Head-On Collisions & Determining Negligence in Ohio
If you’ve been in a head-on collision, it’s likely that you are facing medical expenses, lost wages, and the burden of replacing your vehicle. Hiring a lawyer to guide you through the insurance claims process can ensure that you get the highest settlement possible under your circumstances.
Head-on collisions are the most brutal type of car accident, often resulting in severe injuries and vehicle damage. When two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide head-to-head, the force of the impact is so devastating because the relative speed of the vehicles is doubled. For example, if two cars traveling at 30 mph collide head-on, it’s like an accident happening at 60 mph. Thus, a head-on collision may have serious consequences even at relatively low speeds.
What Are the Main Causes of Head-On Collisions?
Head-on collisions may be caused by one or several factors, including:
Swerving to Avoid Obstacle
When drivers see wildlife, trees, pedestrians, or other obstacles in the road, they may unwittingly swerve into oncoming traffic while trying to avoid a collision.
The failure of suspension arms, brakes, or tires can make a vehicle uncontrollable or cause it to swerve into the oncoming lane.
Talking to passengers, changing the music, or adjusting the air conditioning are all distractions that may lead to a head-on collision.
Falling Asleep at the Wheel
When drivers fall asleep, their cars may veer into oncoming traffic.
When a driver is intoxicated, he or she may swerve into oncoming traffic or get confused and enter the highway in the wrong direction.
Getting Rear-Ended While Making a Left Turn
Many head-on collisions occur when someone is waiting to make a left turn and has turned the steering wheel to the left. If hit from behind, the vehicle will get pushed into oncoming traffic.
Activities such as street racing or playing chicken may all result in head-on collisions.
Does Getting Into a Head-On Collision Affect My Ability to Get Compensation?
When it comes to determining who should compensate whom after a road accident, Ohio follows the law of comparative negligence. Whether in court or in the insurance claims process, comparative negligence dictates that a driver can recover for damages sustained in a car accident only if he or she was less than 50% responsible for the accident.
Fact finders such as judges, juries, or insurance investigators will consider all the evidence surrounding your accident and determine who was negligent. A person is negligent when he or she fails to exercise the same amount of caution as a reasonable person would under a given situation.
So if you got into a head-on collision and are attempting to recover compensation through the insurance claims process, the investigator will read the police report, the drivers’ statements, inspect the vehicles, and maybe even visit the site of the accident to piece together what happened.
If the investigator concludes that your own negligence was the primary cause for the accident, your claim will be denied. If, however, your negligence was only partially—say 20%—responsible for the accident, you will be able to access 80% of your compensation under the law of comparative negligence. KNR has experience in fighting and winning against an insurance company’s comparative negligence argument.
A court or an insurance company may conclude that your negligence contributed to the head-on collision when there is evidence that:
- You were intoxicated at the time of the accident
- You failed to maintain your car properly and a mechanical failure caused the accident
- You were distracted at the time of the accident
- You were speeding when the accident happened
- You lost control of your vehicle
How Can Our Ohio Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
With experienced Ohio car accident lawyers by your side, you stand a better chance of convincing the insurance companies that you were not responsible for the accident. A skilled lawyer can gather all of the evidence in your favor and present it clearly and convincingly to the insurance company. And if they attempt to deny your claim, your lawyer can negotiate to obtain the best deal possible. If the negotiations with the insurance company break down, your lawyer can take your case to court obtain the compensation you deserve.
The lawyers of Kisling, Nestico & Redick have extensive knowledge of the insurance claims process and have the experience necessary to process your case quickly and successfully. Our Ohio car accident attorneys have over 500 years of combined experience over the course of which they obtained countless favorable verdicts and settlements for thousands of clients. If you’ve been injured in a head-on collision and need compensation, call us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW for a free consultation of your case.