Los Angeles Head-On Collision Attorney
Head-on collisions often occur in the Los Angeles area when a motorist is traveling the wrong way down a neighborhood road or highway. While head-on collisions can happen almost anywhere in the Los Angeles area, including at low speeds in parking lots or local roads, many of these kinds of accidents occur at high speeds on freeways, such as on the 405 or the 5. These kinds of crashes can be extremely dangerous, often resulting in life-threatening and fatal injuries. Whether you have been injured in a head-on collision yourself or lost a loved one in a devastating wrong-way accident, an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney at our firm can help you to seek the financial compensation you need and deserve.
Understanding Head-On Collisions in Los Angeles
Head-on collisions are relatively rare in Southern California and throughout the country in comparison with other types of crashes. Yet head-on collisions tend to have an outsized impact on the rate of deadly motor vehicle crashes. Indeed, the Insurance Information Institute estimates that only about 2 percent of all accidents reported each year are head-on collisions, but these types of crashes account for more than 10 percent of all identified road fatalities.
Many head-on collisions result from drivers going the wrong way. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “fatal wrong-way driving crashes . . . are a persistent and devastating threat that is only getting worse.” To be sure, more than 2,000 fatalities occur each year as a result of wrong-way collisions, and that number is on the rise. According to Dr. David Yang, who serves as the executive director of AAA, “wrong-way crashes on divided highways are often fatal as they are typically head-on collisions.”
How Head-On Collisions Happen in Los Angeles, California
Head-on collisions can happen in a variety of ways in the Los Angeles area and for many different reasons. Most often, according to AAA, the motorist who causes a head-on collision is intoxicated, distracted, or too drowsy to be driving. The following are examples of situations in which a head-on collision may occur:
- Drunk or drugged driver crosses over the median or the double-yellow lines on a divided highway and crashes head-on into oncoming traffic;
- Distracted driver, perhaps as a result of looking down to read an email, crosses over the median or the double-yellow lines on a divided highway and crashes head-on into oncoming traffic;
- Intoxicated driver uses the off-ramp as an on-ramp to a freeway, colliding into oncoming traffic;
- Drowsy driver falls asleep at the wheel and drifts into oncoming traffic, causing a head-on accident; or
- Motorist intentionally drives the wrong way down a parking lot vehicle path or a neighborhood street in an attempt to get to a destination or parking spot more quickly and collide head-on with another vehicle.
Head-On Collisions Cause Serious Injuries
Any crash at a high speed will cause devastating injuries, including:
- Facial injuries. A person can suffer disfiguring facial injuries in a crash, especially when an airbag fails to deploy. These injuries often require reconstructive surgery.
- Traumatic brain injuries. A person suffering from a TBI can experience loss of balance or coordination, memory loss, depression, mood swings, and difficulty speaking. Serious TBIs often leave a person in a vegetative state.
- Chest injuries. Any fractured ribs increase the odds of pneumonia and other complications. A seat belt can lead to compression in the chest and a heart contusion or lung damage. Chest injuries are frequently fatal.
- Amputations. A victim can lose a limb due to the forces generated in a high-speed crash. They might lose a hand, arm, or leg. Some accidents cause crush injuries, which require amputation to prevent toxic death caused by the breakdown of injured skeletal muscles.
- Spinal column injuries. A victim can fracture vertebrae or damage discs, leading to disabling back pain. Some spinal injuries continue to degenerate. For example, spinal stenosis involves a narrowing of the spaces in the spinal column, causing pain.
- Spinal cord injuries. The cord transmits signals from the brain to the body and is therefore central to normal everyday activities. Any injury can lead to paralysis or reduced sensation. Some spinal cord injuries are permanent.
Even a low-speed head-on collision can cause broken bones, pinched nerves, and shoulder or neck injuries. Our clients struggle for months with crippling pain and the inability to return to work so they can earn a living.
Always go to the hospital following a collision so that a doctor can fully assess your injuries, and remember to follow all advice.
Statute of Limitations for a Head-On Collision in Los Angeles
The statute of limitations in California for most head-on collisions is two years. However, the point at which the clock begins ticking will depend upon whether you are filing a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for injuries you sustained or a wrongful death lawsuit.
In a personal injury lawsuit arising out of a head-on collision, the clock will start to tick on the date of the head-on crash. From that point, the injured person has two years to file a lawsuit against any liable party. After that two-year time window is up, the case will be time-barred by California law. Differently, in a wrongful death lawsuit arising out of a head-on collision, the clock will start to tick on the date of the decedent’s death. This is an important distinction because a person might initially survive a head-on crash, even if they are on life support, for a number of days, weeks, or even longer. The two-year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit will not begin on the date of the accident, but rather the date of death, which may be significantly longer than the date of the collision.
Receiving Fair Compensation for a Head-On Collision
As mentioned above, these accidents often cause devastating injuries when they occur at high speeds. Some of our clients will need lifelong medical care, such as an at-home health aide or multiple surgeries. Others will need to move into a skilled nursing facility so they can receive around-the-clock care. Medical costs to treat these injuries are considerable.
When accidents cause serious injuries, obtaining fair compensation is often a challenge. Some insurance companies aggressively scrutinize any claim which contains large medical bills. The insurer might argue that you did not need so much care, or that your injuries are exaggerated.
Insurers also try to minimize the pain and suffering our clients experience. Catastrophic injuries such as paralysis or brain injuries dramatically reduce a person’s life quality and can impair familial relationships. The same is true of amputation, scarring, or disability. Fortunately, experienced Los Angeles head-on collision attorneys at Fisher & Talwar understand how to build up a case for compensation with quality evidence.
To bolster a case, we encourage victims to keep all medical records and bills, including receipts for prescription drugs or assistive devices. We can also interview you and your family to establish the full scope of emotional distress the family is experiencing as a result of the crash.
Contact Our Experienced Los Angeles Head-On Collision Attorneys
If you or someone you love recently sustained serious injuries in a head-on collision, it is critical to seek advice from one of our Los Angeles head-on collision lawyers as soon as possible. Whether you are planning to file a personal injury claim on your own behalf or you need help with a wrongful death lawsuit after losing someone in a wrong-way crash, our firm can help. We know how devastating head-on collisions can be, and we will do everything we can to help you achieve the financial compensation you need and deserve. Contact Fisher & Talwar today for more information.