Compassionate, Experienced New Orleans Head-On Accident Attorney Here to Guide You
What is a Head-On Collision?
According to the IIHS, head-on collisions accounted for about 12,785 deaths in 2019—57 percent of auto accident fatalities. According to LSU Data Reports, in Orleans Parish in 2021, there were 104 head-on injury crashes and one head-on crash that resulted in one or more fatalities. Across the state of Louisiana in 2021, there were 1,129 head-on injury crashes and 106 head-on crashes that resulted in one or more fatalities. When two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide, this is known as a head-on collision or a frontal crash.
Head-on crashes, particularly those at high speeds, are much more likely to cause catastrophic injuries or death than other types of auto accidents. While there are exceptions, most head-on collisions are caused when one driver is on the wrong side of the road. This could be due to impairment, distraction, or fatigue. Head-on collisions can also be caused by a person becoming confused and accidentally entering a highway from the wrong direction. A driver who is overly fatigued can fall asleep at the wheel, drifting over into oncoming traffic.
In some cases, being extremely tired can be as dangerous or even more dangerous than driving while impaired. While a drunk driver can still attempt to react to a driving situation, a drowsy driver can fall asleep while continuing to drive at a high rate of speed. Other causes of head-on collisions could include a driver swerving into the opposite lane to avoid an animal or debris in the road or even inclement weather like an icy or wet road.
If you have been involved in a head-on collision caused by a negligent driver, speaking to a New Orleans head-on collision accident attorney from New Orleans Legal can make a significant difference in the outcome of your accident. We will help you secure a fair settlement that will pay for all your damages, as well as help you get the medical attention you need.
What Injuries Are Common Following a Head-On Accident?
Of course, your specific injuries will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding your New Orleans head-on collision, including the rate of speed of both vehicles. During a head-on collision, your body continues moving forward, often hitting a part of the interior of your vehicle, as well as the seat belt or airbag. Looking at an airbag may give you the impression it is a big soft pillow protecting you from injury.
While airbags definitely save lives, they can also cause injury when they forcefully hit your body—usually in the chest and abdominal region, but for shorter adults or children, the airbag could strike them in the face with enough force to cause severe injury. Seat belts can also cause fractured collarbones during a serious collision, injure your lungs, or break your ribs. A high-speed, head-on crash can also cause the front of the car to collapse, causing broken bones, limb amputations, internal injuries, spinal cord injuries, and more.
Neck and back injuries are common following a head-on collision, as are head injuries. Even if you are properly seat-belted in and have airbags in your car, the force of a head-on collision can “whip” the neck and body forward then back, leading to severe neck injuries, concussions, torn muscles, tendons, or ligaments, herniated discs, and traumatic brain injuries.
Can You Get Whiplash in a Head-On Accident?
Whiplash can result from any type of car collision, including a head-on collision. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury affecting the muscles, ligaments, and neck tendons, as well as the upper back and shoulders. While whiplash is more common following a rear-end car accident, it can occur in any type of car crash. Whiplash is a painful—but short-lived—medical condition for many, but for others, it can have a much more significant impact on their day-to-day lives.
Whiplash treatment can include physical therapy and other specialized treatments and can lead to chronic pain that may never go away as well as headaches and pain in the shoulders and upper back. When you are in a head-on collision, the impact quickly stops the forward movement of the body, resulting in your head being thrown forward and then snapping back. This forceful impact pushes your neck beyond its usual range of motion, stretching and injuring the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that help the neck hold your head in a stable position.
Who Is at Fault in a Head-On Accident?
In most cases of head-on collisions, the at-fault driver will be the one who crossed the center line, veering into oncoming traffic. In this case, proving fault may be relatively straightforward, but absent any witnesses, the impact of a head-on collision could send both cars in different directions, making it more difficult to know exactly how the crash occurred. Your New Orleans head-on collision accident attorney may choose to retain the services of an engineer or accident reconstructionist who will determine which driver was at fault for the collision.
While fault falls to the party that failed to drive in a safe manner, follow the rules of the road, or use a level of care that a reasonable driver would have, if the at-fault driver denies he or she crossed the center line, it can fall to you to prove fault. The other driver may have been distracted, impaired, overly fatigued, or could have neglected to use good judgment. The most critical piece of evidence when proving fault in a head-on collision may be where your vehicle hit the other vehicle.
Obviously, if one vehicle was traveling in the wrong direction or crossed the center line, they should be held responsible for the accident, but in some cases, there are mitigating factors. The car that collided with you could have been taking evasive actions to avoid causing a more serious accident in front of them—caused by another driver. The car that hit you could also have been struck by another negligent driver, pushing them into your lane of traffic. This could place the liability on the initial driver that caused your head-on collision.
How an Experienced New Orleans Head-On Accident Attorney Can Help
Having a highly-skilled head-on collision accident attorney from New Orleans Legal can make all the difference in your accident outcome. Attorney Peter J. Diiorio is committed to helping you get the help you need and deserve. At New Orleans Legal, we never charge for a consultation, and there is never any obligation. Mr. Diiorio will assess your accident, explain the legal details of the situation clearly, then lay out your options while answering all your questions along the way. Attorney Peter J. Diiorio is committed to always treating clients honestly and fairly, never ignoring phone calls, and always ensuring you are informed regarding the progress of your claim. Contact New Orleans Legal today.