Charleston, SC Head-On Vehicle Collision Attorneys
South Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Helping Injury Victims Recover Compensation
Head-on collisions occur when two vehicles crash into one another, front-end to front-end. Head-on collisions are among the deadliest traffic accidents, causing more than 5,200 fatalities each year. However, the vast majority of these serious accidents are preventable. Head-on collisions typically occur as a result of impaired driving, distracted driving, and fatigued driving. Even attentive drivers can end up in a head-on crash if there is inadequate road signage, poorly marked construction zone sites, visibility issues due to poor lighting or weather conditions, or even through no fault of their own such as a sudden oncoming vehicle in their lane.
At the Steinberg Law Firm, our dedicated team of Charleston car accident lawyers has been helping accident victims and their families recover financial damages from those motorists who cause head-on collisions. Since 1927, we’ve stood alongside accident victims, aggressively advocating on their behalf to ensure they have the financial resources needed to make them whole after suffering serious injuries and unquantifiable losses.
Where Do Most Head-On Collisions Occur in Charleston?
Head-on collisions, also known as frontal crashes, are some of the most devastating types of motor vehicle accidents. While head-on accidents make up less than two percent of all traffic accidents, they are responsible for over ten percent of all traffic-related fatalities. While head-on collisions can happen anywhere, certain factors increase the likelihood of these accidents happening in specific areas.
Highway Head-On Collisions
Passing Zones: Accidents are more likely to occur in areas where overtaking is allowed, such as stretches with broken yellow lines. Drivers attempting to pass slower vehicles may misjudge the distance or speed of oncoming traffic, leading to head-on collisions.
Construction Zones: Head-on collisions are more common in construction zones due to narrow lanes, lane shifts, reduced visibility, and distracted driving. Construction areas often have confusing signage and unexpected changes in traffic patterns, increasing the likelihood of drivers inadvertently entering opposing lanes.
On-Ramps and Off-Ramps: Head-on collisions can happen when a motorist drives the wrong way up a highway on-ramp or off-ramp. While on-ramps and off-ramps are generally well-marked, a drunk or distracted driver may not notice the ample signage indicating they are about to travel the wrong way or fail to anticipate an upcoming curve in the road. The worst highway head-on collisions often occur after a driver merges onto a highway going the wrong way, where they are likely to collide with an oncoming vehicle traveling in excess of 60 miles per hour.
Head-On Collisions on Roads and Streets
Two-Lane Roads: Head-on collisions are more prevalent on two-lane roads with narrow lanes, especially in rural or suburban areas. These roads often lack physical barriers between opposing lanes and are often unlit, increasing the risk of vehicles drifting into oncoming traffic due to distracted driving, drowsiness, or vision impairment.
Curves and Bends: Roads with sharp turns, blind corners, or winding sections pose a higher risk of head-on collisions. Drivers who misjudge the curve of a road or fail to anticipate oncoming traffic while maneuvering through these areas can collide with vehicles coming from the opposite direction.
Intersections: Intersections, especially those lacking traffic signals or stop signs, can be danger zones for head-on collisions. Drivers who fail to yield the right-of-way or disregard traffic rules at intersections risk colliding with other vehicles traveling from opposite directions.
Impaired Driving Areas: Locations near bars, nightclubs, or areas with high alcohol consumption rates are prone to head-on collisions due to impaired driving. Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs may lose control of their vehicles, swerve into oncoming traffic, or drive on the wrong side of the road.
Common Types of Injuries Following a Charleston Head-On Crash
Head-on collisions are more likely to result in serious injury or death than any other type of traffic accident. In large part, this is because most head-on accidents involve high speeds and direct impacts. For example, in an accident involving two vehicles that collide at an angle, the vehicles might glance off each other and then continue traveling until they come to a complete stop. However, in a head-on collision, both vehicles effectively come to an immediate complete stop. As a result, head-on collisions typically result in one or more of the following types of injuries.
