Head On Accident Lawyers in Asbury Park, NJ
Anyone’s worst nightmare is driving along the highway at 55 miles per hour or faster at night, rounding a curve, only to see headlights racing toward the car. A head-on collision, though rare, often ends with fatalities and catastrophic injuries. And no matter the speed, the impact of a face-to-face collision causes severe physical and property damage. Neither vehicle drivers nor passengers can likely escape whiplashes, at minimum. At worst, one or more casualties result. But head-on collisions involve more than vehicle-to-vehicle crashes. A driver can steer their car into a tree, building, or other immovable object and tragically die or suffer life-changing injuries.
Our personal injury lawyers represent injured victims and their loved ones after a head-on accident in Wall, Holmdel, Howell, Middletown, Asbury Park, Red Bank, Manasquan, and across Monmouth and Ocean County. You can contact our office by calling (732) 303-7857 or completing the online form. We offer a free consultation to hear your questions and study your compensation options.
Head On Collisions and Their Devastating Consequences in NJ
When the front end of a moving vehicle collides with another moving vehicle or immovable force, like a wall or tree, the damages are high due to the force, especially at high speeds or with heavier vehicles. For example, a truck’s involvement in a head-on collision causes more damage than a smaller, lighter vehicle. Depending on the speed and weight of two vehicles colliding, the energy generated causes more fatalities or permanent injuries, such as amputations or brain injuries.
Top Causes for Head-On Accidents
The High Cost of Distracted Driving
This type of collision may result from reckless or distracted driving: a teenager with a fast car doing donuts in a parking lot hits a light pole, or a texting driver crashes into the center divider on the freeway. Moreover, speeding causes drivers to lose control of their vehicles when turning or swerving to avoid something on the road. And wrong-way driving occurs when someone goes onto the freeway by an exit instead of an entrance ramp or turns onto a one-way street going the wrong way. People get confused navigating new cities or are new drivers unused to the roadways.
Road and Weather Conditions
Other innocent causes may be road hazards, such as rainstorms, hail, fog, ice, or snow, that cause a car to veer into an oncoming lane when the driver loses control. Weather conditions can cause accidents, but so can man-made hazards. A mechanic fixed your transmission but unwittingly cut your brake line, causing a brake failure while on the freeway.
Driving While Impaired Due to Exhaustion or Being Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Driving when sleep deprived or exhausted endangers everyone on the road when a head-on collision occurs from a driver asleep at the wheel, swerving into headlong traffic, or a center divider. And driving impaired can also cause head-on collisions when a drunk or high driver with slower reflexes fails to respond quickly enough to changing road conditions. For example, a drunk driver may brake too late when traffic stops suddenly, swerving into oncoming traffic to avoid the rear-ender. But other causes may be suicide, road rage, improper lane changes, and fleeing the police.
Life-Changing Effects After a Head-On Collision
Regardless of the reason, head-on collisions often end tragically with lost life or serious impairments. When a collision occurs, the forceful impact causes whiplash when vehicle occupants’ heads snap forward and back violently, causing soft tissue injury. Whiplash may result in pain, stiffness, headaches, and restricted neck movement. Muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the back or neck often sprain or tear from violent impacts. Along with cuts and bruises, broken arms, legs, knees, elbows, ankles, teeth, and noses are typical from the crash and bracing for the impact. Psychological damage can also occur, preventing victims from getting behind the wheel.
More severe injuries may occur to the spinal cord, chest, and brain, leading to debilitating conditions that take years or a lifetime of recovery. Depending on the impact’s location, a spinal cord injury can lead to paralysis. Also, chest injuries occur from the steering wheel or seatbelts that may break ribs that puncture the lungs. Other organ damage may also occur. Head-on collision survivors are especially prone to traumatic brain injury (TBI). In fact, the CDC reports that 25% of all TBIs occur from vehicle accidents. Many do not survive a head-on crash.
How to Determine Liability for Head On Crashes
When loved ones lose a family member to a head-on collision, they want to know who is to blame. The fault is assigned to those who caused the accident by failing to drive safely as the laws and duties to the other human beings’ safety require. So, when a driver speeds or drives impaired, sleep-deprived, distracted, or recklessly and causes an accident, they are liable for their negligent vehicle operation.
Even those who mistakenly enter a freeway from an exit ramp are negligent since they must know how to navigate the roads without endangering others. And in the case of mechanical failures that lead to collisions, negligent mechanics or car manufacturers may be responsible for damages to victims.
The Decisive Role of Negligence in Head-on Accidents
A driver’s or other responsible party’s negligence that causes severe injuries and death is the foundation of wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits. Immediate family members who suffer financial and emotional losses due to their deceased loved one, such as a parent, spouse, child, or sibling, may claim damages against the responsible party or parties. They may claim the loss of the deceased’s income, emotional support, parental guidance, medical expense, and funeral costs. In addition, relatives may bring suit on behalf of the deceased for their losses and pain and suffering before they died. For survivors, personal injury claims seek compensatory damages for bodily injury, property damage, and emotional pain and suffering.
Relationship Between the Severity of the Accident and Recoverable Compensation in NJ
However, every accident is different. The compensatory damages in wrongful death or personal injury lawsuits depend on the injuries and other factors. For instance, a wrongful death action evaluates the losses of the deceased during the survival and post-mortem periods. The deceased’s income and role in the family also affect the numbers, whether the victim supported a family with a high-paying career or was a teenager supported by their parents.
For personal injury victims, the severity of the injury matters. A survivor with soft tissue damage that resolves over time will need less compensation than one who suffers permanent injuries and needs long-term or life-long care and assistance. For example, a victim who suffers spinal damage and paralysis may be unable to work. Still, they incur medical and other expenses for treatment, adaptation to their living space, and vehicles to do daily activities. And the degree and length of pain and suffering also contribute to the amount of a compensatory damages award.
Challenges in Proving who Caused a Head On Accident
To receive compensation, however, a victim must first prove the negligence that caused the accident. Unless someone admits fault, that may be challenging. At the accident scene, witnesses may report to the police what occurred or surviving passengers who recall what happened. Otherwise, evidence at the scene may indicate who is at fault by tire skid marks and the direction of traffic for a wrong-way accident. When the fault is not apparent by witnesses or the accident scene, specialists may recreate a scene using forensics and expertise. Accident reconstructionist experts may be necessary to determine fault.
And fault may not be exclusive with one driver in a head-on collision. Sometimes, both parties contribute to an accident, and the fault is apportioned between them. So long as someone is less than 50% at fault, they can recover for their damages proportionate to the other party’s liability. Liability is often a complicated proof issue left to engineering and legal experts. We can coordinate all aspects of a claim and advocate thoroughly for your interests throughout the legal process.
Get Legal Assistance from Howell NJ Head On Accident Lawyers
When you are racked with physical and emotional pain from a head-on collision, you want help from a trusted legal representative who can take care of your case. Our personal injury lawyers investigate claims, collect evidence, hire experts, interview witnesses, obtain medical and financial records, deal with insurance adjustors, negotiate settlements, and meet critical deadlines to file and prosecute lawsuits involving head-on accidents throughout New Jersey. We serve head-on injury victims in Tinton Falls, Eatontown, Manchester, Toms River, Manalapan, and other Ocean and Monmouth County towns.
Contact us at (732) 303-7857 for a free consultation and get help from a personal injury attorney on our team right away.