When you’ve been involved in a head-on collision in Colorado Springs, the physical, emotional, and financial aftermath can be overwhelming. In these moments, it’s critical to have a trusted ally on your side who can help guide you through the legal complexities that come with pursuing compensation for your injuries. At Green Law Firm P.C., we offer that support.
Our experienced team of Colorado Springs car accident lawyers are committed to delivering the justice and financial restitution you deserve. With our comprehensive understanding of Colorado traffic laws and a proven track record in personal injury law, we’re equipped to advocate fiercely on your behalf. Contact us today for your free consultation.
Head-on collisions are the most dangerous type of car accident. While they typically account for about only 2.0% of all crashes, they are responsible for 10.1% of all fatal crashes in the United States. Eighty-three percent of head-on collisions occur on rural undivided roads, and can result in some of the worst injuries related to car accidents.
What is a Colorado Springs Head-on Collision?
A head-on collision in Colorado Springs refers to a type of vehicular accident where the fronts of two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide with each other. These incidents are often high-speed crashes since the impact combines the speed of both vehicles. As such, head-on collisions are generally among the most serious and deadly types of motor vehicle accidents.
Common causes of head-on collisions include distracted driving, drowsy driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and reckless or aggressive driving maneuvers, such as improper passing on a two-lane road or going the wrong way on a one-way street.
Victims of head-on collisions can suffer severe and sometimes catastrophic injuries due to the force of the impact. These can include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, and even death. If a loved has passed due to a brain injury from a car accident, contact our brain injury lawyers in Colorado Springs.
Common Causes of Colorado Springs Head-on Collisions
Typically, a head-on collision occurs when one vehicle crosses a centerline or median and crashes into an approaching vehicle.
Poor road conditions or faulty traffic signs and signals can contribute to these types of accidents.
Head-on collisions can also occur when a driver:
- Is traveling the wrong way in a lane of traffic – Wrong-way driving usually involves a motorist entering a one-way street, highway ramp, or lane of traffic in the wrong direction. This often results in a head-on collision, as oncoming drivers do not expect a vehicle to be approaching from the opposite direction and may not have time to react.
- Is fatigued – Fatigue can drastically reduce a driver’s alertness, reaction time, and ability to control the vehicle. A fatigued driver may fall asleep at the wheel or lose concentration, causing the vehicle to veer into oncoming traffic, resulting in a head-on collision.
- Is speeding around curves and loses control – Drivers who speed, particularly around curves, risk losing control of their vehicles. When a vehicle is traveling too fast, its tires can lose traction, causing the vehicle to slide or spin into the opposing lane of traffic and potentially resulting in a head-on collision.
- Is distracted or impaired – Distracted or impaired drivers have diminished attention and slower reaction times. This could lead to a head-on collision if, for example, a driver is distracted by their phone and doesn’t notice that they’ve drifted into the oncoming lane, or if an impaired driver misjudges distances or fails to react to changes in the road or traffic conditions.
- Passes incorrectly on a two-lane road – A driver who tries to pass another vehicle on a two-lane road without ensuring the opposing lane is clear risks colliding with an oncoming vehicle. This is particularly risky on roads with poor visibility or without space to safely complete the maneuver.
- Fails to read or follow road signs – Road signs are designed to guide drivers and ensure road safety. A driver who fails to read or follow road signs may inadvertently drive into oncoming traffic, enter a road from the wrong direction, or make an illegal turn, any of which can lead to a head-on collision.
Liability in Colorado Springs Head-on Collisions
Determining liability in any accident lies in proving negligence. Each driver has a duty of care to all other motorists on the road. Every driver is obligated to follow the rules of the road and all local traffic laws. When a motorist disregards the rules, drives recklessly, or otherwise jeopardizes the well-being of others, that driver has acted negligently.
Drivers have a legal duty of care to operate their vehicles in a manner that is safe and reasonable under the circumstances. This includes following all traffic laws and regulations, paying attention to the road and surrounding conditions, and taking action to prevent harm to others on the road, including other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
In the context of a head-on collision, the duty of care would encompass several specific responsibilities:
- Right Lane Driving: Except when passing another vehicle, turning, or when a specific lane is designated, drivers are expected to operate their vehicles in the right lane to prevent head-on collisions.
- Obeying Traffic Signs and Signals: Drivers must obey all traffic signs and signals, including those directing one-way traffic, which can prevent head-on collisions.
