Why Head-On Collisions Are More Likely to Result in Serious Injury or Wrongful Death
When two vehicles of any type come together in an impact on a highway or street, the physical damage and serious personal injuries to the occupants of either or both vehicles can be devastating. This is especially true when the vehicles are at a 180-degree angle (head on), versus a more oblique angle. The laws of physics can help explain much about this higher-risk accident.
Basically, the combined energy from both moving vehicles is expended once the momentum comes to a halt. The bodies of both vehicles' occupants were traveling at the respective speeds of their vehicles and were then forcefully jerked to a sudden stop by the car or truck crash. The combined kinetic energy of the two vehicles while moving at their respective speeds will equate to the total kinetic system of this wreck after the collision is over and the vehicles come to rest.
How to Determine Who Was At Fault
Many things can cause such a head-on impact. Weather and roadway conditions can be a contributing factor. But, one or both drivers may be at fault if either or both were traveling faster than was prudent in light of road surface conditions (e.g., ice, snow, rain). These are the type of factual issues that are often disputed at trial or in mediation before trial.
How quickly either vehicle can stop is controlled by many factors, including roadway surface and friction, any braking before the impact, design and crash-worthiness of each of the vehicles, and weight and mass of each vehicle and other factors.
Beyond these physical and design issues, other factors may have played a role in determining who was “at fault” such as lack of use of a signal, excessive speed, possible driver impairment, and possible driver inattention (e.g., due to texting while driving).
For a skilled civil litigation attorney to unravel all these possible factors in a head-on collision, he or she must quickly employ highly-respected experts in accident reconstruction and mechanical engineering to examine and investigate all physical evidence and roadway markings, and to question any eyewitnesses and study any videotape evidence.
Often, newer cars will have an EDR (event data recorder) that will electronically capture the important seconds leading up to the crash, and chronicle certain measurements relative to the vehicle (such as braking) and the occupants (such as seatbelts being engaged). In some situations, other devices such as a Garmin GPS device can provide some data as to estimated speed of any automobile or truck that was using it when the wreck occurred.
Many Types of Serious Injuries Can Lead to Wrongful Death
The types of injuries observed from such sudden impacts include neck, spinal cord, and head trauma, possible organic brain damage, injuries to internal organs or fractures or breaks to bones or ribs from the tension and rigidity of the seat belt strap or lap belt, and possible facial trauma.
Internal bleeding or lacerations can cause a vehicle occupant to lose so much blood that death occurs, especially if the occupant is on blood-thinning medications. When seat belts are not in use, the chance for death increases dramatically due to the likelihood of ejection from the vehicle.
Contact Atlanta Attorney Bubba Head Today
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In personal injury litigation, you need an experienced lawyer with excellent attorney ratings on your side. For advice on your case—and to learn more about Attorney Head—please contact William C. Head now for a free case evaluation. In many car accident cases, Georgia civil “tort” law rewards the party who is “first to file” a lawsuit. Call our Atlanta personal injury attorneys NOW for a FREE lawyer consultation.
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