Head-On Collision Injury Lawyers
Nearly 900 New Jersey residents were killed in car accidents in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nationwide, 33,561 people were killed in car accidents, representing more than 10 fatalities per 100,000 Americans.
Head-on collisions tend to be more devastating and costly than other types of car accidents. These dangerous collisions can cause serious and even fatal injuries, as well as incur huge medical bills and repair costs.
A car accident can affect your life and livelihood for years to come—but it doesn’t have to. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have more than 80 years’ worth of trial experience representing clients throughout New Jersey and New York, and our attorneys are prepared to fight for you. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to to schedule your free and confidential consultation today.
Injuries in a Head-On Collision
Head-on collisions usually occur when when a vehicle crosses the centerline or median—either knowingly or unknowingly—and collides with another vehicle. Head-on collisions can also occur when a driver begins to travel the wrong way on a street or highway. These devastating accidents represent only 2 percent of all accidents, but they account for 10 percent of all traffic fatalities.
A large number of head-on collisions are caused by failed passing maneuvers. The Fatal Analysis Reporting System found that three-quarters of head-on car accidents occur on rural roads, and 83 percent of head-on collisions occur on two-lane, undivided roads. Attempting to pass another vehicle on a rural, two-lane road can lead the driver to collide with an unseen, oncoming vehicle, causing serious damage and injuries.
Survivors of a head-on collision can suffer a number of injuries, including:
- Brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Catastrophic injuries
- Severe burns
- Bone fractures
- Internal injuries
- Psychological injuries
Liability and Damages in a Head-On Collision
In certain cases, it’s very easy to tell who was at fault for the head-on collision. If one vehicle was driving in the wrong lane, driving in the wrong direction, or swerving into oncoming traffic, there is little doubt about who is liable for the harm caused.
However, a head-on collision is not always one driver’s fault; in certain circumstances, a vehicle malfunction can lead to a head-on collision. For example, say one car is outfitted with faulty brakes. When the brakes fail, the driver loses control of the vehicle and it drifts into oncoming traffic, causing a major accident. In this instance, product liability law would apply. In other words, the manufacturer of the defective car (or the defective brakes) would be liable for the injuries sustained in the accident, rather than the driver.
New Jersey uses a “modified comparative fault” system for determining liability and damages. Therefore, the plaintiff does not have to prove that the defendant was completely at fault in the accident in order to win damages; as long as the defendant was more than 50 percent at fault, the plaintiff is still eligible to collect damages. For example, say a woman is driving in the left lane, distracted by the phone conversation she is having. While she is talking, a driver coming the other direction falls asleep at the wheel, drifting across the center line into oncoming traffic and causing $100,000 worth of damage to the woman and her car. If the court determines that the woman on the phone was 30 percent at fault for distracted driving and the other driver was 70 percent at fault for falling asleep at the wheel, the female plaintiff would be eligible to win up to 70 percent of the damages ($70,000).
Damages in a personal injury case are divided into two categories: compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages, which are far more common, are designed to compensate the plaintiff for injuries, property damage, and other harm caused by the accident. This includes compensation for:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and decreased earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment or consortium
Punitive damages, which are designed to punish the defendant for particularly reckless or intentional behavior, are limited to $350,000 or five times the amount of compensatory damages (whichever is greater). Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for particularly egregious or intent to cause harm.
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have won major verdicts and settlements for victims of car accidents, including:
- $10 million for a government worker who suffered a serious brain injury after being thrown from the passenger seat of a vehicle
- $7 million for a 23-year-old who suffered a brain injury after being struck by an oncoming vehicle
- $6.2 million for a commercial truck driver who suffered a brain injury after being struck by another truck driver while pulled off on the side of the road
- $2.8 million for a man who had to undergo a knee replacement and multiple surgeries after a truck pulled into his path and caused a collision
- $2.5 million for a 23-year-old woman who was injured by a drunk driver
- $2.5 million for a man who became suffered a herniated disc and other injuries when a New Jersey Transit Bus rear-ended his car
Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi are prepared to fully investigate your claim and fight for your compensation. Our team of personal injury attorneys have achieved a number of significant verdicts and settlements for victims of car accidents and catastrophic injuries. With more than 80 years’ worth of combined trial experience, we are equipped to handle your unique situation. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have collected more than $300 million for clients throughout New Jersey and New York, both in and out of the courtroom.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries as a result of a head-on collision, contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today. We are prepared to take on insurance adjusters and opposing attorneys alike to ensure you get what you are owed. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to to schedule your free and confidential consultation today.