Head-on collision accidents can often be severe, and they often have more fatalities compared to other types of accidents. If you are injured in a head-on collision, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the person responsible for the accident. However, you must prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the crash. Proving negligence can get complicated, and it is essential to have legal representation during this process.
At Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney, we are dedicated to using our experience and immense knowledge of the Florida personal injury law to help you navigate through the case. We work with clients residing in and around Jacksonville, Florida, to ensure they secure their entitlement when it comes to matters revolving around accident effects.
Overview of Head-on Collision Accidents
A head-on car collision occurs when two vehicles hit each other from the front ends. Most head-on collisions are fatal, and victims are likely to suffer severe injuries. After the accident, it is vital to call the police. Before the parties involved leave the scene of the crash, the police may be able to collect some information on the accident. Sometimes you may be too shaken to realize you have been injured. Even when you don’t understand the injuries yet, it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Also, ensure to collect any information you can get when you get treatment. It is vital to ensure that the records are kept. Any injury you did not have before the accident should be noted. Your medical report will be a crucial piece of evidence during compensation in your injury claim. When you are injured in a head-on collision resulting from the negligence, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
If you suffer injuries in a head-on collision in Florida, you have four years to file a personal injury claim to get compensation for your injuries. After the two years, you will lose the right to file a claim, and the insurance company will not pay you for the damages. However, once you file the claim, the two year period will stop counting regardless of the duration taken for settlement to be made.
Injuries in a Head-on Collision
Head-on collision accidents cause fatal injuries. The damage suffered from a head-on collision will vary from person to person. Also, your age and the severity of the crash will be a significant determinant of the type of injury you suffer. Whether the injuries are minor or severe, you are entitled to compensation. The following are some of the most common Injuries you are likely to suffer in a head-on collision:
Head and Brain Injuries
Head injuries are among the most severe injuries in an accident. When you are in the car, the impact from the other vehicle will cause your head to hit the dashboard, steering wheel, or the sides of the car. The injury to your head can be minor bruises to the scalp, which will require little medical care. When the impact on your head is high, your skull can break, causing you bruising or blood clotting to occur in the brain. Severe head injury is likely to cause brain damage and severe pain. A minor brain injury can be characterized by severe headaches, swelling, bleeding of the head, difficulty concentrating, and ringing in the ears.
When the injury to your brain is severe, you may lose balance and coordination, experience seizures, short term, and long term memory losses. When left untreated, you can have long term disorientation, physical disability change in personality, and severe mental illness. If you have had an impact on your head, it is essential to get checked by a doctor. This is because some injuries to the brain may not be felt immediately but may have adverse effects in the future. With the help of a personal injury attorney, you can recover compensation for brain and head injuries you suffer in the head-on collision accident.
Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
In a severe head-on collision, you can be thrown out of the vehicle and hit the ground. Also, severe shaking of the vehicle can cause injuries to your back. Minor injuries to the back will cause pain and difficulty in carrying out tasks. Severe harm to your back can cause damage to your spinal cord. The spinal cord is a vital part of the body, which controls several furious. A spinal cord injury can be devastating for you and your loved ones. This situation is so because most injuries to your spine will affect your mobility.
A spinal injury can be complete or incomplete. Depending on the severity of the accident, a spinal cord injury will cause loss of sensation to the part below the waist. This injury will affect your bladder, bowel movement, and sexual function. When the injury is high above the waist, you may not be able to move your body below the injury point. In severe cases, your spine is completely severed, and you may be paralyzed from the neck downwards.
The spine is an essential part of the body, and its damage can result in other health complications. In addition to impaired mobility, you may experience blood clots spinal fluid leaks or even death. An injury to this part of the body may cause you to be dependent on others for almost everything. Therefore, you are entitled to compensation from the person responsible for your injuries.
A head-on collision accident will cause sudden movement of your head and neck. There are numerous muscles and ligaments of the neck, and strains and sprains easily damage them. Common symptoms of a neck injury are:
- Neck stiffness
- Pain when turning your head
- Muscle spasms
- Bruising and swelling
Whiplash is one of the most common neck injuries that occur after a head-on collision. Back and forth movement of the neck is what often causes a whiplash. The pain will not be felt immediately after whiplash, and pains begin after some time. It is essential to seek medical care after an accident, even when you are not in pain. Seeking medical care will help identify such injuries and use the record to get compensation.
