Common Issues in Head-On Wreck Matters
Head-on and wrong-way wrecks account for only a miniscule percentage of the car crashes in Texas. But they account for about 10 percent of the fatal accidents in the Lone Star State. Legally, there’s a difference between head-on wrecks and one-way wrecks, as outlined below. However, the laws of physics are the same in both kinds of wrecks. Double the amount of force usually means double the amount of injuries. Even if victims survive these wrecks, they normally sustain permanent injuries.
The average injury-related medical bill in a catastrophic (life-threatening) injury case is over $100,000. Usually, group health insurance plans don’t cover injury-related costs, and the victim cannot possibly afford to pay these bills out of pocket. So, a Missouri City personal injury lawyer works very hard to obtain the financial compensation these families need and deserve to not only pay accident-related expenses, but also move forward with their lives.
To obtain this compensation, a Missouri City personal injury lawyer must prove negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. Evidence is usually scarce in these wrecks, at least initially.
Head-on and wrong-way wrecks often occur on lonely stretches of highway, and often late at night. In these cases, the only initial witnesses might be the victim and tortfeasor (negligent driver).
Tortfeasors very rarely lie. However, like the rest of us, they remember events selectively. Our brains are not video cameras. Additionally, if the victim was seriously injured or killed, the victim’s testimony may be unavailable.
For these reasons, the police accident report, another critical bit of proof in a car crash claim, is often incomplete or biased. If the reporting officer only hears one side of the story, the written report will only reflect one side of the story.
Frequently, a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder fills in the gaps. This onboard computer measures and records certain operational information, such as:
- Vehicle speed,
- Engine RPM,
- Steering angle, and
- Brake application.
Many times, a lawyer works with an accident reconstruction professional to put these random bits of evidence together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
EDR evidence is almost irrefutable in court. Computers, unlike people, are never incorrect or biased, as long as the computer was working properly.
A Missouri City personal injury lawyer must act quickly to preserve EDR proof. Otherwise, the insurance company might “accidentally” destroy this gadget.
EDR information helps distinguish between a wrong-way and a head-on crash. This distinction is subtle, yet important.
Assume Harry mistook an on-ramp for an off-ramp and began driving on the wrong side of the road. Sally sees Harry approaching, but she does nothing to avoid a crash. Sally could be legally responsible for damages because she had the last clear chance to avoid the wreck.
Significantly, there’s a difference between the last clear chance and any possible chance. Frequently, wrecks happen so quickly that they’re unavoidable.
The last clear chance doctrine probably wouldn’t come up if Harry swerved over the center line into Sally’s lane. The wreck was most likely unavoidable, especially if the wreck happened at night or if other environmental conditions were poor.
Reach Out to a Diligent Harris County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Sugar Land personal injury attorney, contact the Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.