Head-on collisions are among the most devastating and dangerous types of car accidents that occur on the roads of Houston. These accidents happen when the front ends of two vehicles collide, often resulting in severe injuries or even fatalities.
As a bustling metropolitan city with busy highways and intersections, Houston witnesses its fair share of head-on collisions. We hope the following information will empower you to protect your rights and make informed decisions if you ever find yourself involved in a head-on collision on the roads of Houston. For specific advice and assistance determining your next steps after suffering an injury in a head-on accident in Houston, contact an experienced car accident lawyer right away.
The Houston car accident attorneys at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Lawyers are here to offer a no-cost evaluation of your claim and advise you on your rights and options to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Why Choose Stewart J. Guss, Injury Lawyers to Handle Your Houston Head-On Car Accident Claim
The Houston car accident lawyers at Stewart J. Guss have extensive experience handling all types of personal injury claims, including those arising from head-on car accidents. We provide personalized representation, and our car accident lawyers will prioritize your needs and well-being. This client-centered approach ensures that we keep your interests at the forefront as we help you navigate the complex legal process, and we will do all we can to increase your chances of getting the fair compensation you deserve.
A Houston auto accident attorney from our law firm will fight hard on your behalf and negotiate aggressively to help you get the maximum financial recovery possible to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other expenses and losses resulting from the actions of a negligent driver. If the other driver's insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, we can take your case to court to help you recover damages.
To receive a free case evaluation from an experienced auto accident attorney who has your best interests at heart, contact Stewart J. Guss, Injury Lawyers today at (281) 816-3439 to learn how we can help you with your Houston head-on collision car accident case.
What You Need to Know About Head-On Collisions
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that head-on collisions account for around 54 percent of car-accident-related deaths, on average. These accidents are responsible for more driver deaths than any other kind of car crash. The amplified force associated with these accidents makes them extremely dangerous. While the impact of a head-on accident may effectively stop the two vehicles’ forward motion, the vehicles’ occupants may continue traveling onward into airbags, steering wheels, dashboards, or windshields—and they often sustain significant injuries in the process.
In addition, because the vehicles’ front ends rarely collide exactly head-on, the impact may send one or both of the cars spinning or flipping, which can exacerbate occupants’ injuries, create an even more dangerous situation on the road (including additional impacts with other vehicles), and cause one or both vehicles’ airbags to fail to protect the car’s occupants appropriately, if side airbags do not deploy.
Furthermore, the intense force of head-on collisions can cause glass, plastic, and metal pieces within the vehicles to become deadly flying weapons as the accident plays out. It’s difficult to overstate the deadly nature of these accidents.
Causes of Head-On Collisions
In a head-on collision, two vehicles traveling in opposite directions crash into each other, and while these accidents often occur at high speeds, they can take place virtually anywhere and at any speed. Because the two vehicles throw their separate weights directly into each other, the force of the impact can double. Usually, both vehicles are seriously damaged, and every occupant of both vehicles faces a significant risk of serious injuries. The causes of these accidents are varied, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data reveals several variables that frequently contribute to head-on collisions:
Distracted driving is a leading cause of head-on collisions in Houston and across the country. Activities such as texting, talking on the phone, using navigation systems, eating, or grooming divert the driver's attention from the road. Even a momentary lapse in attention can lead to unintended lane departures or the driver veering into oncoming traffic, resulting in a dangerous head-on collision.
Impaired Driving (Alcohol or Drugs)
Impaired driving, whether due to alcohol or drug use, significantly increases the risk of a head-on collision. Alcohol and drugs impair judgment, reaction time, and coordination, making it difficult for drivers to stay within their lane and avoid oncoming traffic. These drivers may exhibit erratic behavior, such as swerving or driving at high speeds, which can result in catastrophic head-on collisions.
Fatigue and Drowsy Driving
Fatigue and drowsy driving in Houston contribute to head-on collisions, particularly on long, monotonous highways. Sleep deprivation affects a driver's ability to focus, react quickly, and make sound judgments. When a fatigued driver dozes off or loses control of their vehicle due to drowsiness, the consequences can be devastating, especially if it leads to a head-on collision.
Reckless Driving and Speeding
Reckless driving behaviors, such as aggressive overtaking or tailgating, significantly increase the risk of a head-on collision. Speeding, in particular, reduces the driver's ability to control the vehicle, especially when attempting to navigate curves or unexpected obstacles. High speeds make it difficult for a driver to react in time and avoid colliding with oncoming traffic, resulting in severe head-on crashes.
