Drivers trust that other commuters obey the rules of the road. When someone negligently disregards the rules and the safety of others, people could get hurt. An experienced attorney could help you hold these negligent parties accountable for their actions. A St. Louis head-on collision lawyer could help you do just that.
How St. Louis Defines Head-on Collision
There is no definition in St. Louis or Missouri law for a head-on collision. A head-on collision is two cars hitting each other head-on, the front of both cars colliding with each other.
Commonalities Surrounding Head on Collisions in St. Louis
There are multiple fact patterns associated with head-on collisions in St. Louis, all of which could result in serious injuries or even death. The first issue is inattention. When one driver is not paying attention because they are talking with somebody in their car, paying attention to the radio, or more commonly, are looking at their phone or texting while driving, people could end up hurt. Whatever the cause of the driver’s distraction is, it sets up a dangerous situation where the driver drifts across the center line and hits somebody coming from the opposite direction in a head-on collision.
Another common fact pattern that results in head-on collisions is when a driver is driving too fast for the weather conditions such as an ice storm or when the road is wet. If a driver is not respecting the conditions of the road and driving too fast for those conditions, they could hydroplane on wet roads or not recognize patches of ice on the road and slide across the center line causing a head-on collision.
Missouri has a great mixture of cities and rural areas. In our more rural counties, we often see head-on collisions in areas that have winding, hilly two-lane roads. One common instance of head-on collisions in rural Missouri is when a driver tries to pass a slower vehicle on a hilly, two-lane road without waiting to see if there is on-coming traffic over the hill. In this instance, the impatient driver may pass the slower vehicle on an uphill incline and before they return to their own side of the road. They are met by a car coming from the opposite direction, resulting in a head-on collision.
Another common fact pattern resulting in head-on collisions happens when people are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Individuals who are driving impaired are likely unable to adequately control their vehicle on a two-lane road. They may be weaving back and forth over the center line and could easily stray into the path of another car. Drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs are almost always at the center of cases where there is the driver enters a highway going the wrong way. These cases usually result in a high-speed, head-on collision that leaves people seriously injured or deceased. No matter the severity, it is always a wise decision to have a St. Louis head-on wreck attorney on your side.
A Victim’s Legal Liability Prior to a Wreck
Head-on collisions certainly may result from a situation where one driver breaks the law. As an example, a driver passes a slower vehicle on a rural two-lane road. By definition, on a two-lane road, when one is passing, they cross the center line into the oncoming traffic lane, pass a slower driver and then get back into their lane. That is completely legal unless posted otherwise. Crossing the center lane to pass a slow-moving vehicle is not usually illegal, but it does not mean an accident cannot happen during the process of passing. The key to safe driving is to be attentive, pay attention and obey traffic laws.
Certainly breaking the law makes a crash more likely, like when an intoxicated or impaired driver drives the wrong way on a highway. The act of driving the wrong way on the highway, which is an illegal act, means a head-on collision is substantially more likely.
Injuries Associated with Head-on Collisions
Head injuries are commonly associated with head-on collisions because when two cars collide, the individuals in each car are thrust violently forward and strike their head on the windshield or the steering column. Head injuries may involve a subdural hematoma which is a bruise on the brain that bleeds, or other forms of traumatic brain injuries. Skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries are common in head-on collisions.
Neck injuries are also very common in head-on collisions because of the violence associated with the impact. Serious neck injuries can happen in low-speed crashes, but when a high-speed crash occurs, injuries to the neck could be much more severe. Injuries might range from the less serious whiplash to broken necks or even severed spinal cords which could result in paralysis.
People involved in head-on collisions may also sustain chest injuries as they are thrown forward and striking their chest against the steering column or an airbag. There could be bruising of the chest, fractures of the sternum, and more serious conditions of internal injuries of the lungs and the heart.
Additionally, crush injuries to the legs may occur in a head-on collision as the car crumples towards the driver upon impact. Legs are the most forward part of their body of drivers and passengers while they are sitting in a car. As the car crushes towards them, it could impact their legs and crush them. This type of injury may result in broken bones, paralysis or amputation. Because of these possible injuries, and even latent injuries, contacting a St. Louis head-on wreck lawyer who could advocate for your compensation in court could be beneficial.
The Importance of Medical Follow-ups after a Head-on Collision
It is most important that a person injured in a head-on collision follow their doctor’s orders so they may do their best to heal from their injuries. An individual should meet with their doctor, formulate a plan, and follow the doctor’s orders. The ultimate goal is healing as much as possible. Sometimes, an individual never recovers from their injuries, sometimes they heal completely.
With respect to a legal case seeking compensation for injuries caused by the negligence of another driver, working with a doctor helps the injured individual avoid having gaps in their medical care. The defense may use gaps in treatment to say that the claimant is not injured as seriously as they claim. An injured individual should go to all their appointments so they may heal appropriately and show that they are continuing their efforts to heal completely.
Connect with an Attorney Today
After sustaining a serious injury in a head-on collision, contacting an attorney could be a good idea. A St. Louis head-on collision lawyer could help you build a case against negligent parties. Reach out today.