Head and Brain Injuries: The sudden deceleration and impact of a head-on collision can cause occupants’ heads to strike the windshield, dashboard, or other hard surfaces inside the vehicle. This can result in traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), concussions, contusions, or even skull fractures. These injuries can have long-lasting effects on cognitive function, memory, and motor skills.
Neck and Spinal Injuries: Whiplash is a common injury in head-on collisions. The forceful back-and-forth motion of the head can strain the neck, leading to soft tissue injuries, herniated discs, or spinal cord damage. Severe spinal injuries can result in paralysis or permanent disability.
Chest and Abdominal Injuries: The impact of a head-on collision can cause occupants’ chests to strike the steering wheel or seat belt, leading to broken ribs, collapsed lungs, or damage to internal organs such as the liver, spleen, or kidneys. These injuries can be life-threatening and may require immediate medical intervention.
Limb Injuries: The forceful impact can cause occupants’ arms and legs to collide with the vehicle’s interior or become trapped in the wreckage. This can result in fractures, dislocations, lacerations, or even amputations. In some cases, limbs may be crushed or trapped, requiring extrication by emergency responders.
Facial Injuries: The face is vulnerable to injuries in a head-on collision. Airbag deployment, broken glass, or impact with hard surfaces can cause facial fractures, lacerations, or eye injuries. These injuries may require surgical intervention and can have long-term cosmetic and functional consequences.
Psychological Trauma: Surviving a head-on collision can leave lasting psychological effects on the individuals involved. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, or phobias related to driving or vehicles are common psychological issues that can arise following a traumatic accident.
What Are The Common Causes of Head-On Collisions in South Carolina?
Several factors contribute to head-on collisions, and recognizing them can help prevent future accidents and help accident victims hold responsible parties accountable.
One common cause of head-on collisions is driver negligence. Distracted driving, such as texting or talking on the phone, takes the driver’s attention away from the road, increasing the risk of drifting into oncoming traffic. Additionally, impaired driving due to alcohol or drug use significantly impairs a driver’s judgment and reaction time, making it more likely for them to cross the centerline and collide head-on with another vehicle.
Another significant cause of head-on collisions is speeding. When drivers exceed the posted speed limit, they have less time to react to unexpected situations and are more likely to lose control of their vehicle, veering into opposing lanes of traffic. Speeding not only increases the severity of the impact but also reduces the effectiveness of safety features, such as airbags and seat belts, further contributing to the severity of injuries sustained in head-on collisions.
Poorly Designed or Maintained Roads
These can also lead to head-on collisions. Inadequate signage, lack of proper lane markings, and limited visibility around curves or intersections can confuse drivers and increase the chances of unintentionally crossing into oncoming traffic. It is essential for government entities responsible for road maintenance to identify and rectify these issues promptly to enhance road safety.
Another factor that contributes to head-on collisions is fatigue. Fatigued drivers are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel, or experience reduced focus and slower reaction times. In such instances, a driver may drift into oncoming traffic without even realizing it, leading to a catastrophic head-on collision. Long-haul truck drivers, shift workers, and individuals with untreated sleep disorders are particularly susceptible to this danger.
Finally, inclement weather conditions can significantly increase the likelihood of head-on collisions. Heavy rain and fog reduce visibility and make it difficult for drivers to maintain control of their vehicles. Slippery road surfaces also impact braking distance, making it harder for drivers to stop in time and avoid crossing into opposing lanes.
12 Critical Steps to Take After a Charleston Head-On Car Accident
After a head-on accident in Charleston, South Carolina, it is important to take certain steps to ensure your safety, protect your legal rights, and navigate the post-accident process smoothly. Here are some key actions to consider:
- Check for Injuries: First and foremost, assess yourself and others involved for any injuries and call emergency services if necessary.
- Move to a Safe Location: If possible, move your vehicle to a safe spot off the road to prevent further accidents or traffic congestion.