Cuts and Bruises
Head-on collision accidents are often very severe. Any free object in the car can penetrate your skin and cause injury. Also, most accidents will shatter the glass on car windows, increasing the risk of injury. Cuts can range from minor scraps that will require little or no treatment. However, for serious accidents, the sharp objects can penetrate deep in your body, causing severe injuries and bleeding to your internal organs. Sometimes the cuts will occur on your face, and you may require plastic surgery to fix them. Excess loss of blood is one of the primary causes of death in accidents. If you or your loved one have suffered injuries in a negligent head-on collision, it is vital to seek legal representation.
Bones break from any external force. This could be from hitting the walls of the car or twisting your leg in an accident. A bone can also break when a sharp object penetrates the body. Depending on the bone that is broken, the bone can cut through the skin and cause more damage. Some bone injuries will require a cast to help them heal. Also, severe one breakage can cause amputation of a limb, which will lead to permanent disability. When the rib bones break, they can cause internal injuries to the chest. Broken rib bones can damage the lungs or heart. Some injuries may cause you to spend some time in hospital and incur hefty medical expenses.
Determining Fault in a Head-on Collision Accident
Learning of fault after a head-on collision accident comes down to negligence. Negligence can be from one driver or both. Some of the actions that would display negligence from the drivers include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
- Driving a vehicle that is in bad shape
- Driving while texting
- Over speeding
When a driver acts in negligence and causes a head-on collision accident, they will be held liable for damages resulting from the crash. Whether or not the driver’s conduct was negligent will be determined by the jury in the personal injury claim hearing. Even when you were slightly at fault for the accident that caused your injuries, you can still get compensation for your injuries. To recover compensation benefits after a head-on collision accident, the prosecutor must prove the following elements of negligence:
- The Defendant Owed You a Duty of Care
The duty of care is a standard of care; all drivers are required to have in Florida. The standard of care will require you to ensure that other road users are safe from harm. This is by following all traffic rules and keeping a lookout for pedestrians and other vehicles. You need to prove that the defendant owed you a duty to establish negligence in the accident.
- Breach of the Duty of Care
A violation of the duty of care occurs when the defendant fails to fulfill their duty of care to act reasonably. By showing that the other driver was speeding, not looking out for other vehicles or distracted driving, you can prove the breach of duty. Also, making dangerous and illegal turns can be a breach of duty and a contributor to head-on collision accidents.
- The Breach of the Duty of Care Caused the Accident
When proving negligence, it must be clear that the breach of duty was the cause of your accident. Also, you must show that the accident resulted in substantial injuries. Just because the defendant owed you a duty of care and breached the duty, does not mean they will be held liable for the injuries.
All elements of negligence must be proven to be successful in a personal injury claim and get compensation. Therefore, it is vital to seek the legal representation of a personal injury attorney when filing the claim. Florida is a comparative fault state, and even when you are partly at fault in the head-on collision crash, you can still seek compensation. After an accident, fault can be distributed among various parties. Payment for your injuries will be determined by the percentage of responsibility for each party.
What Damages Available in a Head-on Collision Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If you suffer injuries in a head-on collision, you can file a personal injury claim. The settlement offer of your injury claim may be affected by:
- Circumstances of the case. Your age, employment, and health status before the accident will affect the amount you will receive in compensation. A younger person is more likely to be affected by the injuries since they have their whole life ahead of them. In this case, the younger you are, the more benefits you are likely to receive.
- Liability for the accident. In Florida, compensation is determined by the percentage of fault for each party in the accident.
- The severity of the injuries. The severity of your injury will determine the amount of time and money you spend in seeking treatment. The more severe your injuries are, the higher your compensation benefits.
The benefits you will receive in a head-on collision personal injury claim include:
Compensation for Medical Bills
After a head-on collision accident, it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Most defendants will not easily accept fault for the accident, and compensation does not occur until the case ends. Before the settlement is made, you will have to pay for your medical bills. You must use a medical insurance cover to receive more compensation in the personal injury claim. When another party caused a head-on collision accident, they will be held responsible for any medical expenses you incur.
If you don’t have medical insurance, you can get treated on a lien basis. However, it is not the best option since doctors working on a lie basis will be paid from the settlement amount. This will reduce what you get as compensation for your injuries. Florida law requires hospitals to give you a discount for your bills if you don’t have a medical insurance cover. When getting treatment, it is vital to ensure that any injury and treatment is put on the records.
