There are not many things scarier than a head-on collision. When two vehicles collide while traveling on opposite directions, the impact created is tremendous.
Head-on collisions can be fatal, cause permanent physical and mental damages to not just the drivers but the passengers as well.
Many times intoxicated driver’s are so obliterated, they don’t even know they are on the wrong side of the road. We have all seen it time and time again, someone is drunk, going on the highway on the wrong side. Whether or not the drunk driver is going at a high rate of speed or not, any highway head-on collision is tragic because the other driver is usually going at least 55 mph.
Not only do we have smart phones but we have smart watches and in-car gadgets. These all can cause a driver to be distracted. It only takes a millisecond to look away and get into a head-on collision.
Driving while tired or even drowsy can be as dangerous as driving drunk. The lull of the car sound, the comfortable seat, the perfect temperature, it can all be a perfect scenario for falling asleep at the wheel. Even if someone feels drowsy, the best thing to do is pull over into a rest stop, or somewhere safe, and take a little power nap. Ignoring your body’s signals that it needs to shut down is a recipe for disaster.
Charleston car wrecks can be attributed to a wide variety of causes. The Charleston car wreck law firm of The Hartman Law Firm, LLC frequently investigate wrecks with causes that include:
Distracted driving – Many local counties and jurisdictions have already passed laws banning texting while driving or talking on a cell phone (without speakerphone) behind the wheel.
Driver impairment – More than 350 fatal auto wrecks in South Carolina in 2010 were alcohol-related, according to MADD. Other forms of intoxication that can play a role include drugs, illegal or over-the-counter, fatigue, and illness.
Defective car parts – cars can have defects too, case in point, defective seat belts, stuck accelerator controls, faulty wiring, misaligned wheels, tire blowouts and brake failures, can all contribute to car crashes.
Poor road conditions – Uneven roads, potholes, and other conditions can cause automobile wrecks and injuries to motorists. Other conditions include unknown obstacles or foreign substances on the road. These conditions produce abrupt slides or overcorrecting of the vehicle.
Speeding – Speeding can contribute to collisions and every driver must consider weather and road conditions, traffic, or the speed of other drivers to prevent Charleston car crashes.
Inadequate road design – There are roads that lack proper design, lacking in visibility, poor surface condition, or inadequate marking or signage to promote safety.
Car collisions lead to all sorts of injuries. Some collisions cause only minor bumps, bruises or soreness. However, other collisions can cause devastating and life-changing damage in just a few seconds.
At The Hartman Law Firm, LLC our auto collision firm has helped people who have suffered any number of injuries, including:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – A TBI can result from trauma associated with impact or from striking an object inside the car such as the steering wheel.
Spinal cord injury – Spinal cord injuries are associated with paralysis, paraplegia, quadriplegia (also called tetraplegia) and hemiplegia.
Neck injuries – Most injuries in Charleston-area automobile collisions result from rear-end collisions. Neck injuries are a common injury in these accidents. The head whips forward and back in the classic whiplash movement. Injuries can be permanent, depending on the severity of the impact.
Broken bones – Car wreck victims often suffer broken bones to the arms, legs, knees and wrists. The injury typically occurs when the victim braces with that part of their body immediately prior to impact. Some breaks can require surgery. It may also require weeks or months to properly heal.
Amputation – Sometimes parts of a victim’s body are fully or partially severed as a result of the collision. Such injuries can require amputation.
Car accidents often involve powerful physical forces that are capable of causing serious damage to the human body. This is true even in cases in which vehicle occupants are buckled in and the vehicle in which they were riding was equipped with modern safety features such as multiple airbags. Many people involved in severe accidents are left with life-changing injuries that will result in substantial economic and non-economic losses, making it critical for them to retain an attorney that can help make sure they obtain the compensation to which they are legally entitled.
Here are some of the more common injuries that people can sustain in a car accident.
Individuals who are involved in car accidents often sustain fractures, which are also called broken bones. People can break arms, legs, ribs, hips, or even the bones in their face or their head, depending on how exactly an accident took place. Fractures are extremely painful, can result in disfigurement, and may require surgery to treat. In many cases, people who sustain them miss weeks or months of work and may require the immobilization of a body part for a significant period of time. Even less serious broken bones may take a significant period of time to heal and result in long-term complications.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries, often referred to as “TBIs,” occur when a person’s head is bumped or jolted with force sufficient to result in a disruption of normal brain function. These injuries often occur in car accidents in which a person’s heads slams against the dashboard or steering wheel or he or she is ejected from the vehicle. In instances in which the head snaps back and forth on the neck hard enough to rattle the brain within the skull, a TBI can occur even if the head does not come into contact with another object.
TBIs are capable of causing extremely serious complications, including:
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries occur when physical trauma damages the spinal cord, which is the bundle of nerves that allows the brain to communicate with the rest of the body. They can be categorized into two broad categories, which are as follows:
Spinal cord injuries often result in significant long-term problems and victims who are paralyzed often require a lifetime of medical treatment and care. As a result, it is essential for spinal cord injury victims to make sure their rights are protected by retaining an experienced attorney.
In many car accidents, one or more of the vehicles involved catches fire during or immediately after the accident, potentially causing extremely serious burns to the people inside them. Burns can be extremely painful, require long-term medical treatment, and leave victims with scarring and disfigurement that can last a lifetime.
Studies show that insurance companies pay, on average, significantly more (40% conservatively) to people when they are represented by a car accident lawyer. However, every crash has its specific set of facts that help determine value. How much compensation you receive can be based on a number of factors.
In general, victims of car accidents can receive funds to cover:
The aftermath of any auto collision can be devastating. In the moments immediately following any accident, confusion, high stress, and the pain of injuries can make it difficult to know what to do. Unfortunately, it’s in these moments that your actions can make all the difference to the outcome.
Nothing is more important than the health and safety of your loved ones. Before doing anything else, make sure to ask everyone in the vehicle if they’re hurt.
If any of your occupants are injured, ask them where they’re hurt. Ask about back, neck, or head injuries, as these are often the most serious. Moving them could worsen the damage.
If you’re seriously injured, try not to move, if you don’t have to. Stay still, contact emergency services, and wait for help.
Once you know about any injuries, call 911 and get emergency services on the scene. Even if no one appears to be hurt, always request medical assistance, as well as police.
If you and your passengers are not seriously injured, get out of your vehicle and check to see if anyone else is hurt. Ask the driver and passengers if everyone is ok. Again, if anyone is seriously injured, try not move them.
Whether you feel pain or not, a trained emergency medical technician should do a preliminary health check in case you’ve sustained any wounds you may not know about. Many injuries can take days or even weeks to show up, but a preliminary review on the scene improves your chances of catching anything early.
The more information that you can get about the scene of an accident, the better. There are critical details that can make the difference in an injury case.
Make sure to exchange the following insurance information for all drivers.
You should file an insurance claim as soon as you can. After filing a claim, an insurance adjuster will call to get more information. When they call, only give them the information that you have to. If they ask to record the call, refuse to allow them to do so.
There are several injuries that often don’t present symptoms until days or weeks after an accident. Damage to you spine or neck from the jarring trauma of an accident can slowly develop problems over time.
Make sure that you follow up with your primary care provider as soon as possible after the accident, and get a follow-up appointment for any symptoms that may arise going forward.
Frank offers a Free Case Evaluation and Consultation. He will visit with you at your convenience at your home or hospital bed to evaluate your matter. This is done on a case by case basis.