While there isn’t one set settlement value for head-on collisions, awarded damages can be anywhere in the thousands to over $1,000,000 in some instances, depending on the specifics of the accident.
If you or a loved one were the victim of a head-on collision, Minnesota law has provisions for holding the negligent driver accountable. A Minneapolis car accident lawyer at Milavetz Injury Law, P.A. can help assess the specific factors of your case and determine what legal options are available to you to ensure you get justice.
Causes of Head-on Collisions in Minnesota
A head-on collision typically occurs when a driver veers out of their lane and crosses into opposing traffic. Common causes of head-on collision accidents include:
- Drunk driving: An impaired driver is more likely to drive recklessly without adhering to their lane, risking a collision with an oncoming vehicle.
- Distracted driving: When a driver’s attention is on their phone, stereo system, food, or another passenger, they may not realize when they veer out of their lane or have enough time to avoid hitting a stationary object.
- Improper overtaking: Drivers who pass vehicles across double-yellow lines risk running into oncoming traffic.
- Driver confusion at intersections and stop signs: Turning at intersections or entering a major highway can be confusing, especially for new drivers. Any wrong turn and lack of coordination can cause a head-on collision.
- Driver fatigue: A tired driver may fall asleep behind the wheel and lose control of the vehicle. Fatigue is common among truckers, who travel long distances almost daily.
Why Head-on Collisions Are Often More Dangerous Than Regular Car Accidents
The nature of a head-on collision contributes to its severity. When a vehicle collides directly with another car or a stationary object, it produces significant force. While the hood may absorb some of this force, the car will likely be severely damaged, and the impact will violently jolt the occupants. Victims typically suffer serious damage, such as broken bones or traumatic brain injuries.
Factors That Will Impact Your Head-on Collision Accident Settlement
Each head-on collision accident is different. Therefore, many aspects specific to your case will come into play when determining how much your head-on collision case is worth. Some of these factors are:
The Magnitude of Your Injuries
The amount you’ve paid to treat your injuries, purchase prescription drugs, and pay for rehabilitative nursing services will all be part of your proposed settlement. Therefore, the more severe your injuries are, the higher your settlement will be to cover all relevant bills.
The Total Damages Suffered
A head-on collision accident can cause other types of damages besides bodily injuries. These additional losses include lost wages, property damages, and emotional distress. If you have compelling evidence to prove the damages you’ve suffered, you will likely maximize your settlement for the crash.
Auto Insurance Limits
Minnesota is a no-fault state for car accident negligence cases. This means that an accident victim will seek compensation from their personal injury protection, or PIP, coverage first before pursuing a third-party lawsuit. However, the amount of PIP benefits you receive cannot exceed your car insurance limits. Likewise, the at-fault party will also have policy limits that may reduce the amount you can recover in a third-party action.
Other factors will come into play if you qualify to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver who caused a head-on collision. For instance, can you pursue compensation if you were partly at fault for the accident?
Minnesota’s comparative fault negligence laws allow victims to seek compensation even if they contributed to the crash, as long as they were not more than 50 percent at fault. However, your percentage of fault will be deducted from the total settlement amount. For example, if you were 20 percent at fault for the accident, and the settlement amount would be $100,000, you would receive $80,000.
The Willingness of the Other Driver's Insurance Company to Settle
In cases where you can file a lawsuit, the other driver’s insurance company may be unwilling to settle for an amount sufficient to cover your damages. While it’s not always straightforward, cases that succeed at trial will likely result in more compensation than the insurer’s first offer.
The Head-on Collision Accident Attorney You Hire
Finally, your choice of an attorney can make or break your head-on collision case. A skilled attorney with years of experience handling and winning car accident cases is more likely to earn a successful verdict than a general personal injury lawyer.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Head-on Collision Accident Lawsuit?
Because head-on collisions are likely to be more severe, the damages you can recover will also be high to compensate for your losses. Speaking with a car accident attorney before filing a claim can make all the difference in your settlement.
Since Minnesota is a no-fault state, your auto insurance company will be responsible for your injuries regardless of who caused the accident. However, you can only pursue basic economic benefits that might not cover intangible losses. The economic damages you can recover include:
- Medical expenses
- Prescription drug costs
- Nursing services and extended care
- Disability and disfigurement
- Lost wages and inability to earn a living
- Household services previously carried out by the victim
- Funeral and burial expenses in case of a wrongful death
If you have at least $4,000 in medical expenses or suffered a disability or permanent disfigurement that lasted at least 60 days, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver. In such cases, you can collect economic damages not covered by your PIP policy and other non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and the inability to enjoy life’s activities.
Contact the Car Accident Lawyers at Milavetz Injury Law, P.A.
If you’ve been involved in a head-on collision in Minnesota, the knowledgeable car accident attorneys at Milavetz Injury Law, P.A. can help you estimate your total damages. Front-impact crashes often cause more severe wrecks than other types of car accidents, increasing the chances of a high proposed settlement. Without sufficient compensation, you’ll have to pay for the damages out of your own pocket despite having an auto insurance policy.
Contact us at one of our law offices across Minnesota for a free case evaluation with a qualified lawyer to ensure you’re on the right path to compensation. Call Milavetz Injury Law, P.A. at 763-560-0000, chat live on our website, or fill out our online contact form to get started.