Three Out of Four Head-On Collisions Are Fatal
If another driver’s negligence caused a head-on collision, let our Kentucky auto accident lawyers help
Head-on collisions may occur when an impatient driver enters an oncoming traffic lane to a pass slower-moving car, or when fatigue and drowsiness cause a driver to drift over a highway’s double line. A frequent cause is drivers mistakenly entering highway exit ramps. Although they represent only a small percentage of all fatal accidents, head-on collisions have disproportionately high catastrophic injury and fatality rates.
If you are injured, or a loved one injured or killed in a negligently caused head-on collision, you should seek the best legal counsel you can find. An opponent may try mitigating their negligence by claiming that your own reckless actions contributed to the accident as well. Kentucky car accident attorneys, such as those at Crandall & Pera Law, have the experience to anticipate and counter such defenses. We help clients like you in Lexington, Louisville, and throughout Kentucky.
Why is the fatality rate for head-on collisions higher than for any other type?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the chance of a fatality occurring in a head-on collision is approximately 75%; that is, three times out of four. The cause of this is the physics of car crashes.
A moving car has what is called kinetic energy, an “energy of motion” that is a function of its weight and its speed. As the car’s speed increases, its kinetic energy increases exponentially. If the car were to strike a fixed object, such as a large tree, some of that energy would be absorbed by the tree but most of it would be absorbed by the vehicle. The greater the car’s weight and speed, the greater its kinetic energy, the greater the damage that can be inflicted on the car and its occupants in a collision.
Now consider this: when two vehicles traveling 55 miles per hour each collide head-on, the kinetic energy of the crash is the equivalent of both vehicles striking stationary objects at 110 miles per hour each. Cars are neither designed nor built to withstand that degree of force and can be crushed, ripped open, or disintegrate. The energy of head-on collisions at highway speed usually causes the vehicles’ gas tanks to rupture and explode, and their drivers and passengers to be crushed, torn apart, burned, or ejected.
In the roughly 25 percent of head-on collisions in which there are survivors, drivers and passengers in both vehicles usually suffer severe blunt force trauma such as:
- Multiple fractures
- Brain and spinal injuries
- Lacerations, amputation
- Life-threatening internal injuries.
How can a Kentucky car crash attorney help me?
Although Kentucky is officially a no-fault insurance state, its insurance laws make it relatively easy for drivers to choose traditional tort-based coverage when they buy their policies, or leave the no-fault system in favor of tort-based resolution of claims if their losses are:
- More than $1,000 in medical expenses stemming from the accident, or
- Permanent disfigurement, fracture of a weight-bearing bone; compound, comminuted, compressed, or displaced fracture of any bone; any permanent injury, or any permanent loss of a body function.
In the traditional tort-based case, Kentucky’s pure comparative negligence rules take effect: which of the litigants was negligent and to what degree. Negligence so compared is a “zero sum game” in which the less is established against one litigant, the more is established against the other. Ultimately, the insurance company of the litigant at fault pays, although its payments are reduced in proportion to the other litigant’s contribution to the accident. A car accident lawyer bringing suit on your behalf advocates for mitigation or elimination of your own contribution, if any, based on the evidence.
If you have been injured, or a loved one injured or killed in a car crash, let us help you. Kentucky’s statute of limitations for personal injury in a motor vehicle accident is generally two years. It is important to contact an attorney, as the applicable statute of limitations is dependent upon the particular claim and other circumstances. If a claim is not brought in time you may permanently lose any right to recover compensation for your injury and related financial losses.
Crandall & Pera Law’s Kentucky auto accident attorneys know that most insurance companies extend settlement offers as early as possible, to prevent themselves from the risk of more substantial loss at trial. We make every effort to negotiate with insurers beforehand, but in the interest of making fair settlements for our clients, our cases are prepared with a view toward the possibility of trial. We do not hesitate to argue them before a judge and jury when necessary.
Secure the representation of an experience Kentucky attorney after a car accident
The attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law are familiar with the many problems faced by survivors of fatal motor vehicle collisions. Instead of being able to focus on recovery, the victims are often set upon by insurance claims adjusters and investigators, or must deal directly with hospitals, physicians, and rehabilitation centers. Our auto accident law team is dedicated to protecting the victims’ rights and ensuring that best interests are best served.
When liability is at issue, let one of our attorneys advocate for its being compared accurately, consistent with the facts of the case. Please call us at 877-686-8879 or fill out our contact form as soon as possible, to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a Kentucky car crash attorney. We see clients throughout Kentucky, including Lexington and Louisville.