Front-end car accidents, sometimes called head-on collisions, are serious wrecks that can leave victims with permanent and life-threatening injuries. Although automobiles are designed to withstand major impact, a bad enough accident can have deadly consequences. These crashes are almost always preventable. When they occur, there’s a good chance that a driver or some other party was negligent.
No one deserves to be injured, or lose a loved one, because someone else was irresponsible. The personal injury lawyers of Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman are here to help you and your family seek the compensation you need after suffering a front-end accident.
How Does A Front-End or Head-On Car Accident Happen?
These wrecks happen when a driver crosses a double yellow line or median and enters the path of an oncoming vehicle. There is usually some underlying cause that involves negligence.
The victim of an automobile accident has the burden of explaining to a court how the head-on collision occurred. So it’s important to understand some of the most common reasons, such as:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drunk driving, also known as driving while intoxicated, is illegal and can cause a driver to veer off course. But driving under the influence of drugs, including prescription medication, may also cause an accident.
- Fatigued driving. Drivers are expected to have sufficient rest before getting behind the wheel. Driving while fatigued has similar effects on a motorist to driving under the influence of alcohol, and can be equally devastating.
- Distracted driving. There are more distractions than ever to safe driving, especially from cell phones. Regardless of the reason, drivers are expected to keep their attention on driving. Anything that takes a driver’s focus off the road may be considered distracted driving.
- Other drivers’ behaviors. There are cases in which a third-party driver engaged in some dangerous behavior that, in turn, caused another motorist to swerve to avoid an accident and thereby drive into oncoming traffic. While these cases can be difficult to prove, these drivers can be held responsible for causing accidents.
- Automobile manufacturer. Not all front-end car accidents are due to driver error. The automobile’s manufacturer may have installed faulty components, such as brakes or steering, that made the vehicle dangerous.
- Car repair shop. Similarly, if the car was serviced by a negligent repair shop, it may have been rendered unsafe. Mechanics can be held liable for failing to do quality work on vehicles and thereby making them unfit for driving.
- Government entity. Some accidents are the responsibility of government agencies who acted irresponsibly. Failure to install a traffic signal or warning sign is a classic example. Note, however, that special rules apply to suing the government, so consult a knowledgeable attorney.
Some accidents are fairly straightforward, with one party that was clearly at fault. In other cases, however, there may be multiple parties who could be liable. Disentangling the causes of the accident and identifying the responsible parties is part of what an experienced personal injury attorney does.
Mississippi Laws About Safe Driving
Generally, Mississippi drivers are required to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner, given the conditions. In other words, they must drive with due care for the safety of others on the road. In some cases, the law specifically mandates a course of action that drivers must follow. As an example, Section 63-3-505 of the Mississippi Code obligates the operator of a motor vehicle to decrease speed when approaching an intersection, a curve, or a hill. A driver must also slow down on a narrow or winding road or when a hazard is presented by traffic or pedestrians.
If a driver is found to have violated a specific statute in causing a front-end car accident, he or she may be held responsible without any additional proof of a lack of due care. This is known as negligence per se.
Holding Other Parties Liable For A Head-On Collision
As mentioned above, other parties besides drivers may be responsible for automobile accidents. The principles of negligence and due care apply to these individuals and companies as well. For instance, the manufacturer of an automobile is required to take reasonable steps to ensure that the vehicles they sell to drivers are safe to operate.
Your accident may require input from an expert witness to explain to a jury who was at fault and why. An expert witness is someone with specialized knowledge who can discuss complex and technical subjects in court. As an example, an expert witness may be able to explain how a mechanical failure in a vehicle’s brake system caused a driver to lose control, cross the centerline, and collide with another vehicle.
Possible Damages In A Front-End Car Accident
Expert witnesses can also explain the nature and extent of the injuries that the victim has suffered in the front-end accident. Examples of damages include:
- Medical bills, including hospitalization, surgery, and follow-up medical appointments
- Prescription drug medication
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Adaptive medical equipment (e.g. wheelchair)
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity, meaning the victim cannot earn what he or she did prior to the accident due to the injury
- Pain and suffering and emotional distress
- Property damage
In the event the accident victim dies from his or her injuries, eligible survivors can also pursue a wrongful death claim. This is similar to a personal injury lawsuit.
Contact Our Southaven & Hernando Front-End or Head-On Car Accident Attorney
We understand the stress and frustration you are likely experiencing after your front-end car accident. Our legal team can help reduce that burden by going to work and fighting for your legal right to compensation. Give Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman a call today to get started.