave victims paralyzed to traumatic brain injuries that alter a person’s personality or ability to process information, these injuries can have devastating effects not only on survivors but also on their families.
#1. Spinal Cord Injuries In Head-On Collisions
One of the most common types of injuries caused by head-on collisions is spinal cord damage. This kind of injury can decrease your mobility or leave you completely paralyzed. Beyond the physical destruction, these injuries may also mean you are unable to work ever again.
The injuries and losses resulting from a head-on collision can lead to financial burdens and extreme stress. Many families struggle with care options and find themselves unable to access the care that they need, all while missing the income or financial support they otherwise would have received from the injured person. Having financial stress on top of a life turned upside down is the last thing anyone wants when trying to recover from injuries.
#2. Traumatic Brain Injuries
When your brain is permanently damaged, it affects your entire body, leading to multiple impairments. Mental issues may arise from brain injuries years after the initial accident occurred. You may experience lifelong headaches, learning or processing impairments, and may find your personality altered, among other side effects.
In many head-on accidents, victims hit their heads either against the windshield, the dashboard, or the steering wheel. Airbags don’t always protect the head as much as they should. Sometimes they fail and don’t deploy properly.
No matter how the accident happened, you’re now possibly facing the prospect of permanent brain damage. What that does to every aspect of your life is incalculable.
#3. Broken Bones And Nerve Damage
Suffering from broken bones and nerve damage is inevitable after a head-on collision. Severely broken bones may debilitate you for the rest of your life.
Nerve damage does much the same thing, including preventing your body from functioning normally. On top of that, severely damaged nerves often lead to ongoing pain you have to live with every day.
What Should You Do First After Your Head-On Collision?
Your health comes first following your accident. Walking away from a head-on collision is highly unlikely but, if you are able, dial 911 and try not to move until help has arrived.
If you find yourself in a hospital or long-term care facility recovering from your injuries, you may find yourself facing questions that are not easily answered. You may be wondering about the ultimate cost of all of the care you will need, the impact of the time you must take away from your employment, how you will ever get back to the life you had before the accident. Finally, you may be wondering what you should do legally.
You may have the right to file a claim against the driver or other individuals that caused your accident.
Now is the time to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you through each legal step. They’ll take you through each process with empathy and compassion while you recover from your injuries. Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay your lawyer until a settlement is reached. Now you can recover from your injuries without the worry of more financial uncertainty.
So, what’s next?
#1. Obtain Evidence
Once you hire a personal injury lawyer, they go to work for you immediately in investigating your head-on collision case. This can include is visiting the accident scene, speaking with witnesses, and collecting photographs, evidence, and other available information.
Sometimes witnesses forget accident details, but video footage helps to determine the negligent driver. Traffic camera footage can help to fill in the gaps or to supplement available video footage, including footage or pictures taken with a smartphone from the scene.
Photographs of your car and the defendant’s car are a good idea as more visual proof.
#2. Gather Your Medical Bills
You will also need to demonstrate the nature and extent of the injuries you’re now facing. Requesting medical records and bills helps to paint a picture of the difficulties you faced as a result of the accident, and can also help tell the story of how the accident will result in significant impairment, both financially and otherwise, as you go through the recovery process.
Medical bills paint a picture of financial jeopardy, including likely future bills for rehabilitation and other treatments. Medical records show all the details of your injuries from the head-on collision, including X-rays, body scans, or any operations that were performed.
Dealing with insurance companies is another hurdle in your head-on collision legal journey.
#3. Negotiate With Insurance
Insurance companies may initially attempt to contact you and make an offer that is less than you feel you will need to cover your injuries. Your financial predicament may tempt you to take the first settlement offered to you. Reviewing the offer with experienced counsel can help you to make a better and more informed decision about what is available to help get you back on your feet.
Many insurance companies may also attempt to ask about your injuries. Remember that insurance companies have a job to do that includes attempting to resolve claims for the lowest possible value. Comments that you are feeling ok, or that pain levels have reduced, or even that you think the injuries were minor, but don’t know yet, can be used to set a value for your claim that doesn’t fully represent the consequences of the accident.
Your attorney has the knowledge and experience to step in on your behalf. While it may take time to go through the negotiation process, it is important to protect your claim and put forth as much information as you can about the long-term effects of the accident and its impact.
#4. The Final Settlement Offer
Many people who suffer injuries from head-on collisions end up getting sizable settlements based directly on proving their medical condition.
How much you receive depends on how compelling your evidence is and how it’s presented.
Punitive Damages For Your Head-On Collision
Depending on the facts and circumstances of After a head-on collision, you may be justified in seeking additional damages based upon the conduct of the responsible parties, and considering how much the accident altered your health and life.
A drunk driving case is a good example of circumstances where punitive damages can exist, as is an accident where the at-fault driver willfully plowed into you for whatever reason. You may also sue a company for lack of maintenance on the car or truck crashing into your vehicle.
Get Legal Help Now!
If a head-on collision just injured you, seek the help of an experienced lawyer immediately. The statute of limitations on personal injuries varies by state, so act quickly. Time is of the essence. Additionally, evidence can all too easily disappear over time. Thus, you need to gather evidence within hours or days if possible.
Don’t try to do it alone Defend your rights and well-being so you can recover the damages that you deserve by calling a car accident lawyer right now.