North Dakota Head-On Collision
There’s no kind of car accident that’s more terrifying than a head-on collision. Someone is coming straight at you, and there’s nothing you can do to avoid it. If you’ve been severely injured in this type of accident, or you’ve suffered the tragic loss of a loved one, those whose negligence caused your suffering must be held accountable.
Sand Law attorneys have an extensive amount of experience doing just that. We know how to help clients get the money they deserve for the excruciating pain they’ve been forced to endure due to the negligence of others. Let us tell you what we can do for you by scheduling a free consultation. You can do so by giving us a call at 701-609-1510 or contacting us online.
The following sections will show you why head-on collisions happen, the injuries that can result from them, how fault is determined, and more.
Driver Behavior that Causes Head-On Collision
There are instances where a head-on collision happens because of something that was beyond anyone’s control. It could have happened due to a blinding snowstorm, or because a driver hit some black ice and drifted into oncoming traffic.
However, in our years of representing car accident victims we’ve found that driver negligence is usually the chief cause of head-on collisions in North Dakota. This negligence can take many forms, as you’ll see in the sections below.
- Impaired driving. Whenever someone chooses to get behind the wheel even though they’re drunk or high, the chances for a disaster rise exponentially. Drunk driving is a common cause of head-on wrecks because the driver’s reflexes and judgment aren’t where they should be. Even a couple of drinks could be enough to lead to impaired driving.
- Distracted driving. If a driver takes their eyes off of the road for even a couple seconds, that could be long enough for them to lose control. They could easily drift into the wrong lane and cause a head-on accident. Seemingly innocent behavior, such as texting or talking on a smartphone or fiddling with the radio, could have tragic consequences.
- Reckless driving. Speeding or passing other cars aggressively is always risky. When it happens on a two-lane highway, there’s a much better than zero chance it’s going to lead to a head-on collision. Passing motorists routinely misjudge the distance it will take to safely return to their lane, or they don’t see other vehicles coming their way.
Severe Injuries as a Result of a Front Impact Crash
Any kind of vehicle accident can lead to devastating injuries, of course, but head-on collision injuries can often be even worse. In far too many instances, head-on wrecks are fatal. But even if they’re not, they can lead to a lifetime of debilitation. These are just a few examples.
- Spinal cord damage. The amount of force that the body goes through during a head-on collision is almost too incredible to fathom. This can result in severe damage to the spinal cord, which can lead to permanent paralysis or even death.
- Damage to internal organs. A head-on wreck can also harm internal organs, such as the heart, liver, stomach and others. While seat belts save lives, they can also do a great deal of damage.
- Broken bones. This kind of wreck can force a driver’s body into the steering wheel or dashboard, resulting in broken arms and legs. If the legs slam into the footboard, that could also result in severe ankle, foot and hip fractures.
- Head injuries. As bad as all of those kinds of injuries are, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may be the worst of all. A TBI can lead to long-term effects and completely rob a victim of their quality of life.
How Liability is Determined for Head-On Collisions Claims
Every driver has what is known as a “duty of care” to watch out for others sharing the road. When someone violates that duty, that is negligence – and negligent drivers will be held accountable. In order to determine liability, however, you’ll need to be able to prove that negligence.
There are a lot of complexities involved in this type of case, of course. One of the biggest is obtaining the evidence it takes to prove that negligence occurred. If you can’t furnish that proof, there’s not only a chance your insurance claim will be denied, but there is also the risk that you’ll be sued by the other driver.
That’s one of the reasons why you’ll need the help of an experienced attorney. A skilled legal representative will be able to investigate the accident scene, finding the evidence necessary to prove a client’s case.
Recovering Damages for Your Accident
The losses you’ve experienced due to your accident, such as lost wages due to time off of work, medical bills and others, are known as “damages.” If you can prove the accident was the other driver’s fault, then you can take legal action in order to obtain compensation for those damages.
There are two main types of damages – economic, also known as “special” damages, and non-economic, or “general” damages.
Economic damages, as you can probably tell, are damages you can put a definitive price tag on. These include lost wages and medical bills, as well as future medical expenses and future lost wages. Economic damages also include doctor visits, surgical costs, potential medical costs in the future, and more.
Non-economic damages aren’t so straightforward. Basically, you can’t put a price tag on them. These include emotional anguish, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and others.
There are other kinds of damages as well. Punitive damages, as the name implies, are meant to punish a defendant so that they no longer act in that type of negligent manner again. It’s rare that an accident victim will receive punitive damages, but they can result in a much higher amount of compensation. If the head-on accident resulted in a death, the family members may be eligible to receive wrongful death damages.
It takes a seasoned attorney to know exactly how to calculate all of your damages – economic, non-economic, punitive and wrongful death – and to determine how much compensation you deserve.
How Fault Influences Car Crash Settlement Amounts
As you’ve already learned, though, you’re going to have to prove the other driver was at-fault in order to obtain compensation for your damages. While you should never admit any blame in any sort of accident, there is a chance you could still receive money even if you were partially at fault.
North Dakota is known as a comparative negligence state. In a nutshell, if you were less than 50% at fault, you will be able to obtain compensation. If you’re more than 50% at fault, you won’t. The amount of compensation will be subtracted by the percentage of fault you’re assigned. If, for example, you’re found to be 40% at fault and you would have received $100,000, that 40% ($40,000) will be subtracted. You’d get $60,000 instead.
How We Can Help You Build Your Head-On Collision Case
Any kind of car wreck can lead to a lot of stress and confusion. When you factor in the severity of the injuries that typically result from a head-on collision, that makes everything that much worse.
Sand Law attorneys can help relieve some of that stress by handling all of the legal aspects of your case so you can focus on recovering physically and emotionally. Call 701-609-1510 or use our online form to schedule a free case review.