Head-on collisions are some of the most dangerous of all motor vehicle accidents. They are often the result of reckless behavior. Our Ft. Lauderdale car accident lawyers have handled our fair share of these cases and know how serious they can be.
Here, we’ll discuss some of the more common causes of head-on crashes. We’ll also explain what damages your car accident lawyer can seek in a lawsuit.
What Causes Head-On Collisions?
The most common causes of head-on accidents include:
- Speeding – It is easy to lose control of your car when you’re speeding. Many head-on collisions are the result of someone driving well over the speed limit.
- Distracted driving – All it takes is a few seconds of not keeping an eye on the road for someone to drive into oncoming traffic.
- Driver fatigue – The defendant may have fallen asleep at the wheel and drifted into your lane.
- Drunk driving – Many times, these cases involve drunk driving. The other driver may not appreciate how fast they are driving or the fact that they don’t have control of their vehicle.
- Reckless driving – Sadly, some motorists simply do not care about whether they hurt someone else. They may be out joyriding or driving recklessly on purpose.
- Medical emergency – There are a handful of accidents caused by a legitimate medical emergency.
- Fleeing the police – Unfortunately, a lot of police chases end up with an innocent person being hurt. If someone is speeding away from the police, they are liable to drive down a one-way street or drive into oncoming traffic.
Your Ft. Lauderdale Accident Attorney Still Has to Prove Fault
Even though it may be obvious to you that the other driver caused the crash, you still have to prove fault. If your accident attorney is going to recover damages from the defendant, they need to prove that they were negligent.
To do this, your attorney must demonstrate the following four things:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care – This won’t be an issue in your case. All drivers owe a certain duty of care to other motorists. At a minimum, they must obey the local traffic laws. They also have to use common sense.
- They breached this duty – This is often the hardest part of any case to prove. However, if the other driver was recklessly speeding or intoxicated and hit you head-on, it would certainly qualify as a breach of duty.
- You were injured – Your Ft. Lauderdale accident lawyer must prove that you were hurt. The best way to do this is with medical records. That’s why it’s so important that you go to the hospital immediately after the crash.
- Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach – It shouldn’t be difficult to prove your injuries were caused by the head-on collision using medical records.
If you’re able to prove these four things, there’s a good chance you’ll recover damages for your injuries.
What Damages Will Your Attorney Demand in Your Car Accident Lawsuit?
When you file your initial complaint, you must include a demand for specific damages. Given the seriousness of a head-on crash, your damages will likely be significant.
Your lawyer will likely demand some or all of the following:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Ideally, the insurance carrier will be eager to negotiate a settlement.
Will the Court Award Punitive Damages?
One question a lot of clients ask is whether they can demand punitive damages. These damages are only awarded when the judge wants to send a message to the defendant. They’re also used to punish the defendant for their egregious behavior.
Florida Statute §768.72 outlines the grounds for seeking punitive damages, which include “intentional misconduct” and “gross negligence.” Gross negligence means the defendant’s behavior was so reckless that it qualifies as a disregard for others’ safety. If the driver who caused your head-on collision was drunk or driving far above the speed limit, your attorney would have a good reason to seek punitive damages.
Courts don’t usually award punitive damages in typical car accident cases. If the driver who caused your head-on collision was drunk or driving far above the speed limit, your attorney would have a good reason to seek punitive damages.
You also need to keep in mind that there’s a good chance your accident lawyer will settle your case out of court. Punitive damages aren’t part of a settlement. However, if punitive damages could be on the table in the event your case goes to trial, your attorney can use this leverage in settlement negotiations with the defendant’s lawyer.
Contact an Experienced Ft. Lauderdale Accident Attorney Right Away
If you’ve been injured in a head-on collision, you may be facing a long road to recovery. The injuries sustained in this kind of accident can be life-threatening. The last thing you should be doing is fighting with the insurance company at a time like this. That’s why it’s in your best interest to contact one of our Ft. Lauderdale accident lawyers right away.
Contact our office today at 954-915-7405 and schedule your free, initial consultation. You can bet the other driver’s insurance company will have a lawyer working for them. You need to have someone in your corner as well.