Georgia Lawyers Handling Head-On Collision Cases
A head-on collision may seem like a simple case. However, a surprising number of at-fault drivers and insurance companies will say and do anything to escape blame and make excuses for their negligence based on external factors like animals, the weather or an “act of god.”
Don’t leave anything to chance. Make certain your law firm has the experience, resources (money) and the right accident reconstruction experts to achieve top results.
Why Are Head-On Collision Cases Sometimes Hard to Prove?
A recent study by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) concluded that head-on crashes most often occur “as a result of a driver’s inadvertent actions” such as running off of the road and then over-correcting, or deliberate actions, such as recklessly passing other cars in a no-passing zone or into on-coming traffic. But, they can also happen as a result of other factors, such as drowsiness, intoxication, or mechanical failure. And, with so much at stake; at-fault drivers often attempt to pass blame onto made up events, like a dog or a deer running into the road, or a so-called “act of god” – like a sudden rainfall or slippery road conditions.
When a negligent driver tries to blame an external factor like an animal or the roadway itself, it may seem like your case may come down to a question of he-said vs. she-said. This is exactly what the insurance company wants you to think, and it is also where an expert injury law firm and a well-funded accident reconstruction can make the difference between winning and losing. In the law, the “tie” goes to the defense. If a Court or Jury is unable to determine who is more at fault, the defense wins. But, in many crash cases, data can be obtained from the vehicles or evidence gathered from the scene that can make the difference — allowing your legal team to reconstruct the accident and find out the truth.
NCHRP Data Analysis
The NCHRP’s analysis of highway fatalities that resulted from head-on collisions revealed that:
- 75 percent of head-on crashes occur on rural roads
- 75 percent happen on undivided two-lane highways
- 83 percent occur on two-lane rural highways and roads.
These statistics show that many of these head-on collisions are likely to result from an at-fault driver making an involuntary maneuver — the driver goes to sleep, is distracted or travels too fast in a curve. Other contributing factors may include losing control due to driving too fast for conditions, hydroplaning on bald tires, or drinking and driving.
The Physics and Medicine of Head-On Collision Injuries
The physics of a head-on collision contribute to the severity of injuries associated with these crashes. When two vehicles collide head-on, their combined speed contributes to the force of impact. For example, if two cars traveling 50 mph collide in a head-on collision, the impact is like running into a wall at 100 mph.
A head-on collision often results in sudden death. Those who survive a head-on car wreck are likely to suffer some type of traumatic injury caused by the impact of the crash, such as:
- Head injury, including traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Neck and back trauma
- Spinal cord damage and paralysis
- Fractures (broken bones), including broken limbs (arms and legs) and broken ribs
- Lacerations (cuts)
- Contusions (bruises)
Accident reconstruction experts, doctors and other specialists are necessary to determine how a head-on collision happened, whether negligence or recklessness contributed to the crash, and the severity and lasting effects of an injury. Proving future medical expenses and loss of the quality of life are essential parts of proving your case. Evidence from all sources, including police reports, the accident scene, witness statements, medical records, and functional capacity reports from your doctors are all necessary to prove your case.
Legal Resources and Definitions for Georgia Head-On Collision Cases
Driving within a single lane
It is the law in Georgia that a motor vehicle must drive as much as possible within a single lane and may not leave its lane unless the driver has first determined that it is safe to do so. O.C.G.A. 40-6-48(1).
Roads with Three Lanes
If a road is divided into three lanes where two lanes are in one direction, a vehicle driving in the center lane has the right of way when passing or overtaking another automobile or motorcycle driving in the same direction. O.C.G.A. 40-6-48(2).
Center turn lanes
If a road or highway has a center lane designated for turning in which traffic may enter from either direction, no motor vehicle may be driven into that center lane except to make a left turn, and it is against the law to drive more than 300 feet in the center turn lane. O.C.G.A. 40-6-126.