- Call the Police: Contact the local authorities to report the accident. A police report can provide crucial documentation for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
- Exchange Information: Exchange contact, insurance, and vehicle details with the other party involved in the accident. Additionally, gather contact information from witnesses, if any.
- Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene, including damages to both vehicles, skid marks, and any visible injuries. This evidence can support your insurance claim.
- Notify Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your insurance provider as soon as possible. Provide them with accurate and detailed information about the incident.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don’t have visible injuries, it’s wise to seek medical evaluation to rule out any hidden injuries. This medical documentation can be valuable for insurance claims.
- Preserve Evidence: Keep copies of all medical bills, repair estimates, and any other relevant documents related to the accident.
- Consult a Charleston Car Accident Attorney: If you’ve suffered significant injuries or property damage, it’s advisable to consult with a car accident attorney to understand your legal rights and options.
- Follow All Treatment Plans: If you require medical treatment, make sure to follow your doctor’s advice and attend all appointments to aid your recovery and strengthen your case.
- Avoid Discussing Fault: Refrain from admitting fault or discussing the accident in detail with the other party’s insurance company without legal representation.
- Understand the Statute of Limitations: Be aware of the time limits for filing a personal injury claim in South Carolina to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines.
Of course, every car accident is unique, so it’s crucial to seek personalized legal advice to navigate the specific circumstances of your case.
The Top 7 Things to Look For in a Charleston Head-On Car Accident Lawyer
When searching for a Charleston car accident lawyer to handle a head-on collision case, it is crucial to consider several key factors to ensure you find the right legal representation for your case. Here are seven important things to look for in a Charleston car accident lawyer:
- Experience: Look for a lawyer with extensive experience in handling car accident cases. They should have a deep understanding of personal injury laws, insurance policies, and the local legal system.
- Knowledgable: Seek a lawyer who understands the complexities of a car accident case. They should have a track record of successfully representing clients in similar situations and possess the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate your unique case.
- Reputation: Research the lawyer’s reputation in the legal community and among past clients. Read online reviews, testimonials, and ask for references to gauge their professionalism, communication skills, and success rate.
- Resources: A reputable car accident lawyer should have access to a network of experts, including accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, and investigators, to help build a strong case on your behalf.
- Communication and Accessibility: Choose a lawyer who is responsive and accessible. Effective communication is essential in any legal case, so ensure the lawyer is available to address your concerns, answer your questions, and keep you updated throughout the process.
- Trial Experience: While most car accident cases settle out of court, it is essential to choose a lawyer who has trial experience. This demonstrates their ability to represent you effectively in court if your case goes to trial.
- Personalized Attention: A good car accident lawyer should prioritize your individual needs and provide personalized attention to your case. They should listen to your story, understand your goals, and develop a tailored legal strategy accordingly.
By considering these factors, you can find a qualified and reliable Charleston car accident lawyer who will advocate for your rights and work towards securing the compensation you deserve.
Reach Out to the Steinberg Firm to Learn How We Can Help You Pursue a Charleston Car Accident Claim
If you’ve recently been hurt in a head-on collision, your decision about which Charleston car accident lawyer you choose to represent you may be one of the most important decisions you make in your case. At the Steinberg Law Firm, we have over 95 years of hands-on experience helping our clients navigate the personal injury process, and know what it takes to connect you with the compensation you need, deserve, and are legally entitled to. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 843-720-2800. We have over 800 5-star reviews and provide free consultations to accident victims.
WE HAVE RECOVERED OVER $500 MILLION FOR CLIENTS IN THE LAST 10 YEARS, INCLUDING:
Car Accident Settlement
Workers' Comp Case
Leaders in the Legal Industry
Steinberg attorneys have been awarded numerous distinctions, such as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America by U.S. News & World Report, Gedney M. Howe, Jr. Award for Outstanding Public Service, the SC Leadership in Law award, and has been voted Best Workers’ Comp Firm in SC, among other distinctions.
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