- Speed and Control: Drivers are expected to control their speed, especially in conditions like heavy traffic, bad weather, or around curves, where the risk of a head-on collision might increase.
- Avoiding Distractions: Drivers should avoid distractions like cell phones, eating, or any activity that takes their attention off the road, which can help prevent drifting into oncoming traffic.
- No Impaired Driving: The duty of care includes not driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or fatigue, as these conditions can significantly increase the risk of a head-on collision.
Situations Where A Driver May Not Be Liable In Colorado Springs Head-on Collisions
In some situations, fault may not be so readily evident. For instance, when external forces which are beyond a driver’s control factor into the accident. Such factors can create hazardous conditions that even the most cautious driver may not be able to avoid.
Examples of this include:
- Severe weather conditions – Intense rain, snow, fog, or ice can affect road traction, visibility, and a vehicle’s handling. Even when drivers exercise due care in such conditions, they may still lose control of their vehicles or fail to see upcoming hazards, potentially leading to a head-on collision.
- Improperly functioning traffic signals – Traffic signals guide the flow of traffic and establish right of way. When they malfunction or are out of order, drivers may become confused about who has the right of way, increasing the risk of collisions. In these cases, the city or municipality responsible for maintaining these signals could potentially be held liable.
- Damaged or missing road signs – Road signs serve to inform drivers of road conditions, directions, and potential hazards. If these signs are damaged, obscured, or missing, drivers may unknowingly enter into dangerous situations such as driving the wrong way down a one-way street or failing to yield at a crucial juncture, leading to a head-on collision. The entity responsible for maintaining these signs could bear some responsibility for accidents resulting from their poor condition.
- Poorly maintained roadways – Potholes, inadequate road markings, lack of safety barriers, or poorly designed roads can create dangerous conditions that lead to accidents. If a poorly maintained road contributed to a head-on collision, the government agency tasked with the road’s upkeep could be held partially or wholly responsible.
Common Injuries Sustained in Colorado Springs Head-On Collisions
Due to their abrupt nature, head-on collisions very often result in fatalities, and survivors can be left with devastating injuries. Even at low speeds, these accidents can be catastrophic. The trauma of a head-on collision can cause great anxiety and leave long-lasting emotional scars.
Belted drivers and passengers typically suffer chest and lower limb injuries. Those not wearing seatbelts often suffer severe head and facial injuries and more damage to their chest and lower extremities including, the pelvis, legs and feet, or they may be thrown through the vehicle’s windshield.
Other injuries can include:
- Cuts, bruises, and scarring from loose items being thrown about in the vehicle – Loose objects inside the vehicle can become projectiles upon impact, leading to lacerations, contusions, and potentially permanent scarring.
- Facial injuries including broken bones in the eye sockets, chin, cheek, and jaw – The impact can result in broken bones in the face, including fractures of the eye sockets, chin, cheeks, and jaw. These injuries may require extensive surgery to repair and could result in lasting disfigurement.
- Whiplash and other neck and shoulder injuries – The abrupt force of a head-on collision often causes the head and neck to whip back and forth, which can lead to injuries of the muscles, ligaments, and other structures in the neck and shoulders.
- Back and spinal cord injuries including herniated discs – The collision’s impact can damage the back, potentially leading to herniated discs and other spinal injuries. These can cause chronic pain, limited mobility, and in severe cases, paralysis.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – A head-on collision’s sudden force can cause the brain to collide with the inside of the skull, leading to TBI. Symptoms can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage, impacting cognitive function, memory, and emotional well-being.
- Decapitations in extreme situations, or when airbags fail to deploy – In extreme cases, especially when airbags fail to deploy, decapitations can occur.
Statute of Limitations in Colorado Springs Head-On Collisions
The statute of limitations sets the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, which include car accidents like head-on collisions, is typically two (2) years from the date of the accident.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If a head-on collision resulted in a death, and a family is filing a wrongful death claim, the statute of limitations extends to two (2) years from the date of death, which may not be the same as the date of the accident. If your case does involve a wrongful death, contact our wrongful death lawyers in Colorado Springs.
Contact our Colorado Springs Head-On Collision Lawyer Today
Navigating the aftermath of a head-on collision can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. At Green Law Firm P.C., our Colorado Springs head-on collision lawyers understand the intricacies of such cases and are committed to fighting for your rights.
We work tirelessly to ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve for your injuries, financial losses, and emotional distress. Time is of the essence as legal deadlines apply, so don’t delay. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We’re ready to listen, advise, and help you on the path to recovery.