Baltimore Head-On Collision Accident Lawyer
Every car crash is different—some involve multiple vehicles in chain-reaction accidents, while others are simple fender benders. All car accidents cause stress, but one of the most frightening crashes is a head-on collision—when the front end of one motor vehicle slams directly into the front end of another.
Often, both vehicles are moving, perhaps even at highway speeds. Not only is it terrifying to see another car or truck coming right at you, but an instant later, an accident may forever ruin your life. While negligent drivers are often at fault in head-on collisions, third parties might also bear blame under specific conditions. Injuries from head-on crashes tend to be more severe than typical accidents, and damages might be significant. The average settlement is hard to pinpoint since head-on collisions may vary greatly from case to case, but it might be significant. Compensation might come from insurance claims, a lawsuit, or a combination of claims.
Our head-on collision accident lawyers are available for free case reviews at Rice, Murtha & Psoras, call our offices at (410) 694-7291.
What Causes Head-On Crashes?
Negligent drivers cause many head-on collisions. Often, a negligent act will cause a driver to depart a lane, crossing over a double-yellow line and into the path of oncoming traffic. Acts that may cause this include:
- Distracted driving, especially when looking away from the road (for example, to text)
- Drunk driving, which often causes drivers to swerve. (Many times, drunk drivers also drive the wrong way on the road, which often leads to head-on crashes)
- Fatigued driving (when a driver can fall asleep at the wheel and lose control)
- Speeding on turns, which can result in a driver losing control or skidding
In other cases, head-on collisions are not accidents but intentional acts of harm. Road rage is a serious problem on our roads and highways, and many road rage incidents have led to serious injuries and crashes. An irate driver might lose their temper and purposefully crash into another vehicle. A driver might also intentionally cause a head-on collision as part of a deliberate assault. These drivers might not only be held civilly liable but also face criminal prosecution.
Can a Third Party Cause a Head-On Car Accident?
In some instances, neither driver involved in a collision bears responsibility— instead, a third party’s negligence caused the accident. Third parties include people or entities who were not present at the accident but still contributed to it. Examples may include when:
- Another driver improperly came into your lane, which caused you to swerve to avoid a collision, leading you to cross into oncoming traffic,
- Your steering or brakes suddenly fail, and you lose control of your car, or
- You hit a pothole or another dangerous road hazard that sent your car flying into oncoming traffic.
Other drivers, auto manufacturers, and even government agencies may bear third-party liability in head-on collisions. In cases where brakes fail, manufacturers may be sued in product liability claims. The local or even state government may be held responsible if you hit a pothole or the road was poorly maintained. Identifying third parties can be tricky because they are often not present for the accident or leave the scene quickly. As such, you should speak to an attorney to determine whether a third party should be liable.
Injuries from head-on collisions can threaten lives and result in devastating losses and lifelong impairments for victims. Those injured in these crashes must learn their legal rights as soon as possible.
What Injuries Can Be Sustained in a Head-On Car Accident?
Head-on collisions often cause extremely serious injuries. Vehicles are often traveling at high rates of speed during these accidents, making for disastrous crashes and injuries. Many drivers experience head and neck injuries because of the significant impact. On top of that, drivers might also be injured when airbags deploy. Broken glass from the shattered windshield may cause deep lacerations. Broken bones and internal injuries are also very common. In some cases, the car’s front end is crushed inward, and the driver’s legs and lower body might also be crushed.
Many injuries lead to long-term disabilities or health complications. Drivers are sometimes paralyzed and must use mobility aids like wheelchairs. Losing limbs or significant scarring and disfigurement are also not unheard of in head-on collisions.
A plaintiff may claim compensatory damages in most cases. Punitive damages might also be available, but they are rarely awarded. Compensatory damages include economic losses. According to Md Code, Cts. and Jud. Proc., § 11-109, economic damages are comprised of specific losses, including past and future medical bills and past and future lost income and wages. Economic losses are not capped, but they are limited by your actual expenses. You cannot recover more compensation for economic losses than what you actually spent.
Non-economic injuries may include mental and physical pain and suffering, physical impairments, loss of consortium, disfigurement, inconvenience, and other non-monetary injuries. These damages are capped at $920,000 under Md. Code, Cts. and Jud. Proc., § 11-108(b).
Punitive damages might be on the table, but they must be specifically requested in your complaint. The bar for punitive damages is very high, and they are not often awarded even if the defendant is found liable. Punitive damages require a finding of actual malice on the defendant’s part. For example, actual malice might involve extremely shocking acts of negligence or malicious and intentional harm.
There are no statutory caps on punitive Damages in Maryland, but there is also no recognized right to punitive damages. This means punitive damages may still be denied even if our head-on collisions accident atorneys can establish actual malice.
What is the Average Settlement for a Head-On Collision in Baltimore?
It is hard to determine an average settlement for head-on collisions since the injuries and damages in these kinds of cases can vary so greatly. Even if an accurate average were determined, it probably would not mean much to your case. Every case is unique, and your damages might fall below or far exceed what might be considered an average settlement.
While it is difficult to predict the extent of your damages without thoroughly reviewing your accident and injuries, you might expect fairly significant damages. As said, head-on collisions tend to be severe, and drivers often experience much harsher injuries than in more typical accidents.
How to Get Compensation for a Head-On Collision in Baltimore
There might be multiple ways to get compensation after a head-on collision. The best way depends on your needs after your accident and the factors surrounding your case. Many drivers try to get compensation by filing insurance claims. In other cases, a lawsuit might be necessary to get the full extent of your damages covered.
Third-Party Auto Insurance Claims
All drivers in Maryland are required by law to carry auto insurance and for good reason. Accidents are very expensive, and insurance helps fill in the financial gaps. Generally, injured drivers file third-party claims with the other driver’s insurance company. Before the insurance company pays for anything, they usually demand that you prove their driver is at fault for the crash.
While insurance can be helpful when available, it is not perfect. Compensation is usually limited by the terms of the insurance policy. An insurance policy might not fully cover drivers with serious injuries and high damages. Even worse, your claims might be denied, and you might not get any compensation.
Drivers often file lawsuits for head-on collisions if insurance is insufficient or unavailable. Often. Drivers file a combination of claims. While a lawsuit is usually a bigger time commitment and requires greater evidence, they may award plaintiffs greater damages than an insurance claim.
Lawsuits also cover damages that are often not covered by insurance. For example, non-economic damages for pain and suffering are not usually available in an insurance claim. However, they may be greatly compensated in a lawsuit.
Call a Baltimore Head-On Collision Attorney to Discuss Your Rights
Call the offices of Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule an evaluation of your case for no charge with our head-on collision accident attorneys.