Can I Recover Compensation for a Head-On Collision in Wisconsin?

car with front-end damageSome of the most dangerous types of accidents are head-on collisions. The injuries suffered in these types of accidents are often severe or even life-threatening.

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a head-on collision caused by another driver, you may be able to recover compensation through an insurance claim or by filing a lawsuit. Our Appleton-based car crash lawyers are prepared to help. The initial consultation is free, and there are no upfront fees.

Below, we discuss how head-on collisions occur, how to prove someone else is responsible for your injuries and what your legal options may be after the crash.

How Do Head-On Collisions Occur?

Generally, head-on collisions occur when a driver does one of the following:

  • Drifts into oncoming traffic
  • Drives on the wrong side of the road
  • Unsafely passes other vehicles on a two-lane road

These types of accidents are generally caused by:

  • Distracted drivers
  • Drunk drivers
  • Drowsy drivers
  • Reckless drivers

When a driver takes his or her eyes off the road he or she could accidentally drift into a lane with oncoming traffic. Distracted drivers may also accidentally turn onto a one-way road and cause a wrong-way collision.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol, or while tired or fatigued, may also cause drivers to make these same mistakes.

Reckless drivers who improperly overtake vehicles on a two-lane road also increase the risk of a head-on collision. These types of roads have designated passing lanes so faster vehicles may pass slower ones. Sometimes drivers get impatient and try to pass when there is no passing lane.

What Type of Injuries May Result From a Head-On Collision?

The way head-on collisions occur is what makes these types of accidents so dangerous.

When the front ends of two vehicles collide, the individuals in each car may be violently whipped back and forth. The motion alone could result in injuries like whiplash or herniated discs. If the vehicle occupant’s head hits a hard surface, like the steering wheel, the person may experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or skull fractures.

Some other common injuries associated with head-on collisions include the following:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal damage
  • Broken bones
  • Chest trauma

If the collision occurs at high speed, like when one driver unsafely overtakes another on a divided highway, the results could be deadly.

Who is Liable for My Damages After a Head-On Collision?

Wisconsin is an at-fault state. This means the liability insurance of the driver who is at fault for the collision is financially liable for damages.

Fault for an accident comes down to which driver acted negligently and caused the crash that injured you.

Failing to pay attention to the road, falling asleep at the wheel or unsafely passing another vehicle are all considered acts of negligence. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is also negligent and there can be criminal implications to the driver’s actions.

Drivers who do any of these things and end up causing a crash would most likely be at fault for the collision. If you suffered damages in the accident, the liability insurance company of the at-fault driver should be financially responsible for your damages.

How Can I Prove Another Driver Caused a Head-On Crash?

To be able to hold another party accountable for your damages, you must prove he or she acted negligently. In a head-on collision, this could be difficult.

First, there must be an examination of the accident. The police officer who responds to the collision should conduct a preliminary investigation to determine what may have caused the crash.

In some instances, the officer may be able to easily establish that one vehicle was on the wrong side of the road. However, when one vehicle drifts into oncoming traffic, or a driver unsafely overtook another vehicle, the evidence may not be as obvious. These situations often require additional evidence to prove how the crash occurred.

Sometimes, there are witnesses who can corroborate one driver’s version of events. For example, the driver in another vehicle that saw the at-fault vehicle drift into oncoming traffic or improperly overtake another car.

Physical evidence like video footage from a traffic camera or dashboard camera may also be useful.

If there is little physical evidence to prove fault, your attorney may enlist help from an accident reconstruction expert who may be able to evaluate what evidence is available to determine the cause of the crash.

Can I File a Lawsuit After a Head-On Collision?

You may be able to file a lawsuit after a head-on collision. However, this may not necessarily be the first step after the accident.

Victims of head-on collisions, through their attorney,  should first file an insurance claim with the liability insurance of the at-fault driver. The insurance company will conduct its own investigation of the accident and they are likely to do one of two things about your claim:

  1. Deny it
  2. Make a lowball settlement offer

If the insurance company contacts you soon after the crash and offers to settle your claim, you should strongly consider declining their offer. The first offer is often far below the true value of your claim.

Contrary to what the insurance company wants you to believe, a lawyer can negotiate for more compensation after you reject the initial offer. Declining the first offer does not close out your claim. Instead, it opens the door to negotiating for full compensation that can cover the cost of all your damages.

Your lawyer may recommend filing a lawsuit if the insurance company refuses to negotiate or denies your claim.

What is the Average Settlement for a Head-On Collision?

Head-on crashes often cause catastrophic injuries. When these injuries occur, the average value of a settlement could be anywhere from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some victims may recover more than $1 million. The value of a case depends on the seriousness of the injuries and other factors, such as:

  • How long your injuries are expected to affect you
  • Insurance policy limits
  • If the case is settled or goes to trial
  • Your age
  • Your employment history
  • The strength of the evidence
  • Experience of the attorney
  • Pain and suffering
  • How well you respond to treatment

We Are Ready to Help. Call Today

Our attorneys have decades of experience handling accident cases and negotiating with the insurance company. When the insurance company refuses to offer the compensation you need, our attorneys are ready to file a lawsuit on your behalf.

Do not let the insurance company lowball you. Call us today to schedule a free consultation. There are no fees while we work on your case.

Call (877) 888-5201 today.