Failure to Yield or Maintain Proper Lane
Failure to yield the right-of-way or maintain the proper lane is another common cause of head-on collisions in Houston. This can occur when a driver attempts to make an illegal or unsafe maneuver, such as making a left turn without yielding at an intersection or overtaking another vehicle in a no-passing zone. These actions can lead to the driver crossing into the opposing lane, increasing the risk of a head-on collision.
Common Injuries in Head-On Collisions
Because cars now come with advanced safety mechanisms—including standard airbags and crumple zones in the hood, which help absorb the immense energy of head-on impacts—these accidents are no longer as likely to cause serious head and facial injuries (though such injuries remain obvious threats).
While head-on collisions can lead to any number of injuries, several serious injuries are most closely associated with them:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: Head-on collisions can cause traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) due to the impact of the collision or the violent jolting of the head. TBIs range from mild concussions to severe brain damage. Symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, and sensory sensitivity. Prompt medical attention is crucial to diagnose and treat TBIs effectively.
- Torso injuries: Injuries to the torso are common in head-on collisions. Such injuries can include fractured ribs, which can lead to intestine, liver, lung, or spleen damage. Such internal injuries can go undetected and thus undiagnosed, allowing them to progress into more serious health issues before treatment.
- Lower leg and femur injuries: Even when passengers belt themselves in and when airbags engage properly, the intense impact of a head-on collision can hurl the front passengers into the instrument panel and the knee bolsters, which can cause serious injuries to the lower extremities.
- Secondary injuries: The impact of a head-on collision is so intense and dangerous that it can lead to serious overarching health consequences that often include secondary injuries. Such injuries evolve out of the original injuries and can include infections. Front-end accidents are so powerful that—even if you don’t think you were seriously injured—seek immediate medical attention.
- Whiplash and Neck Injuries: Whiplash is a common injury in head-on collisions, particularly when the vehicle decelerates. The forceful back-and-forth motion of the head and neck can cause damage to the soft tissues, resulting in neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and reduced range of motion. Severe cases may lead to chronic pain and long-term complications.
It's important to note that symptoms of some injuries may not become immediately apparent after a head-on collision. Therefore, seeking prompt medical attention and undergoing a thorough examination is essential, even if you believe you have not sustained any visible injuries. Proper medical documentation is crucial for establishing a link between the accident and your injuries, which can be vital for any insurance claims or legal actions you may pursue.
Steps to Take After a Head-on Collision in Houston
If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road or a safe area to avoid further collisions. Activate your hazard lights to alert other drivers to the emergency.
Check for Injuries
Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 for emergency medical assistance immediately.
Exchange names, contact information, insurance details, and vehicle registration information with the other driver(s) involved. If there are witnesses, collect their names and contact information.
Document the Scene
Photos: Use your smartphone or camera to take pictures of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, license plates, and any relevant road signs or signals. Document details such as the time of day, weather conditions, and any relevant information about the road or traffic.
Do Not Admit Fault
Refrain from admitting fault or making statements that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt. Allow the insurance companies and authorities to determine fault based on the evidence.
Contact Law Enforcement
Call the police and provide them with accurate information about the accident. Obtain the officers' names and badge numbers.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if injuries seem minor, it's advisable to seek medical attention. Injuries may not be immediately apparent, and a medical examination can help identify and document them.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Report the accident to your own insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with accurate and detailed information about the incident.
Keep a record of all documents related to the accident, including police reports, medical records, and communication with insurance companies.
Consult an Attorney
Consult a personal injury attorney, especially if there are disputes regarding fault, injuries, or insurance claims. A Houston car accident attorney from Stewart J. Guss can explain the appropriate legal and procedural steps you need to take after a head-on collision and serve as an invaluable legal advocate in helping you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive from a Houston Head-On Car Accident Claim?
If you've been involved in a head-on car accident in Houston, Texas, and you are seeking compensation, you may be eligible for various types of compensation, depending on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of your injuries. Compensation typically falls into two main categories: economic and non-economic damages. Here are some types of compensation you may be entitled to:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation for all medical costs related to the accident, including hospitalization, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and future medical expenses.
- Lost Wages: Compensation for income lost due to time away from work during your recovery. This may also include compensation for diminished earning capacity if your ability to work is permanently affected.
