It can be terrifying to spot another truck or car barreling towards you as you drive. While you may or may not see a frontal collision coming, you’ll undoubtedly feel the crash’s impact. Head-on collision accidents can cause fatalities, extensive injuries, and damage to the vehicles involved. Here’s what you should know about head-on collisions in Atlanta.
What Is a Head-On Collision?
A head-on collision, or a frontal accident, is a crash that happens when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions hit each other’s front side. A frontal collision can also occur when a vehicle collides with stationary objects, such as light poles, trees, or cement barriers.
Why Is a Frontal Accident Dangerous?
While head-on collisions may be rarer than other accidents, they can be more severe than most crashes. The Insurance Information Institute reports that frontal collisions accounted for about 2% of nationwide accidents in 2017, but they were responsible for over 10% of fatal accidents.
Head-on collisions are more dangerous than other crashes because they happen when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide, producing the most significant impact force.
Causes of Frontal Crashes
You may wonder why head-on crashes happen when both drivers should be able to spot each other coming and prevent the collision. However, there are several situations in which, despite their best efforts, a frontal crash is unavoidable. Drivers can get into head-on crashes for these reasons:
- Distracted driving:This factor is the leading cause of frontal collisions in Georgia and across the country. It can happen when at least one driver takes their mind, eyes, or hands off the vehicle. Activities that can distract drivers include eating, adjusting the radio, applying makeup, texting, checking social media, talking on the phone, and reading books.
- Inclement weather:Rain, snow, and fog can reduce a driver’s visibility or impede their capacity to maneuver the vehicle, increasing the risk of frontal crashes.
- Poor passing techniques:Frontal crashes can happen when a driver tries to pass several vehicles at a time, pass on a double yellow centerline, or overestimate the oncoming car’s distance in the passing line.
- Confusion in one-way streets:Drivers can struggle to acclimate when driving in a congested urban area with several one-way streets. They can turn the wrong way and collide with an oncoming vehicle.
- Fatigue:Fatigued drivers can lose focus while driving, drifting into the oncoming lane and colliding with another vehicle.
- Driving under the influence:Drugs and alcohol can impair a driver’s judgment and reduce their reaction time, making them susceptible to frontal collisions. The intoxicated driver can cross double yellow lines or stray into oncoming traffic.
- Speeding:This can cause a frontal crash when one driver exceeds the recommended limits and can’t react on time to avoid colliding with an oncoming vehicle.
Head-On Collision Injuries
The injuries you may suffer from a head-on crash include:
- whiplash injury
- head injuries
- spinal cord injuries
- leg and arm injuries
The injuries’ severity may depend on the vehicles’ speeds, type of vehicles involved, distance from impact, drugs/alcohol involved, airbag deployment, seat belt usage, crash type (steering wheel contact or front-end contact), etc. These injuries can take a toll on your finances via medical bills, loss of future earnings, lost income, and loss of consortium. They may also cause pain and suffering. An attorney can help you determine your injuries and seek compensation.
Determining Fault in a Frontal Crash
Head-on crashes are often the negligent driver’s fault, as most frontal collisions happen when one driver drifts or swerves into another lane, striking an oncoming car. Such an occurrence violates Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-41). The negligent driver may also have been asleep, impaired by drugs, or distracted, making them responsible for the crash and its damages.
If no driver in the frontal crash admits fault, a jury or judge can determine liability. The drivers could split the damages if they both were at fault. The jury or judge can modify the compensation in proportion to one’s percentage of fault as per Georgia’s contributory negligence law. A party loses their ability to recover compensation if their negligence was 50% or more responsible for the frontal collision.
Other parties may also cause the accident via their negligent acts, like a trucking firm that forces drivers to exceed statutory hours-of-service limits and drive beyond exhaustion or a mechanic who gives the client the vehicle without installing a working brake system.
How an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney Can Help
An attorney can help you if you were in a head-on crash in these ways:
- Guide you through the entire legal process, possible outcomes, and recourse.
- Handle your lawsuit’s paperwork.
- Negotiate a favorable settlement with the other driver’s insurance firm.
- Develop your case’s strategy.
- Explain the relevant Georgia regulations and laws.
- Engage the other parties.
- Gather and preserve evidence.
Ahmad Injury Law can help you after a head-on collision in Atlanta. We are a professional, compassionate, and affordable legal firm. Contact us today to get reliable representation.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What’s the Deadline for Claiming Compensation After a Frontal Crash in Georgia?
Section 9-3-33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated states that the statute of limitations for injuries from frontal accidents is two years. There are exceptions — cases involving minors or against the government.
2. What’s the Maximum Limit for Punitive Damages?
Section 51-12-5.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated caps punitive damages at $250,000.
3. What Are the Benefits of Hiring an Accident Attorney?
An accident attorney knows Georgian traffic laws and can have experience handling suits for parties in head-on crashes. Therefore, they can provide excellent representation.