Head-on collisions are the most deadly type of crash, claiming thousands of American lives and injuring thousands more each year.
Unfortunately, many head-on collisions occur due to driver negligence. Drunk and distracted driving are two of the most common culprits – often, drunk drivers fall asleep at the wheel, letting their vehicles drift into oncoming traffic. Distracted drivers often miss road markings and warning signs, causing them to enter the wrong lane or drive up a one-way road.
If you or a loved one were injured in a head-on collision in Kansas City, it’s important that you hire an attorney to help you investigate the cause of the crash. If someone else’s negligence caused the crash that led to your injuries, you have the legal right to pursue compensation through their insurance company or a lawsuit.
Langdon & Emison are nationally recognized car accident attorneys who will hold the negligent party liable and get you maximum compensation. Call (866) 931-2115 today.
The Deadliest Type of Accident
Simple physics reveals why frontal collisions are so dangerous: the force of impact doubles between two vehicles that collide while traveling towards each other. That enormous amount of force is exerted mostly on the front of the car, right where the driver sits.
As you can imagine, the human body is no match against several tons of force; under that kind of pressure, our bodies are subject to all sorts of injuries ranging from broken bones to spinal damage to death.
Head-on collisions come with other risks, too. Sometimes, the engine of one or both vehicles can ignite, fueling an electrical fire that can quickly spread to the cabin and surrounding vehicles. Bystanders, pedestrians, and even emergency responders may be injured in a fire started in a head-on collision.
Head-On Collisions in Missouri
Missouri sees a disturbing number of head-on crashes. Recent data from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) shows that of the 20,494 crashes in the state in 2019, 1,241 were head-on collisions.
Eighty-two people died in head-on collisions in the Show-Me State in 2019; nine of those individuals died in frontal collisions in Kansas City. Those might not seem like big numbers, but to the families of victims and the victims themselves, their world was turned upside down in the instant it took to be struck head-on by another driver.
Call a Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer Today
It’s hard to imagine the unbearable pain and financial difficulty that victims of head-on collisions suffer. Often, victims undergo numerous surgeries and other medical procedures that take months or even years to heal.
Langdon & Emison isn’t here to tell clients what to do, forcing them one way or another. Instead, we listen and provide counsel based on the circumstances of their case. We aren’t interested in taking the first settlement we can get, either. We know how much our clients have gone through and we work hard to get them maximum compensation.
We’re compassionate and empathetic in every situation, and we encourage clients to play an active role in their cases. With Langdon & Emison, you’re not relegated to the sidelines; you’re a partner and are treated as such.
If you or a loved one were injured in a head-on crash in Kansas City, don’t let just anyone represent you. Let our experienced auto accident lawyers come to your aid and help you get what you need. Call us to learn more.
What to Do After a Head-On Collision
Move your vehicle to a safer location.
Check yourself and your passenger(s) for injuries.
Call the police.
Gather evidence at the scene.
Unless you need immediate medical attention or are unable to drive, move your car off the roadway to a grassy area or shoulder. A crash area can easily become the site for a pile-up accident.
Of course, if your car is totaled or otherwise undrivable, stay where you are and put on your hazard lights as you wait for help.
The most important thing to do after being in a head-on collision is to ensure that you and your passengers are safe. If you’re seriously injured or feel ill, call for an ambulance immediately. Don’t wait to see if you feel better later; you may have suffered an injury requiring immediate attention.
If your passenger is unconscious or appears injured, call 911.
In Missouri, you don’t have to call the police if your accident resulted in property damage less than $500. But this is very rare for head-on collisions; due to their extremely dangerous nature, victims hardly ever walk away without some kind of injury or extensive property damage.
Even if you don’t feel hurt at the scene, you should notify the police of your accident. Don’t let the other driver convince you not to call the police. If you let them leave the scene before police arrive, you will likely have a very difficult time obtaining compensation later, if at all.
The responding officer will make a report that will prove invaluable in the insurance claims process. Although these reports cannot be used as evidence in court, they help argue a higher settlement with the insurance company.
You can facilitate the claims and legal processes by gathering evidence at the scene of the accident. If you are able and don’t require immediate medical attention, try to obtain the following:
- Photos of the accident scene, including weather conditions, any road or traffic signs, and markings on the road like skid marks.
- Photos of any injuries you and/or your passenger(s) suffered in the accident.
