St. Louis Head-On Collisions
A head-on collision is the most dangerous of all car accidents because the cars often move at maximum speeds when they collide with one another, resulting in catastrophic or even deadly outcomes.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a head-on collision, contact our lawyers at NST Law today for a free consultation to learn if you have a valid claim and what you can do to receive compensation. Our St. Louis attorneys have years of experience helping victims of head-on collisions and securing the relief they need for their financial losses.
What's a head-on collision?
A head-on collision happens when two vehicles collide front facing while moving in the direction of each other. Head-on collisions are the most dangerous accidents due to the basic rules of physics. The combination of the vehicles’ speed and weight creates an immense amount of force upon impact, often resulting in devastating physical injuries to the persons in the cars.
Car accident cases stemming from head-on collisions often involve severe injuries, necessitating the help of a legal professional to ensure your rights are protected, and you can ease some of the financial burdens of recovery. Contact a St. Louis car accident lawyer to understand the steps you must take when pursuing legal action after a head-on collision with injuries and other damages.
What causes a head-on collision?
Common causes of head-on collisions include:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy or impaired driving
- Poor road conditions such as slick roads
- Going around a curve too quickly
- Improper passing
- Reckless driving
Distracted driving means a driver isn’t focusing on the road ahead because they’re involved in eating, drinking, talking to a passenger, dealing with kids or pets in the back seat, texting or checking their phone, or messing with the car stereo or changing their playlist. Taking your eyes off the road even for a few seconds can result in a head-on crash.
If a person is tired or impaired because of drugs or alcohol when driving, their response times and reflexes are slow, and their judgment is also impaired. In these situations, a person may go the wrong way down the road or fall asleep at the wheel, causing a head-on collision.
Additionally, head-on collisions are likely to occur when a driver goes around a curve too fast and moves into an oncoming lane. Similarly, improper passing may cause a head-on collision, particularly on two-lane, rural roads, where drivers can’t see very far in front of them on the roadway to anticipate drivers coming the opposite way.
Common Head-On Collision Injuries
Head-on collision injuries can be worse than other types of accidents because of the sheer force involved in the impact. Common injuries from head-on collisions may include:
- Head injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Crush injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Burns, bruises, and lacerations
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
In addition, families may lose a loved one in a head-on collision. If a negligent driver caused a car accident that killed your family member, you might be able to file a wrongful death suit to recover compensation for funeral expenses, lost income and benefits, and the loss of a familial relationship.
How common are head-on collisions in St. Louis?
Unfortunately, head-on collisions are prevalent in St. Louis because it’s a central transportation hub for people traveling across the country, with major interstates and roads snaking throughout the city. In recent years, St. Louis has also been experiencing higher crime rates, with increased impaired and reckless driving incidents, including even drag-racing. Drag-racing and reckless driving in the downtown area have become so problematic that officials installed barricades along the road where the bulk of the racing takes place, including on 4th Street.
One of the most dangerous roads in the St. Louis area is Interstate I-70, which stretches four miles through the city and has a high number of deaths associated with it each year. Another dangerous St. Louis road, according to federal statistics, is a half-mile stretch of Page Avenue, between Sutter and Moore avenues, also known as Missouri Route D, with the highest rate of fatal crashes in the metro area per mile during the years of 2015 and 2016.
Drivers should also use caution when traveling on Highway 100, between Canaan Road and Upper Plattin Road, near De Soto, and Natural Bridge Avenue, between Hamilton Avenue and Farrar Street.
Nearly every month, there’s a news story reporting a head-on collision in the St. Louis area. In March 2021, one person died after a fiery head-on crash in East St. Louis. The crash happened near the intersection of Skinker and Page when a vehicle veered into oncoming traffic, colliding with a box truck.
A man from Florissant died in April 2021 while driving his car on Highway 367 north of Chambers Road when another vehicle crossed the center line and crashed into him head-on. The driver and passenger in the other vehicle sustained moderate injuries.
In another horrific car accident, both drivers and one passenger lost their lives when two pickup trucks collided head-on after one skidded into the opposite lane. None of the occupants were wearing seat belts, and they were all declared dead at the scene.
In July 2021, a 16-year-old girl died in a head-on crash in Jefferson County, on Highway B north of Reynolds Creek Road. While driving a 2010 Pontiac, the teenager crossed over the center lane, colliding head-on with a Ford pickup truck. The driver of the pickup truck didn’t suffer any injuries.