Your medical reports will be used as evidence to show the amount you spent on your treatments. The insurance provider of the person liable for the accident will compensate you for the medical expenses you incurred. To be sure that all the injuries indicated resulted from the negligent accident, you may be asked to medical records dating five years back. If you had a pre-existing injury that was worsened by accident, you could still get compensated. With the help of a personal injury attorney, you can be able to recover compensation for medical bills.
Loss of Future Earning Capacity
You lose your earning capacity when your ability to earn money in the future is compromised. In a severe head-on collision accident, the injuries are likely to affect your ability to return to work. However, the injuries you suffer do not need to be permanent for you to receive compensation for lost earning capacity. As long as the injury you suffered is severe and is not resolved by the trial date, you will get the benefit for lost future earning capacity.
After a head-on collision accident, you will have two years to claim compensation for lost earning capacity. Payment for these damages will be made to cover:
- Salary and wages
- Overtime pay
- Raises and bonuses
- Income from self-employment
The following are some factors that will affect the amount you will receive as compensation for your inability to earn in the future:
- Report from the Doctor
The doctor who treated you after the accident can report on how the injuries affected your ability to work. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that all treatment and diagnosis records are indicated in the documents.
- Your Employer’s Testimony
An employer can testify on your past work history potential and future promotions and your work performance. With this, it can be apparent the potential you lost from the injuries.
- A Vocational Rehabilitation Expert
The expert can attest to the treatment you will need to undergo for the injuries. The amount of time you spend nursing the injuries will affect your ability to go back to work and earn a living.
Payment for Lost Wages
Lost wages are the amounts in regular pay commissions, overtime, or self-employment income you would earn if you have not been injured. Before you get compensation for the lost wages, you will have to prove what you lost. It can be done by a report from your employer indicating your job position and what you earn. If you cannot get a letter from your employer, you can preset past pay stubs and tax returns. This will show what you used to get at that time in previous years. If your income comes from self-employment, you can show what you would have earned by producing tax returns for prior years. This will indicate what you could be making at the time you were injured.
Compensation for Non-economic Damages
Non-economic damages are aimed at compensation for pain and suffering, shock, and loss of enjoyment for life. There is no particular way used by the jury to calculate pain and suffering. However, you need to prove that the accident caused you substantial pain. Physical injury is not required to claim compensation for pain and suffering. Some accidents may not cause you injuries but can cause shock anxiety and emotional scarring. Moreover, having evidence of physical injuries will increase your chances of receiving the non-economic benefits. If you are seeking compensation for your injuries in a personal injury claim, it is crucial to have legal representation.
Death in a Head-on Collision Car Accident
Head-on collisions are among the fatal accidents. If your loved one is killed in a negligent head-on collision accident, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. Since the diseased will not be around to seek compensation in a personal injury claim, you are entitled to receive damages for the wrongful death. A wrongful death claim is a civil case brought by surviving relatives of a person who dies from a negligent accident. Surviving members of the deceased’s family who can be allowed to file a wrongful death claim include:
- Domestic partners and spouses
- Children and grandchildren of the deceased
- Individuals who are entitled to the property of the deceased
Anybody who is held responsible for the head-on collision can be sued for wrongful death in Florida. Proving liability in wrongful death can be complicated since the victim is not around to testify. However, with the help of a competent personal injury attorney, you can increase your chances of success in the case. There is no specific value that can be put on human life. However, compensation for a wrongful death will be made depending on the age of the deceased and their health status before the head-on collision accident. A successful wrongful death claim will see you get compensation for:
- Burial expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Lost earnings for the deceased
- Loss of support, companionship, and affection
Find a Competent Personal Injury Attorney near Me
If you are a victim of a negligent head-on collision car accident, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. Also, if your loved one died from the crash, you can seek compensation for wrongful death. Compensation in a personal injury claim will depend on the percentage of fault in the accident. The severity of your injuries will also determine the amount you receive as compensation in the lawsuit. With the help of a personal injury attorney from Jacksonville personal injury attorney, you can succeed in your claim and receive compensation for your injuries. If you are in Jacksonville, FL, contact us today on 904-800-7557 to discuss more details of your claim.