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Common Injuries Caused in Head-On Collisions

Common Injuries Caused in Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions are often some of the most severe types of car accidents, resulting in potentially life-threatening injuries and even wrongful death. These accidents occur when two vehicles collide front-to-front, distributing the impact force throughout both cars. The occupants of each vehicle may face serious injury such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage and internal organ damage. In the worst cases, these collisions can result in wrongful death, leaving families with emotional and financial devastation. If you or a loved one have been involved in a head-on collision, you should seek medical attention immediately and consult an experienced personal injury attorney to evaluate your legal options.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries caused by the negligence of another person in a head-on crash, it’s important that you call our car accident lawyers today to determine if you are entitled to compensation to help offset the serious costs of care that you may require. Matt Lalande is a Hamilton car accident lawyer who has been representing car accident victims since 2003 and has recovered tens of millions for spinal cord injury victims and their families who have suffered traumatic injuries in car accidents, motorcycle accidentsbicycle and pedestrian accidents all across Ontario.

The Unfortunate Causes of Head-On Crashes in Ontario

Head-on collisions are one of the most dangerous types of car accidents, often resulting in serious injuries and even death. The force of the impact can be deadly, even at relatively low speeds. In many cases, these accidents occur because of driver negligence – such as distracted driving, drunk driving, reckless driving, driving at high speed, driving while fatigued or drowsy. It’s important to note that the severity of a crash generally increases with the speed of the vehicles involved. Here are some reasons why high-speed collisions are more likely to result in very serious life-changing injuries or fatalities:

Greater impact force – the force of a collision is proportional to the square of the speed, meaning that the impact force in a high-speed collision is significantly higher than in a low-speed crash. This greater force can cause more severe injuries, such as skull fractures, traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, and spinal cord injuries.

Increased risk of vehicle intrusion – at high speeds, vehicles are more likely to crumple, deform, or intrude into the passenger compartment during a collision. This can result in occupants being crushed or trapped inside the vehicle, leading to severe injuries or fatalities.

Reduced effectiveness of safety features – while seatbelts, airbags, and other safety features are designed to protect occupants during a collision, their effectiveness may be diminished in high-speed crashes due to the extreme forces involved. For example, airbags may not deploy fast enough to fully protect occupants, or seatbelts may fail to restrain occupants effectively.

Higher likelihood of ejection – in high-speed collisions, there is an increased risk of occupants being ejected from the vehicle, particularly if they are not wearing seatbelts. Ejection from a vehicle can result in severe injuries or fatalities due to the impact with the ground or other objects.

Loss of vehicle control – at high speeds, drivers have less time to react to potential hazards or changes in traffic conditions, making it more difficult to maintain control of the vehicle. This can result in more severe accidents, such as rollovers or multi-vehicle collisions, which are more likely to result in fatalities.

Longer stopping distance – at higher speeds, vehicles require more distance to come to a complete stop. This increases the likelihood of a collision occurring when drivers need to brake suddenly or maneuver to avoid an obstacle.

It’s important to note that head-on collisions are not always caused by driver error. Other factors that can contribute to these accidents include poor road conditions, defective vehicle parts, and inclement weather. Head-on collisions in Ontario are also often caused on two lane oncoming highways such as Highway 69 in Northern Ontario. There is known to be a much higher risk of head-on collisions on two-lane highways compared to multi-lane divided highways.

There are several reasons why two-lane highways tend to have more head-on collisions:

Close proximity of opposing traffic – in two-lane highways, vehicles traveling in opposite directions are separated only by a centerline, which increases the likelihood of a head-on collision if a driver accidentally crosses into the opposing lane due to distraction, fatigue, or loss of control.

Overtaking – on a two-lane highway, drivers often need to enter the opposing lane to overtake slower vehicles. This maneuver increases the risk of head-on collisions, especially when visibility is limited, or drivers misjudge the distance and speed of oncoming traffic.

Limited road width – two-lane highways are generally narrower than divided highways, which can make it more challenging to avoid head-on collisions if a vehicle veers into the opposite lane or if drivers need to maneuver around obstacles.