- Photos of any damage to your vehicle or personal property (damaged laptop, etc.).
- Contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the accident.
These pieces of evidence will help your Kansas City car accident lawyer in making an indisputable claim.
Call a lawyer.
After notifying your insurance provider of your accident, it’s in your best interest to hire an attorney. You can bet that the other party’s insurance company will contact you to try and disprove or devalue your claim.
Without an attorney present, the insurance company could try any number of tricks to get you to say or do something that puts you at fault, not their client.
Our Kansas City car accident lawyers are familiar with these tricks and know how to prevent them. We also conduct an investigation for every case and gather valuable evidence to use in court. Unlike the insurance company, we’re on your side no matter what, and we’ll represent your best interests every step of the way.
Don’t waste any time after being in an accident. Call an attorney as soon as possible to protect your legal rights and get started on the road to recovery.
Common Causes of Head-On Collisions
Drunk or Drugged Driving
Drunk driving is more than just reckless. It puts countless lives in danger, including the drunk driver’s.
People with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level above the legal limit experience symptoms of drunkenness in one of the most dangerous locations – on the road. Impaired judgment, slower reflexes, and a depressed central nervous system are at risk of swerving out of their lane, driving onto the wrong road, or spinning out of control and causing a head-on collision.
Distracted driving includes any activity that takes a driver’s attention off of the road. It’s not just texting and driving – turning around to reprimand your child or simply changing the radio can cause a driver to lose precious seconds of concentration.
When diverting your attention from the road, these distractions can cause the vehicle to drift out of the correct lane and into another, causing a frontal-impact crash.
The faster a vehicle travels, the greater its kinetic energy, a type of energy that translates into greater force during a collision. Drivers who speed are putting themselves at risk of causing a head-on collision; they may have bad tires that cause them to spin out, or they may lose control of their vehicle and run off the road into another lane.
No matter where or when the accident occurred that led to your injuries, you are eligible for compensation if another person’s negligence caused the accident. Injured? Call our Kansas City head-on accident lawyers today.
Determining Fault in a Kansas City Head-On Collision
The person or party who caused the accident is considered “at fault.” If you and your attorney can prove that that person or party’s negligent actions caused the accident, you can pursue compensation from their insurance company or through a lawsuit.
But you have to prove that the other driver was negligent. Here are the necessary steps to prove negligence in Missouri:
Duty of Care
The “duty of care” is the level of reasonable carefulness that every driver must extend to others on the road. Drivers meet the duty of care when they follow all the rules of the road: stopping for red lights, giving other drivers enough room, etc.
Your attorney must prove that the other driver was in a position requiring them to meet this standard, i.e. they were actually driving the vehicle at the time of the crash, not someone else.
Breach of Duty
After your attorney establishes that the other party owed you a duty of care, they must prove that that duty was breached, or broken. Simply put, in the case of a car accident, this would mean that the other driver failed to operate their vehicle with reasonable care, putting other drivers in danger.
In a car accident, a breach of duty could be an action, such as texting and driving, or an oversight, such as missing turn signals that have not been repaired.
Next, your lawyer will have to prove that the other driver’s actions directly caused your injuries. You can’t receive compensation for a car accident if your injury took place in a doctor’s office months prior.
You and your attorney must demonstrate that the other driver’s actions caused the accident that then caused your injuries. This is often one of the most difficult parts to prove, but an experienced attorney knows how to achieve this step.
You also can’t receive compensation if you didn’t suffer any kind of loss, such as a physical injury or financial cost. Your attorney must prove that you suffered real, calculable, non-speculative losses that can be compensated.
A knowledgeable Kansas City head-on collision lawyer from Langdon & Emison will work to get you maximum compensation by investigating all potential avenues of damages. Economic, non-economic, and punitive damages are the types that may be available to you, although the exact types depend on the specifics of your case.
Statute of Limitations in Missouri
A “statute of limitations” is essentially a deadline for filing your claim or lawsuit. If you fail to meet the deadline, your case will likely be thrown out and you won’t be able to file a claim.
Fortunately, Missouri has one of the longest statute of limitations in the country. You have five years from the date of your accident to file your claim.
A car accident lawyer at Langdon & Emison will ensure that all deadlines are met so your case can proceed as quickly as possible. If you or a loved one were injured in a head-on collision, don’t delay in seeking help; call our office today at (866) 931-2115.