As these tragic stories demonstrate, head-on collisions in St. Louis are hazardous and often deadly.
How can you prove liability in a head-on collision in St. Louis?
To prove another party was negligent in a head-on collision, you must show the same elements of negligence as in any other personal injury claim. In legal terms, you must show by a preponderance of the evidence that:
- The person owed you a duty to drive reasonably and safely.
- The person breached that duty.
- The other person’s negligent conduct or breach proximately caused your injuries.
- You suffered actual injuries or damages.
Our attorneys at the law firm of Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz have years of experience helping people who suffered injuries in car accidents, particularly head-on collisions. We can help you build your case by investigating the accident, collecting all relevant evidence to show that the other person was at fault, and filing all the necessary documents. We will fight for fair compensation to help ease the financial burdens that accompany the aftermath of a head-on collision in St. Louis.
What if I was partially at fault for a head-on collision in St. Louis?
Missouri is a comparative fault state, meaning a compensation award may be subject to reduction according to your degree of fault in an accident. If you’re partially at fault for a head-on collision in St. Louis, it’s possible you can still recover damages. For example, under Missouri law, if a judge or jury awards you $50,000 for your injuries and damages but also finds that you were 30% negligent in causing the accident, your award is subject to a 30% reduction, meaning you could receive $35,000.
Do cooperate with law enforcement, but never admit guilt after a head-on collision, especially when speaking with the insurance companies. Speak with a car accident attorney who can help investigate your claim and establish an argument for the other party’s higher percentage of negligence so that you can recover maximum compensation for your damages.
What kinds of damages can I receive compensation for in a St. Louis head-on collision?
You can obtain both economic and non-economic damages after a car accident with injuries. Economic damages include all out-of-pocket costs stemming from your head-on-collision, including:
- Hospital bills
- Doctor visit copays
- Prescription medication costs
- Future medical expenses, including rehabilitation or physical therapy costs and deductibles for future surgeries
- The cost of medical devices or assistive equipment for temporary or permanent disabilities
- Property damages
- Rental car costs
- Lost wages or future loss of income
Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate because they relate to intangible costs. Often referred to as pain and suffering, non-economic damages are monetary amounts paid to compensate the accident victim for mental anguish and suffering due to varying mental and emotional pain inflicted due to an accident. For example, following a head-on collision, an accident victim might suffer from severe psychological trauma, including anxiety, depression, or flashbacks associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Additionally, car accident victims might lose a limb, resulting in an inability to participate in activities that were commonplace before the crash. Losses such as this can lead to a loss of enjoyment in life and varying mental health injuries necessitating counseling or other psychologically supportive measures.
Lastly, Missouri law allows for the recovery of punitive damages under certain circumstances where the negligent party’s actions were especially egregious. Punitive damages intend to punish wanton, willful, or reckless behavior to deter future wrongdoing. For instance, if a drunk driver caused your head-on collision, punitive damages might apply.
You must see a doctor for medical treatment immediately after a head-on collision. While most injuries are apparent directly after a car accident, others may take weeks or even months to be noticeable. Therefore, it’s important to have a medical professional give you a thorough check-up to ensure you aren’t suffering from an internal bleed or another serious injury.
Collect all medical records to support your claim for damages. A car accident attorney can help you do this.
Time Limit to File a Head-On Collision Lawsuit
Under Missouri law, if you were in a car accident and incurred injuries, the statute of limitations or deadline to file a civil lawsuit for compensation is five years. If you fail to file your lawsuit within this deadline, the court will likely forever bar you from asserting a claim for damages, with minimal exceptions.
A car accident attorney can ensure the timely filing of your lawsuit and all other necessary documents to get you the compensation you deserve.
How can a St. Louis head-on collision car accident attorney help you?
If you’ve been injured in a head-on collision in St. Louis, our legal team at NST Law can help you. After evaluating your claim and confirming you have a valid case, you get to decide if you want to hire us.
Once retained, we will investigate the accident, including hiring experts in accident reconstruction. We will also be responsible for contacting all third parties, including witnesses to the accident and the insurance companies. We will assign an approximate dollar amount to your case to steer negotiations when securing a settlement from the insurance companies. We will advise you about your claim’s worth and help you determine if an insurance company’s offer is fair and reasonable.
If the insurance company refuses to provide you with a fair settlement offer, we can file a civil lawsuit and represent you in court.
Contact us at NST Law today for a free case evaluation to get started.