Liability for a Head-On Collision in Lafayette, Louisiana

Woman putting her hand to her forward in a car.

A head-on collision is a rare and highly dangerous type of car accident. There is a high likelihood of severe or even fatal injuries, especially when the vehicles are traveling at high speed.

Drivers who are found liable for these collisions are financially responsible for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.

Below, Galloway Jefcoat’s Lafayette-based car accident lawyers discuss what makes someone liable in a head-on collision, the role that traffic laws and regulations play in determining liability and the cause of head-on collisions.

Call today to discuss your potential case: 337-984-8020

Why do Head-On Collisions Occur?

Head-on collisions occur when a driver goes the wrong way. This results in the front ends of two vehicles crashing into each other.

Drivers often go the wrong way because they are:

  • Distracted
  • Have vision problems
  • Under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Behaving recklessly

Wrong-way collisions may also be caused by poor road conditions or mechanical failures. However, even if there were poor road conditions or mechanical issues, the driver may still be to blame for the collision.

What Types of Injuries Are Caused by Head-On Collisions?

When head-on collisions happen at high speed, there is a greater likelihood of severe or life-threatening injuries. However, even at slower speeds, these collisions can be dangerous.

These are some examples of injuries from a head-on collision:

Neck Injuries

Your neck could be vulnerable as your body jerks forward during a head-on collision. Here are some of the types of neck injuries that are common in a head-on crash:

Spinal Cord Injuries

You could get hit in the back during the crash, causing severe damage to your spinal cord. Your spinal cord could get fractured, stretched, twisted or compressed.

A spinal fracture can lead to paralysis and various other symptoms, such as:

  • Spasms
  • Loss of coordination
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Stinging pain because nerve fibers in your spine were damaged
  • Severe pain or pressure in your neck or back

Broken Bones

When an airbag deploys and stops your forward momentum, you could suffer a broken nose, jaw or cheekbone. Broken bones could also occur if the dashboard or steering wheel strikes your face, collarbone or chest. Sometimes legs get pinned under the dashboard, resulting in fractures or dislocations.

Brain Injuries

Many head-on collisions result in vehicle occupants getting hit in the head, which can cause a brain injury. However, brain injuries may also result from your head getting whipped forward during the crash.

Crash victims should look out for these common symptoms of a brain injury:

  • Memory loss
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Loss of balance
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Numbness in fingers or toes
  • Speech impediments
  • Seizures

Chest Injuries

Head-on collisions could compact the front of your vehicle, causing the dashboard and steering wheel to hit you in the chest or abdomen. This could lead to severe chest injuries with the following types of symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Bruises on chest
  • Coughing up blood
  • Swelling
  • Crunching or crackling in the ribs

Psychological Injuries

Head-on collisions can be psychologically traumatizing, and some victims may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These are common signs that you may have PTSD after an accident:

  • Mood swings
  • Aggressive outburst
  • Severe anxiety
  • Socially isolated
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
  • Nightmares related to car accident
  • Feeling guilty
  • Intrusive thoughts and memories

Liability for a Head-On Collision in Lafayette

Liability for a head-on collision boils down to negligence, which is a failure to uphold a duty of care owed to another. For example, drivers have a duty of care to drive in the right direction and not into oncoming traffic.

These are the parties that could be found at fault for head-on collisions in Lafayette:

Reckless Drivers

Drivers who ignore or do not see road signs because they are distracted or have impaired vision can be found at fault for head-on collisions. Drivers have a duty to follow traffic laws to reduce the risk of a crash, such as one-way traffic signs. These drivers can be ticketed for their negligent actions and found liable for damages from the collision.

Government Entities and Construction Crews

Government entities may be held liable for designing roads in such a way that there is an unreasonable risk of drivers going the wrong way.

Construction companies could be held liable for failing to put up signs instructing drivers how to get through road construction. Sometimes these signs are confusing or difficult to see.

Vehicle Manufacturers

Vehicle malfunctions could cause a driver to lose control and enter incoming traffic. Issues like brake failure or steering wheel problems could result in a head-on crash. Vehicle manufacturers could be held liable for crashes caused by these malfunctions. However, drivers may be liable if they were notified of a recall repair, and they failed to get their vehicle fixed.

What Types of Evidence Can be Used to Prove Fault For a Head-On Collision?

Crash victims can recover compensation if they prove someone else is at fault for their damages. This requires detailed evidence, such as pictures of both vehicles, the crash scene, crash debris, skid marks, and more. Video footage can also be invaluable, but video footage of a crash often does not exist.

Both drivers’ accounts of the crash are also important. Insurance companies will latch onto inconsistencies in your statements to try to attack your credibility.

If there are witnesses, their statements can carry a lot of weight, especially when they back up what either driver said about what happened.

Call Galloway Jefcoat’s Experienced Attorneys for Legal Assistance

Postponing contact with an attorney could result in you having to figure everything out alone. When you work with a knowledgeable attorney, you take out the guesswork of negotiating with insurance companies and figuring out your settlement amount.

Galloway Jefcoat has secured millions in compensation for our car accident clients. We negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf at no upfront cost.

Call our office to schedule a FREE case review. 337-984-8020.