Florida had upwards of 16.6 million licensed drivers and an estimated 395,785 car accidents in 2017, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). So far in 2018, there have been 254,714 total crashes and 161,110 total injuries in Florida, according to Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System (FIRES). With so many car accidents in Florida, it may be only a matter of time before you are involved in a head-on collision. With crash prevalence increasing, it is important—more now than ever before—that you know what to do in a head-on crash situation.
What Is a Head-On Collision?
A head-on motor vehicle accident is an extremely dangerous vehicle accident usually involving an error by the drivers of one or more cars. The reason why an error in judgement has probably occurred is due to the placement of the cars. In order for a crash to be called a “head-on” collision, the front of the cars must impact. This type of front-to-front collision is most common at an intersection or on a highway, when cars travel opposite directions close together.
While no two accidents are exactly the same, many have similar elements, such as:
Common Head-On Collision Injuries
- Injury of the brain, head or spinal cord
- Broken bones
- Cuts and bruising
- Turning too quickly
- A driver falling asleep at the wheel
- Failure to adhere to road signage
- Incorrect gauge of when to pass
- Turning into on-coming traffic
- Swinging wide around a blind turn
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Poor visibility due to inclement weather
- Losing control of vehicle on wet road
- Altered traffic patterns or construction
- Tire blowouts
- Obstacles in the road
While some accidents may be caused by a single element, others can be caused by multiple elements performed by many different drivers. In those instances, determining fault can be a really tricky situation. That’s where car accident attorneys in Florida come in. An experienced attorney can help you decide if your case is worth pursuing or not, and how to go about starting the process if it is.
Determining Traffic Accident Fault in Florida
Being aware of the elements that may lead to a head-on motor vehicle accident accomplishes two things. First, it allows you to possibly avoid such instances (as in the case of inclement weather, driving when under the influence, drowsy driving, etc.). Secondly, it will also probably determine which driver is most at-fault.
Florida is a no-fault insurance state which means that your insurance agency will cover minor accidents as long as you have a policy. According to the Florida DHSMV, the state requires drivers to buy personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This insurance covers medical and attendant costs up to $10,000. In order to receive higher compensation (for serious injury cases), you need to file a claim against the other party.
Another thing to consider is that Florida courts have affirmed a car owner’s right to bring a diminished value claim against the insurance provider of the at-fault party. Because while you may be thinking of only physical damages, there is also the diminished value of your vehicle to consider.
What Should I Do after a Car Accident?
Unfortunately, car crashes are only too frequent. In the likelihood that you’re in a head-on collision, consider the following:
- Stay Calm: Do not panic. Try to remain as calm as possible and assess what has happened. If you are in harm’s way, remove yourself from the dangerous situation.
- Help: After viewing the situation, assess your own body for damage. If you are capable of doing so, go to the aid of others in the crash. Help those who are the most grievously injured first.
- Call: Notify local police and emergency services. Do so without delay if there are serious injuries involved. You never know when a few minutes may save a serious injury from becoming fatal. Call 911 for the Okaloosa County Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services or Sheriff Emergencies.
- Document: If possible, make sure to obtain as much information as you can within the bounds of safety. Take photos of all cars involved, the cars in relation to street markings and sign postings, street signs, nearby buildings, any obstructions or weather conditions, close-ups of where the cars crashed together and any injuries sustained. Take videos of witness statements, your own condition and testimony, the surroundings and the impact points on the cars. The more information you can collect, the more a car accident lawyer will have to build your case on.
Seeking Compensation for Head-On Collision Injuries in Crestview, Florida
Hundreds of thousands of car accidents happen every year in Florida. Among them, head-on vehicle accidents are some of the most dangerous due to their front-to-front crash position. That positioning means one or more drivers made an error while driving. Knowing the correct procedures to follow during and after a head-on crash can be difficult to ascertain. If you or someone you know has suffered head-on collision injuries, a car accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal process. They can assist you with pursuing the following damages:
- Medical bills, equipment or devices
- Vehicle repair
- Diminished vehicle value
- Transportation costs from home to doctor’s appointments and/or therapy
- Future losses (such as earning capacity, impending surgeries or long-term treatment/care)
- Permanent loss of body function, injury requiring future medical attendance, scarring or disfigurement
If you’ve been in a head-on collision and sustained injuries, you don’t have to go through this difficult time alone. Contact Browning Law Firm today and get the support you need in order to pursue the compensation you deserve.