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Lakewood Head-on Collision Lawyers

As auto accidents go, head-on collisions are relatively rare, accounting for only two percent of all auto crashes in the United States in 2005. However, such collisions are disproportionately deadly, causing over ten percent of all auto accident fatalities. While these statistics account for two-vehicle crashes, just one vehicle colliding head-on with an object—such as a wall, signpost, tree, or even a stationary vehicle—may be considered a head-on collision as well. A wrong-way collision, in which a vehicle is traveling against the direction of traffic, is almost always a head-on collision. The most violent and deadly automobile crashes, whether in Washington state or anywhere else, tend to be head-on collisions.

If you were injured in a head-on collision that wasn’t your fault, you may be eligible for compensation. Call the Lakewood car accident attorneys of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs today at (253) 588-6696 for a free consultation. We’ll discuss your case and advise you about your legal options for pursuing money to pay for your medical bills and other losses from the crash.

Vehicle Speed and Weight Determine Severity

The speed and the weight of the vehicles or objects involved are the two main factors contributing to the level of damage in a head-on collision. Generally speaking, if the two cars in a crash are the same size and weight, the slower of the two will sustain more damage. Likewise, if the two cars are traveling at the same speed, the lighter of the two will sustain more damage. All head-on crashes are different, though, and there can be many contributing factors. And while one vehicle may fare better than the other, both cars—and their passengers—will almost certainly suffer considerable damage and major injury or death. Regardless of any differences in the size or speed of the vehicles involved, there are no winners in a head-on collision.

Vehicle Safety Features

In recent years, more cars have safety features that can reduce the violence or the likelihood of a head-on crash. Since the late 1990s, frontal airbags have been standard in new passenger vehicles, and many cars are now designed to crumple in front in a crash, creating a cushion that can decrease the severity of front-end impacts. Automated safety features on many newer-model cars can help drivers avoid head-on collisions, including Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane-Keeping Assist (LKA), and Left-Turn Crash Avoidance. Of course, not all vehicles on the road have these features, and they certainly cannot guarantee that a crash won’t happen or that injuries won’t be serious.

The safety belt, present in practically all vehicles today, is critical for minimizing injuries and saving lives. Still, they are not always enough to prevent injury or death in a violent head-on collision. Defective airbags that haven’t been replaced cannot protect you in a crash, and properly functioning seat belts can’t do their job if they are not worn by all occupants of a vehicle.

Causes of Head-on Collisions

While some head-on crashes are caused by factors beyond the driver’s immediate control, like a sudden mechanical failure, an improperly maintained road, or an unexpected obstacle in the roadway, most are caused by some form of driver error. Rain-slick streets, dense fog, and poorly lit roads can contribute to collisions and accidents, but drivers must take driving conditions into account and drive accordingly.

The best way to prevent accidents is simple: slow down. Drivers should proceed no faster than the posted speed limit—slower if they encounter bad weather, heavy traffic, or poor road conditions. Over the last 20 years, excessive speed has been a factor in roughly one-third of all traffic fatalities in the U.S., including head-on crashes.

When it comes to head-on collisions, major driver-induced causes include:

  • Excessive speed
  • Distracted driving (phone use, adjusting the stereo, eating, reading, grooming, etc.)
  • Dangerous or illegal passing
  • Aggressive driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Drowsy driving
  • Illegal turns
  • Disobeying traffic signals

Injuries Commonly Caused by Head-on Collisions

Head-on collision injuries can be horrific. Fatalities are frequent, and those lucky enough to survive often suffer the following:

  • Head and brain injuries, including traumatic brain injury
  • Neck injuries, including whiplash
  • Spinal injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Burns
  • Bone fractures
  • Internal injuries
  • Lacerations and blood loss
  • Abrasions and bruising
  • Emotional trauma

What to Do After a Head-on Collision

If you have been in a head-on collision and are still conscious and able,

  1. Immediately call 911 or have someone do it for you. Securing medical treatment and law enforcement assistance is the top priority.
  2. Collect the other driver’s insurance information.
  3. Contact your insurance company.
  4. Take photos or videos of the scene.
  5. Gather contact information from witnesses.
  6. See a doctor for any injuries.
  7. File a police report.
  8. Document everything with photos and detailed notes.
  9. Contact an experienced car accident attorney.

If you are unable to take these measures yourself, find someone to take them for you as soon after the crash as possible. Be very careful about who you tell about the incident, and do not discuss it on social media or with the other driver’s insurance company.

The Value of Experienced Legal Help

The legal issues surrounding head-on collisions can be complex. If you have been injured, the responsibility could lie in several places: the other driver’s negligence, improperly maintained or lighted roadways, faulty car parts or repairs, insufficient road signage, and more.

Even if you think you may bear some responsibility for the crash, you should seek qualified legal help to advise you. Questions of legal fault in head-on collisions are often complicated, and you may still be entitled to compensation if any other parties are determined to bear any fault for injuries or damages.

Contact the Compassionate, Experienced Lawyers at The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs Today

If you or any of your loved ones have been injured in a collision, your main priority should be to recover from your injuries. A qualified team of experienced lawyers from The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs will be able to take care of the legal issues so you can focus on the healing process. Head-on collision injuries and vehicle damage tend to be extreme, and you may be entitled to compensation. Regardless of any injuries you’ve suffered, dealing with the complicated legal and insurance issues that accompany serious auto accidents isn’t something you should do by yourself.

The legal team at The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs will fight for everything you are entitled to under the law. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Lakewood, Tacoma, Olympia, Puyallup, Chehalis, or Bremerton, contact us at (253) 588-6696 and let us get to work for you today.