Rural settings – many two-lane highways are located in rural areas, where drivers may encounter more variable road conditions, wildlife, and other hazards that can increase the likelihood of head-on collisions.

Lower levels of lighting – two-lane highways in rural areas may have less lighting than divided highways, making it more difficult for drivers to see and react to potential hazards or oncoming vehicles, particularly at night.

Divided highways, such as freeways or expressways, generally have a lower risk of head-on collisions because they separate opposing traffic with a physical barrier or a wide median, making it much less likely for vehicles to accidentally enter the opposing lanes. Additionally, overtaking is usually safer on divided highways because of the presence of multiple lanes traveling in the same direction.

What are the Most Common Injuries Caused in Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions are some of the most dangerous types of car accidents. These accidents often result in severe injuries some of which are

Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a form of brain injury caused by sudden trauma to the head, which can result in damage to the brain. TBIs can range from mild to severe, depending on the extent of the injury and the area of the brain affected.

There are many different types of traumatic brain injuries some of which include:

  1. Concussion: A concussion is a mild form of TBI that occurs when the brain is shaken within the skull, causing a temporary disruption of normal brain function. Symptoms can include headache, dizziness, confusion, memory loss, and sometimes temporary loss of consciousness.
  2. Contusion: A contusion is a bruise or bleeding on the brain, which can result from a direct impact to the head. Contusions may require surgical intervention if they are large or causing increased pressure on the brain.
  3. Diffuse axonal injury (DAI): This type of injury occurs when the brain is subjected to rapid acceleration and deceleration forces, causing widespread damage to the brain’s nerve fibers (axons). DAI can lead to significant cognitive and functional impairments and is often seen in severe car accidents and shaken baby syndrome.
  4. Penetrating injury: A penetrating TBI occurs when an object pierces the skull and enters the brain tissue, causing damage to the affected area. Penetrating injuries are often caused by gunshots, explosions, or sharp objects like knives.

Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can vary widely depending on the severity of the injury and the area of the brain affected. They can include headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, mood changes, sleep disturbances, seizures, and loss of consciousness.

Treatment for a TBI may involve a combination of medical care, surgery, and rehabilitation. The recovery process can be lengthy and may require ongoing therapy and support to help the individual regain cognitive, physical, and emotional functioning.Traumatic injuries can be caused by the head striking an object or the rapid acceleration and deceleration forces experienced during the collision. TBIs can range from mild concussions to severe injuries causing permanent brain damage, coma, or death.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Traumatic spinal cord injuries in serious car accidents can occur due to various factors and mechanisms. Spinal cord injuries result from damage to the spinal cord or the surrounding structures, such as the vertebrae, ligaments, and discs. The spinal cord carries signals between the brain and the rest of the body, so any damage to the spinal cord can lead to loss of sensation, motor function, or autonomic function below the level of injury. Here are some ways traumatic spinal cord injuries can be caused in serious car accidents:

Direct impact – a forceful collision can cause direct trauma to the spine, leading to fractures or dislocations of the vertebrae, which in turn can damage the spinal cord. For example, the head, neck, or back might forcefully strike the steering wheel, dashboard, or headrest.

Extreme Whiplash – whiplash injuries occur when the head and neck are suddenly and forcefully thrown forward and backward, as is common in rear-end collisions. The rapid movement can cause the spinal cord to stretch or compress, potentially leading to injury.

Flexion or extension – in some head-on collisions, the spine can be forcibly bent forward (flexion) or backward (extension), causing damage to the spinal cord. These injuries can result from the body’s reaction to the impact or the rapid deceleration experienced during a crash.

Compression injuries – the force of the collision can cause the vertebrae to compress, potentially leading to spinal cord injury. This can occur due to the collapse of the vertebrae or the herniation of the intervertebral discs.

Penetrating injuries – in some cases, objects like shattered glass, metal debris, or other projectiles from the head-on collsision can penetrate the body and directly damage the spinal cord.

