This article is by Marc Albert, a top rated Long Island personal injury lawyer. Head-on collisions are arguably one of the most dangerous types of car accidents. Fortunately for drivers, however, head-on collisions only represent approximately 2 percent of all car accidents. Still, they are responsible for many of the fatalities and serious injuries that result from car accidents. If you have recently been in a head-on collision, you may want to seek help with a lawyer in order to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other types of damages that you incurred.
But before going that far, you need to know what to do in the event of a head-on collision. There are certain steps that you must take immediately after being involved in any type of car accident, and head-on collisions are no exception. Most importantly, you’ll need to ensure the safety of yourself and the other driver and both of your passengers and then gather get some essential information to ensure your legal and financial safety down the line.
What to do right after a head-on collision
Naturally, after a head-on collision, you’re going to be disoriented and possibly even in pain. For this reason, you’ll need to first assess your safety. Check yourself over for blood, cuts, bruises and other injuries. Look in the rearview mirror to assess your head, neck and chest. Check your abdomen, arms, legs, fingers and toes. If you see that you have an injury, you need to call emergency services immediately.
If you’re able, talk to the other people in your car to see if they are okay. If you have fellow passengers, call out their names to make sure that they respond. If they do not respond, look them over to assess their injuries while calling 911. If they have serious injuries but are still conscious, you still need to call 911 immediately. If you are unable to call 911 yourself, you can also ask a bystander to do so for you.
Once you have assessed safety, if you are able, you’ll need to start gathering information about the accident and the scene of the accident as soon as possible. Pictures are your line of defense in an accident, so if you have a smartphone or a digital camera with you, take as many pictures as you can. You’ll want to document the actual accident scene and any injuries that you or your passengers experienced. Anything else that is pertinent to the accident or situation should be documented with photographs as well.
You’ll want to gather information from bystanders too. Ask any witnesses to the accident what they saw, and get their full names and phone numbers also. It’s also good idea to get the full name and badge number of the police officer who responded to the accident scene. Other first responders’ names and phone numbers may be valuable as well. Once your responding officer has completed their police report, you are entitled to get a copy of this document, and you should.
Finally, make sure that you get the appropriate information from the other driver if they are able to give you this. If they are severely injured and unable to respond to your inquiries, ask what hospital they will be going to, and follow up later. You can also ask fellow passengers or family members to provide you with the driver’s full name, address and phone number. If possible, you’ll want to get the insurance information and policy number from the other driver too.
Recovering damages from a head-on collision
Head-on collisions can be caused by many different factors. Intoxication or driver fatigue may be responsible. People using cell phones to text or talk while driving or doing other distracting things like putting on makeup or eating may be responsible. Older drivers who cannot see or who have slowed reflexes may be responsible. And there are a number of other reasons why head-on collisions may happen as well.
These things are not your fault. If you have been in a head-on collision, talk to an experienced lawyer about the possibility of recovering damages if the accident was not your fault. You should not have to suffer injuries and the expenses of those injuries when you did not cause the head-on accident. A lawyer can help you recover the damages that you deserve.