Head-on collisions, where the front ends of two vehicles crash into each other, often result in victims suffering life-altering injuries, especially when high speeds are involved. If you were injured in this type of auto accident because of another driver's negligence in Northern Virginia, it’s important to know your rights. Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer in Fairfax who will fight with the insurance company for the compensation you deserve is one of the first steps you should take.
Leading Causes of Head-on Collisions in Virginia
Driver negligence is often the cause of a head-on crash. So, it’s important to understand the types of negligent driver behaviors that can lead to this type of accident.
Possible Negligent Driving Behaviors in a Virginia Head-on Crash
- Distracted driving. When drivers are distracted due to cellphone use, eating, grooming, or any other distraction, they are not paying attention to their driving, increasing the risk of a head-on collision.
- Drunk driving. Intoxicated drivers often exhibit impaired judgment, reduced reaction times, and lack of vehicle control, making them more likely to veer into oncoming traffic.
- Fatigue. Drivers who get behind the wheel when they’re tired can doze off or fall asleep while driving. They can cross the center line without even realizing it before it is too late to avoid colliding head-on with another vehicle.
- Speeding around curves. Drivers who speed around curves can lose control of their vehicles and veer into opposing lanes.
- Driving the wrong way. Sometimes, motorists mistakenly enter one-way roads, highways, or exit ramps resulting in head-on collisions with oncoming traffic. These crashes can be deadly, especially at night.
- Improper passing. Impatient drivers who try to pass another car on a two-way road may misjudge the time they have to safely pass and collide head-on with vehicles coming from the opposite direction.
What You Must Prove to Win Your Negligence Claim
To successfully hold the at-fault driver responsible for the accident, you must prove the legal elements of a negligence claim under Virginia law. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can collect the evidence you need to prove your case. Here are the four elements that you must establish:
- Duty. All drivers in Virginia have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care while driving their vehicles and ensure the safety of others on the road. This element of your claim is easy to prove.
- Breach of duty. You must prove that the negligent driver breached their duty of care through negligent actions, such as distracted driving, intoxication, or any other reckless behavior, and caused your head-on collision.
- Causation. You must show that you sustained actual injuries due to the head-on collision. Medical records, photos, and expert testimony can help you prove this element of your claim.
- Damages. You need to establish the physical, emotional, and financial damages you experienced due to the accident. Your attorney will value your claim and collect the evidence you need to document the compensation you are seeking.
Types of Compensation You Can Recover
If you prove the other driver caused your head-on collision, you may be entitled to compensation under Virginia law. The types of damages you can recover include the following:
- Medical expenses. You should be reimbursed for your past and future medical bills, such as hospital stays, surgeries, doctor visits, medications, and physical therapy.
- Lost wages. You should receive compensation for the income you lost due to your injuries, including past and future lost wages and lost earning capacity if you cannot work or need to change occupations.
- Pain and suffering. Non-economic damages should compensate you for the physical and emotional trauma you suffered due to the head-on crash, such as chronic pain, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Property damage. If the accident caused damages to your car or other property, the other driver should pay for the cost to repair or replace them.