New York Head-On Collision Lawyers
A car accident is often an overwhelming experience, but those involved in head-on collisions know just how frightening these particular crashes can be. Victims of head-on collisions may sustain serious physical injuries as well as emotional and psychological trauma. If you have been involved in a head-on collision, our team of experienced lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy recognize that this is a difficult time for you. We are here to help you understand next steps, including what you may be entitled to legally.
Block O’Toole & Murphy attained a $22.5 million settlement for a victim of a head-on collision accident – the most ever paid in the Court of Claims in New York State for a personal injury case. Looking for legal representation with results? Call us at 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.
What Is a Head-On Collision?
A head-on collision occurs when two vehicles travelling in opposing directions collide with one another. This may happen when one driver mistakenly travels on the wrong side of the road, but a head-on collision may also result from reckless driving, drunk driving, or faulty brakes. Although head-on collisions are not the most common type of car accident, they can often be the most dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, though they made up a small percentage of crashes, head-on collisions accounted for more than 10% of fatal car accidents in 2019 and more than 4% of injuries. A head-on collision can be extremely damaging to your well-being. It is crucial to seek a qualified head-on collision lawyer to assist you in recovering any damages you may be owed.
What Should I Do After a Head-On Collision?
After a head-on collision occurs, it is important to call 911 for a number of reasons. In addition to seeking immediate medical attention for any injuries, you will want to have an official record of the crash. Law enforcement may interview drivers and witnesses in addition to documenting physical evidence. All of this information is extremely important when assessing damages and determining negligence. Moreover, if damages to you or your vehicle total more than $1,000, you are required by New York State law to file a police report within 10 days.
Once you have reported the accident to the police, promptly get in contact with your insurance agent. Even if you think the other driver is at fault and plan to pursue a claim against them, your insurance company may be able to provide you with benefits to help cover the costs of vehicle repair or medical procedures.
Although some car accidents can be resolved between individuals or their insurance companies, in a major accident such as a head-on collision, having a qualified car accident attorney on your side is paramount.
Who Is at Fault in a Head-On Collision?
Generally speaking, the driver who is negligent is at fault. If a driver was engaging in reckless behaviors or breaking any traffic laws, they could be considered negligent. In the case of a head-on collision, the driver at fault will most likely be whomever was driving on the wrong side of the road. Accident reports from police can often help determine which driver was at fault, which is all the more reason to file a report with law enforcement, as mentioned above.
There are certain head-on collision cases in which neither driver may be at fault. Defective roadways, malfunctioning vehicles, and other factors outside of a driver’s control might cause a head-on collision, rather than a negligent driver. Block O’Toole & Murphy secured a $22,500,000 settlement from New York State for a client involved in a head-on collision. Although the client was on the wrong side of the road, the courts considered the state to be at fault because the road was not properly maintained.
What Are Common Injuries in a Head-On Collision?
Many serious injuries can result from a head-on collision. While some may be temporary, others can have long-lasting effects on your health and well-being.
- Death unfortunately can often result from a head-on collision. If you have lost a loved one in an accident as a result of another party’s negligence, our team of experienced wrongful death lawyers is here to help survivors in the aftermath of life-changing tragedy.
- Spinal cord injuries are among the most serious injuries resulting from a head-on collision. They can cause chronic pain, loss of movement, and even difficulty breathing.
- Damage to internal organs such as a ruptured spleen or a collapsed lung can be life-threatening.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) result from strong impact to the head. Mild symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, and nausea, while more serious symptoms may include loss of consciousness, convulsions, seizures, or even coma.
- Broken bones and fractures can take months to heal and may result in loss of range of movement and other permanent problems.
- Soft tissue injuries can include bruises, strains, or sprains. Whiplash is a common soft tissue injury that often occurs during car accidents. It can cause dizziness, headache, and chronic neck pain.
It is important to note that some symptoms from these injuries may be delayed. Even if you do not immediately notice any health complications, it is important to quickly seek both medical and legal guidance in the event that symptoms do arise.
Causes of Head-On Collisions
Often, head-on collisions are caused by a negligent driver travelling on the wrong side of the road. However, vehicle malfunctions, road defects, and severe weather can also lead to a crash. Below are some common causes of head-on collisions:
- Driving under the influence: If a driver is impaired as a result of drugs or alcohol, they are more likely to make a mistake like driving on the wrong side of the road. They may swerve into another lane, making a head-on collision more likely.
- Speeding or reckless driving: Driving over the speed limit or recklessly leaves more room for mistakes that might lead to a head-on collision. Additionally, the faster a driver is going, the more seriously those involved may be injured.
- Distracted driving: A driver who is using their phone, looking for an item in their car, or otherwise distracted is much more likely to make a mistake, such as swerving into the wrong lane, that would lead to a head-on collision.
- Roadway defects: An improperly maintained road—with potholes, cracks, or bumps—could lead a driver to swerve into the wrong lane, or otherwise commit a traffic violation that could result in a head-on collision.
- Severe weather: Unusual weather conditions such as heavy rain or black ice could make it difficult for a driver to stay in their lane. In this case, the state may be at fault for improperly maintaining the roads during severe weather.
- Vehicle malfunctions: Faulty brakes, engine troubles, and other vehicle malfunctions could cause a driver to end up in the wrong lane. If the malfunction is due to an error on the side of the manufacturer, they could be considered at fault.
Top Results in Head-On Collision Cases
The experienced lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy have won some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the State of New York for personal injury lawsuits, including record-breaking $110 million and $32 million jury verdicts. We fight hard in every case. Our firm also has the resources to invest in pursuing the best possible outcomes that our clients are legally entitled to. This includes hiring experts to help with the case, including accident reconstruction specialists, medical experts, and more.
Select results in head-on collision cases include:
- $22,500,000 settlement for a client involved in a head-on collision accident caused by black ice in Westchester County. The client sustained multiple injuries, including a fracture to his left arm which he is now unable to use.
- $2,250,000 settlement for the victim of a head-on collision in New Castle. After an approaching vehicle swerved onto the wrong side of the road, our client sustained multiple injuries, including a head injury which led to memory loss.
- $1,500,000 settlement for a 70-year-old woman in Queens who was a passenger in a vehicle when the vehicle was hit head on by another car. She experienced significant injuries, including a broken sternum and multiple leg fractures.
To read more about our results for victims of auto accidents, visit our Motor Vehicle Accident Verdicts and Settlements page. Contact our experienced team of personal injury lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy by calling 212-736-5300