- Property Damage: Reimbursement for the repair or replacement of your vehicle and any personal property damaged in the accident.
- Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages intended to compensate for physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish resulting from the accident.
- Disfigurement and Scarring: Compensation for any permanent disfigurement or scarring resulting from the accident.
- Loss of Consortium: Damages awarded to a spouse for the loss of companionship, affection, and intimacy due to the injured party's injuries.
- Wrongful Death Damages: If the head-on collision resulted in the death of a loved one, certain surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and the emotional impact of the loss by filing a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, the court may award punitive damages if the at-fault party's actions were particularly egregious or involved gross negligence.
- Legal Expenses: Compensation for attorney's fees and court costs incurred in pursuing the claim.
To navigate the complexities of a car accident claim, you need to work with an experienced personal injury attorney in Houston. A Houston auto accident attorney from our law firm can help assess the value of your claim, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for your rights in court if necessary.
Can I Recover Compensation If I Was Partially At Fault for the Head On Collision in Houston?
Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which means you may still be able to recover compensation for a head-on collision even if you were partially at fault. However, there are some important considerations:
- If your share of fault is 51% or more, you may not be eligible to recover damages. If you are found less than 51% at fault, you can still seek compensation, but it will be reduced proportionally.
- Your compensation will be determined based on the proportion of fault assigned to each party involved in the accident. For example, if you are found 20% at fault and the other driver is found 80% at fault, your compensation will be reduced by 20%.
- Insurance companies typically assess fault when determining compensation. If you are found partially at fault, your settlement amount may be adjusted accordingly.
- Collect and preserve evidence that can support your case and potentially mitigate the level of fault assigned to you. This may include witness statements, photographs, accident reports, and any other relevant documentation.
It's crucial to have legal representation, especially in cases involving shared fault. An experienced personal injury attorney can help protect your rights, negotiate with insurance companies, and present a strong case to minimize the impact of any assigned fault on your compensation.
Consult a knowledgeable car accident lawyer from Stewart J. Guss, Injury Lawyers if you believe you were partially at fault in a Houston head-on collision. We can assess the specific details of your case, navigate the legal complexities, and advocate on your behalf to maximize the compensation you may be entitled to receive.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Houston Car Accident Lawyer?
The Houston car accident attorneys at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means we charge nothing upfront to represent you, and we only accept a fee if we recover compensation for you through an insurance settlement or court award.
This arrangement allows you to obtain qualified legal representation without having to worry about how to pay for it. Since we also offer free consultations, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving us a call.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Houston?
In Houston and all across Texas, you have only two years from the date of the accident to file a head-on car accident claim in civil court. If you don't have an attorney file a lawsuit on your behalf within that time, you will likely lose all rights you have to pursue compensation.
In some cases, the "discovery rule" may apply, allowing the two-year period to start from the date when the injury or damages were discovered or should have been discovered. This rule is often relevant in cases where injuries are not immediately apparent.
Keep in mind that claims against government entities often have shorter notice periods, and special rules may apply. If you believe a government entity is responsible for the head-on collision, you must contact an attorney right away.
If the car accident resulted in a fatality, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is also generally two years from the date of death.
Call a Houston Car Accident Attorney
Contact a Houston personal injury attorney with experience in head-on collision cases. An attorney can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages. They will handle communications with insurance companies, gather evidence, negotiate settlements, and take legal action if necessary, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
It's important to avoid speaking extensively about the accident, especially with the other party's insurance company, without first consulting with your attorney. Insurance adjusters may attempt to use your words against you or downplay the severity of your injuries to limit their liability and payout.
By following these steps, you can protect your rights and build a strong case if you need to pursue legal action. Remember, the well-being of yourself and others involved should be the top priority, and seeking professional legal advice can help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If a Head-On Collision Injured You, Call an Experienced Houston Car Accident Lawyer
Head-on collisions can be life-altering events, but with the right support and legal representation, you can navigate through the aftermath and regain control of your life. Do not hesitate to reach out to a personal injury attorney specializing in head-on collisions to discuss your case and explore your legal options.
The nationally recognized legal team at Trust Guss Injury Lawyers, has protected the rights of car accident victims for more than 20 years, and we’re here to help you. Please contact us online or call now at 866-784-1267 for a free consultation and evaluation of your case.
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