The severity of a spinal cord injury depends on the extent of the damage and the level of the lesion along the spinal column. Injuries can be classified as complete (total loss of function below the level of injury) or incomplete (partial loss of function). In both cases, the consequences can be life-altering, often resulting in paralysis, chronic pain, and other complications.

Preventing spinal cord injuries in car accidents involves using seatbelts, properly adjusted headrests, and age-appropriate child restraints, as well as driving cautiously and following traffic laws to minimize the risk of collisions.

Wrongful Death

While it is difficult to pinpoint a single most reported cause of death in head-on collisions, as various factors contribute to fatalities, blunt force trauma and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the most common causes.

Blunt force trauma – the significant force generated by a head-on collision can cause severe injuries, such as fractures, internal organ damage, and chest injuries. Blunt force trauma in a car accident fatality refers to the injuries sustained when a person’s body is subjected to a high-impact force during the collision, without the skin being penetrated by a sharp object. This type of trauma results from the energy transfer between the moving vehicle and the person’s body, causing damage to the body’s tissues, bones, and internal organs.

In a car accident, blunt force trauma can occur in several ways, such as:

  1. Impact with the vehicle’s interior: During a collision, occupants may be thrown against the steering wheel, dashboard, windows, or other interior surfaces of the car, causing injuries to the head, chest, abdomen, or limbs.
  2. Rapid deceleration: When a vehicle comes to an abrupt stop during a collision, the occupants’ bodies are subjected to rapid deceleration forces, which can cause damage to internal organs and other soft tissues as they continue to move forward until restrained by seatbelts or airbags.
  3. Ejection from the vehicle: If an occupant is not properly restrained by a seatbelt or other safety device, they may be ejected from the vehicle during a collision, leading to severe injuries or fatalities caused by the impact with the ground or other objects.

Blunt force trauma injuries in car accidents can range from minor contusions and abrasions to life-threatening injuries, such as skull fractures, traumatic brain injuries, rib fractures, internal organ damage, and spinal cord injuries. In severe cases, blunt force trauma can result in fatalities due to extensive damage to vital organs, internal bleeding, or other complications.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) – head-on collisions can result in TBIs, ranging from mild concussions to severe brain damage. Severe TBIs can cause immediate death or lead to complications that ultimately result in death, such as brain swelling, increased intracranial pressure, or brain herniation.

However, it is essential to note that the specific cause of death in a head-on collision may vary depending on factors such as the speed and size of the vehicles involved, the use of safety equipment, and the point of impact. Moreover, a combination of injuries and complications can contribute to fatalities in these accidents.

How can a Car Accident Lawyer help me?

If you or a loved one has suffered severe life changing injuries in a head-on collision, or if you have unexpectedly lost a loved on it’s important that you contact our Hamilton personal injury lawyers to learn your rights and more importantly, to ensure that your no-fault benefits are set up in order to provide the attendant care and medical/rehabilitation benefits you need. Our Hamilton car accident lawyers work alongside some of the best occupational therapists to ensure that your eventual discharge home is seamless and that you are provided with the appropriate accommodations, care and home modifications that you need to be comfortable.

Although we can’t undo the damage you are now dealing with, a Hamilton car accident lawyer from Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers can fight to provide you with the compensation you need to begin healing and help go on with your life in the best matter possible.

Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers are car accident lawyers that can help you and your family  recover compensation for present or future medical expenses that OHIP will not cover, lost wages and lost income, and other associated costs to help protect you and significantly improve your ability to reach maximum recovery.

Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious car accident, call our law firm today, toll-free, no matter where you are in Ontario at 1-844-LALANDE or local in the Hamilton / Burlington area at 905-333-8888 or fill in a contact form on our website today. Our car accident lawyers would be more than happy to provide you and your family a free consultation and free case evaluation regarding your pain and suffering, insurance coverage, inform you of your legal rights as a car accident victim and your options concerning your car accident related injuries and losses. Remember, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that if we don’t win, you don’t pay.

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