As of 2018, there were over 11.3 million vehicles registered with the New York DMV. In a state with a population of approximately 19.5 million, that makes for a lot of vehicles driving on New York roads. Inevitably, the more cars that are on the road, the more car accidents.
Even minor motor vehicle accidents are enough to ruin your day and lead to weeks or months of headaches and back-and-forths with the insurance company. In the case of serious accidents, including head-on collisions, there are much more far-reaching effects – especially if the accident was fatal.
After an accident, you need a dedicated, trustworthy, and experienced team on your side. At Cellino Law, our award-winning personal injury attorneys have been fighting for injured New Yorkers for over 60 years, and we want to make a difference for you and your family. Contact us today at 800-555-5555 to schedule your free consultation with our legal team.
What Are Some Causes of Head-On Collisions?
Every motor vehicle accident is unique, and accurately determining fault can be difficult. Nevertheless, figuring out what exactly led to the head-on collision is essential to build a strong case. That’s why we work closely with accident reconstruction experts who are familiar with head-on collisions to get a clear picture of what happened.
As the world continues to become more connected than ever, distracted driving is a growing concern. Something as seemingly simple as reading or responding to a quick message or using the GPS can be disastrous, especially when traveling at high speeds.
No matter the distraction – whether it is manual, visual, or cognitive – any amount of distraction limits a driver’s ability to follow the road and respond appropriately to changes in traffic. Without realizing it, a distracted driver can begin to veer out of his or her lane and into oncoming traffic, leading to a head-on collision.
In New York, driving while impaired (DWI) is a crime, and for good reason. Drugs and alcohol severely limit a person’s coordination, reaction time, and judgment – abilities that are essential for safe driving. Particularly in Long Island, drunk driving fatalities continue to be an issue for all residents and visitors.
When a person behind the wheel is impaired by drugs or alcohol, this increases the chances of a serious accident. Head-on collisions can result if an impaired driver veers into oncoming traffic or engages in risky and reckless behaviors that can cause him or her to lose control of the vehicle.
Fatigued drivers are another hazard on the road, and drowsy driving is an often underestimated factor in many head-on collisions. This comes largely from a common misconception that the only danger is falling asleep at the wheel. In reality, though, the danger of fatigued driving starts long before the driver actually falls asleep.
For example, fatigue (especially chronic fatigue) limits a person’s ability to concentrate. It becomes harder to focus on the road ahead and appropriately respond to any dangers. When the mind starts wandering, it can be easier to start to drift from the lane. In addition, a fatigued driver risks experiencing a microsleep – a few seconds of sleep that he or she may not even realize passed before causing a head-on collision.
In many cases, reckless or negligent driving contributed to the head-on collision. For example, some one-lane highways allow passing on the left as long as there is no solid yellow line. The zones for safe passing are chosen due to safety and visibility, but drivers still need to use caution when deciding to pass other vehicles.
A driver who recklessly passes when it is unsafe to do so places the health and safety of all on the road at risk. The same can be said of someone who is speeding excessively and loses control of the vehicle.
What Are Some Common Head-On Collision Injuries?
Head-on crashes often result in catastrophic injury because the brunt of the impact is on the front of the vehicle where the driver and passenger are seated. These injuries can require months of medical treatment and therapy, or even leave the victim permanently disabled. Your personal injury attorney will fight for you to be compensated for the full impact of your injuries.
After a car accident, the most serious injuries may not be immediately visible. Some common internal injuries seen in head-on collisions include:
- Internal bleeding
- Collapsed lung
- Damaged kidneys, liver, or spleen
It is important to see a doctor and receive medical treatment after any accident, but head-on collisions are especially serious and should not be taken lightly. Seek medical attention even if you may feel fine. Some injuries can be left unnoticed and cause serious problems if untreated.
Neck and spinal cord injuries
Spinal cord and neck injuries can lead to either a complete or partial loss of feeling and control of certain members and functions, depending on the location and severity of the injury.
Spinal injuries can have lifelong effects, including limiting a person’s sexual function and fertility. Others may be left with breathing difficulties or chronic pain.
Head and face injuries
Since the impact comes from the front in head-on collisions, head and face injuries are common.
In particular, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) often leave the victim with lasting physical and psychological damage, including:
- Recurring headaches
- Trouble focusing
- Loss of cognitive function
While offering protection against more serious damage, the airbag itself can cause injuries such as facial fractures and eye injuries.
Some head-on collisions result in permanent scarring or disfigurement, causing emotional and psychological damage to the victim as well. You may be able to recover additional damages for scarring or disfigurement after the crash.
Who is Responsible For Paying After a Head-on Crash in New York?
New York car accidents fall under the state’s “No-Fault” laws, meaning that a claim can be made to your own insurance company, no matter who was at fault. This coverage is called Personal Injury Protection (PIP). In addition to PIP coverage, if the injuries are deemed to be “serious,” the injured victim can start the process of a third-party lawsuit to collect additional compensation from the liable party.
PIP coverage offers up to $50,000 per person for both the driver and any passengers in the car, with an additional $2000 death benefit if someone is killed in the accident.
This compensation can be used towards:
- Reasonable and necessary accident-related medical and rehabilitation expenses
- 80 percent of lost wages up to $2000 monthly for three years after the accident
- Up to $25 a day for replacement services for up to a year after the accident
If a person has suffered serious injuries, additional compensation may be available through a third-party claim or lawsuit. This is when a claim is filed with another party who shares liability for the head-on collision besides the other driver. For instance, perhaps a car part malfunctioned and contributed to the accident, so the car manufacturer is responsible.
When insurance won’t be enough, a third-party claim may be necessary to ensure coverage of your:
- Full amount of medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Full amount of lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Emotional damages, such as pain and suffering
A consultation with Cellino Law’s personal injury attorneys can help you understand the options available depending on the circumstances of your crash.
Call Cellino Law After Your Head-On Collision
There are many laws and regulations in place to help car accident victims recover fair compensation for their losses. Unfortunately, too many who have been injured in a head-on collision are either unaware or misinformed of their rights, leading to them being bullied out of the fair compensation they deserve.
At Cellino Law, we are proud to fight for countless injured New Yorkers, including those who have been hurt in head-on collisions. We will not hesitate to do what it takes to fight for our clients, and we can do the same for you.
Call us today at 800-555-5555. Our team is available 24/7 to offer a free consultation about your legal rights.