One of the worst possible crashes are head-on collisions. The injuries can be catastrophic, even fatal. These crashes can happen on highways, two-lane roads, and intersections. With increasing instances of distracted driving, and the dangers of drunk and drugged driving, we see these types of collisions every day somewhere in the country.
It is, obviously, against the law to travel in the same lanes as oncoming traffic. The exact Washington Statute 46.61.150 states: “Whenever any highway has been divided into two or more roadways by leaving an intervening space or by a physical barrier or clearly indicated dividing section or by a median island…every vehicle shall be driven only upon the right-hand roadway.” The law continues to read that “no vehicle shall be driven over, across or within any such dividing space, barrier or section, or median island.” This means that, in addition to being named the at-fault driver in a head-on collision for insurance purposes, the driver responsible for the crash may also face criminal charges.
Common Causes of Head-On Collisions
What may cause such a terrible crash? Many factors can contribute to the chain reaction of mistakes that can result in a head-on crash:
- Fatigued Driving: If a driver falls asleep at the wheel, even for just a moment, it can be enough time for his or her car to travel into oncoming traffic.
- Drunk Driving: If a driver has had too much to drink, or is under the influence of drugs, he or she may lose control of the vehicle, swerving or drifting into opposing lanes of traffic. Sometimes drunk drivers miss signage completely and drive on the other side of the road, including divided highways.
- Dangerous Roadways: Striking a pothole or losing control in a dangerous curve in a road can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle.
- Failure to Yield Right-of-Way: Intersections can be dangerous places for all drivers, including those who hit someone who fails to properly yield.
- Unsafe Lane Change: Drivers who try to pass a vehicle going slowly in front of them may collide with an oncoming vehicle.
Before financial compensation can be given, victims injured in a head-on collision have to prove liability. If police cite the other driver for the crash due to the statute mentioned above, this process can be easier. Also, because these injuries can sometimes end in death, fatalities make extreme settlements, as so much is lost with a person’s life that affects their loved ones forever. In order to be held liable, a driver need not be charged criminally – it may still be possible to hold them civilly liable for the accident. Some cases may have an at-fault party who was not driving at all, for example, accidents that occur because a vehicle or parts manufacturer released defective parts into the marketplace, or the roadway was unsafe.
Recovering Losses and Damages
As you or your loved ones recover from a head-on collision and are faced with a mounting stack of bills and problems, know that you don’t have to go it alone. A lawyer with a track record of results can help you find compensation from the accident. Hospital bills, lost wages, disability coverage, and pain and suffering do not have to be left on your shoulders if you were the victim of a head-on crash. Call Bill Coats Law today to find out how he can help you.