Michigan Head On Collision Accident Injury Lawyer
Head on collisions in Michigan are extremely scary and frightening events. They can cause severe personal injuries, resulting in an enormous amount of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Finding a Michigan head-on collision lawyer to help you navigate through everything is vital. These cases demand special attention because of the severity of the injuries, the emotional trauma and the insurance company defenses that inevitably come up.
The physics involved in a head-on collision are easy to envision. The force involved in two vehicles striking each other while moving towards one another is magnified when compared to a standard rear-end collision. The speed and trajectory of each vehicle is important to analyze. Also important is whether the vehicle strikes any other objects, such as a street sign or pole, after the initial crash.
Getting involved in a head-on collision on a Michigan roadway can be life altering. We have handled numerous head-on crashes at our law firm, and they often involve the most serious injuries, including death.
Head-On Accident Are Extremely Dangerous
According to the Michigan Traffic Crash Reporting System, there were 3,414 total head-on crashes in 2017. That represented only 1.08% of all crashes in Michigan that year. However, 100 head-on crashes resulted in a fatality, which represents an astounding 10.67% of all fatal car crashes. More than 42% of all head-on collisions resulted in injury, versus 18% for all crash types. The results are clear. Head-on collisions are some of the most dangerous, if not the most dangerous, type of collision one can go through.
The results are even worse for head-on collisions involving a truck or bus in Michigan. Head-on collisions with a truck or bus were less than 1% of all crashes involving a truck or bus, however, truck or bus head-on collisions represented 2.5% of all injuries and more than 19% of all fatalities for that category.
What Should I Do If I Am Involved in a Head-On Collision?
The first thing to do is to make sure everybody in the car is accounted for and checked on. If a cell phone is nearby, call 911 immediately. Even if you don’t think you are injured, it is important medical personnel can come to the accident scene and evaluate everybody to make sure there are not any medical emergencies.
After calling 911, wait for the police and medical personnel to arrive. Make sure everybody in your party explains in detail to the authorities how the accident occurred and the injuries or pain they have sustained.
Exchange information with the other motorist. Make sure you get the license plate number, make and model of the vehicle. Take photographs of the accident scene, including the vehicle damage for all vehicles involved in the crash. This is useful later on when the car insurance companies are evaluating the claim. If you need to stay in the vehicle, that’s is fine too, but make sure you do get basic information from the other motorists.
How Do I Prove the Other Driver Was At Fault For Causing the Head-On Collision?
Proving fault is very important. Under Michigan law, a person can only obtain pain and suffering compensation if they prove the other driver was at least 50% at-fault for causing the crash. As a result, it is extremely important you talk to the responding police officer at the accident scene and provide your side of the story. If that is not possible, make sure you follow up with the police as soon as possible, even if that is a telephone call from a hospital bed.
The police use these statements to complete a traffic crash report, or UD-10 report, and these reports become incredibly important because the police officer will use the report when testifying later on in the case.
The police should perform accident reconstruction work while at the accident scene. This can include looking at skid marks, property damage and video surveillance if possible to evaluate and determine the cause of the head-on crash.
Our team of legal professionals employs our own accident reconstruction experts to ensure the best outcome for our clients. Our experts will use the police report and the police department’s accident reconstruction report merely as a starting off point. Analyzing the black box, or event data recorder (EDR), provides a wealth of information. Evaluating vehicle damage both inside and outside the involved cars supply even more data.
It is important to investigate every detail possible so the insurance company cannot use negligence as a way to wiggle out of responsibility.
If I Am At-Fault for Causing the Head-On Collision, Do I Still Have A Case?
Michigan is a no-fault state. This means even if you are at-fault for causing the head-on crash, you can still make a claim for no-fault benefits. This can include the payment of all medical expenses health insurance does not cover, lost wages, prescription reimbursement, replacement services and other important benefits.
Michigan no-fault benefits are available to passengers in the crash too. You can still collect no-fault benefits even if you don’t own a car or have car insurance of your own. Passengers can also pursue a claim for pain and suffering.
Is There A Time Limit For Filing A Claim in a Head-On Collision?
Michigan car accident injury claims usually have a 3-year statute of limitation. This means a lawsuit must be filed against the at-fault defendant within that time frame or the plaintiff forever loses his or her right to recover damages. However, this 3-year statute of limitation is for pain and suffering or non-economic damages lawsuits only.
Claims for Michigan no-fault benefits only have a 1-year statute of limitation. It is a “rolling” statue of limitation, meaning you have 1 year from the date of the incurred expense to file a lawsuit to ensure the auto no-fault insurance carrier pays the outstanding benefit.
What Benefits Can I Claim For a Head-On Collision Injury Accident?
You can make a claim for both Michigan no-fault benefits, which includes the payment of medical expenses (including hospital and doctor costs, physical therapy, case management etc.), lost wages, out-of-pocket costs, replacement services and other benefits. This is called a first-party claim. The car insurance company is the direct defendant in a first-party, no-fault claim.
A claim for pain and suffering and emotional damages is also available. These are negligence claims against the at-fault vehicle. These claims are known as third-party claims.
What Are The Common Injuries in Head-On Collision Accidents?
Head-on collisions can result in a host of different injuries. They can include the following:
- Traumatic Brain Injury – The huge forces involved in these crashes can create traumatic brain injury or TBI. TBI is caused by shearing or tearing of the brain’s connecting nerve fibers. This is known as a a diffuse axonal injury and entails the brain shifting and rotating inside the skull. Shearing can cause severe brain injury and the affects are sometimes permanent.
- Broken Bones – The impact of head-on collisions can cause broken bones, in particular in the legs and hips, which often take the brunt of the force. Compound fractures or displaced fractures usually result in surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation period.
- Facial Injuries and Fractures – A common injury for head-on collisions are facial fractures. The different forces involved in pushing the head and neck forward during a crash can cause blunt force impact with the steering wheel or other parts of the car. The natural result can be severe injuries to the cheek bone, nose, eye socket or jawbone. These injuries are significant and permanent.
- Back and Neck Injuries – A head-on collision can create a whiplash injury that results in a disc along the spine to bulge or herniate onto the adjacent nerves and spinal cord. Cervical (neck) and lumbar (back) herniations cause numbness and tingling sensations in the arms and legs. This is known as radiculopathy. It is a painful and uncomfortable injury that can impact every part of a person’s life.
- Shoulder, Knee and Joint Injuries – A head-on collision also cause injuries to the joints, which absorb an incredible amount of force during impact. This can lead to severe ligament strain and even tears in the shoulder, knee and other joints. Tendon injury is very common as well. These injuries are typically treated by orthopedic surgeons who specialize in rehabilitation of joint injuries.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Lee Steinberg specialize in helping individuals injured in Michigan head-on collisions. We serve clients throughout the state and work tirelessly to get them the benefits and compensation they deserve. Our head-on collision injury lawyers hire experts and meet with treating physicians to present our clients’ cases in the best possible fashion so the insurance companies understand what our clients are going through. Give us a call at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) so we can answer your questions and fight for you. There is no fee unless we win your case.