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Head-On Collisions in Missoula County

Head-on collisions account for only about two percent of all traffic accidents, but a person is about five times more likely to be severely injured or killed in a head-on accident as opposed to any other accident scenario. These crashes are typically violent. It’s a simple matter of physics that when two vehicles collide head-on at 50 mph, it’s like hitting a wall at 100 mph. Back seat occupants might be a bit safer in a head-on crash. That’s because they’re not as close to the impact as drivers or front seat occupants.

A Recent Example

Last week, a head-on collision closed Highway 200 east of Bonner in Missoula County at about 3:00 p.m. A total of nine people from three vehicles were involved in the crash when a Nissan Rogue SUV hit a Chevrolet Silverado pick up truck. The driver of the pick up had to be extricated from the vehicle by first responders. He was transported to a local hospital along with another person who suffered only minor injuries. According to Missoulian, all others involved in the accident declined treatment.

Common Causes of Head-On Collisions

As per the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s Fatal Analysis Reporting System, 75 percent of all fatal head-on collisions occur on undivided roads with two lanes of traffic. Of those, 83 percent were on rural roads. Here are some of the common causes of those collisions:

  • Failed, unsafe and reckless passing maneuvers.
  • Distracted driving, talking on a cell phone or texting while driving.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of both.
  • Drowsy or fatigued driving.
  • Driving too fast for weather or road conditions.

Common Head-On Crash Injuries

Victims of head-on crashes who are fortunate enough to survive often suffer severe or catastrophic injuries that are physically, emotionally and financially devastating. Some typical injuries resulting from these types types of collisions follow:

  • Traumatic brain injuries.
  • Traumatic spinal cord injuries.
  • Facial lacerations and fractures.
  • Severe dental injuries.
  • Leg, hip and arm fractures.
  • Rib fractures and internal organ damage.

Establishing Fault

A thorough investigation is critical for establishing fault in head-on crashes. Even if there aren’t any eyewitnesses, the physical evidence from the scene and the vehicles can be used to prove liability. The crash scene can be fully assessed. Skid marks, gouge marks and tire tracks can tell the story of who was in the correct lane of travel at the time of impact. If eyewitnesses do exist their statements can be taken. Police accident reports might also be obtained and reviewed, and the investigating officers can be interviewed.

Compensation for Damages

If you’ve been injured in a head-on crash that was caused by the carelessness and negligence of another driver, you’re probably eligible for compensation for your damages. That compensation can include payment of your medical bills, lost earnings, permanent disability or disfigurement, pain and suffering and loss of a normal life. In the event of a wrongful death, the decedent’s family members are eligible for other compensation.

Contact a Missoula Car Accident Lawyer

You can consult with us on any motor vehicle accident with injuries or wrongful death at no cost. We’ll listen to you closely, answer your questions and advise you of your full range of legal options. Call us today for a free, confidential consultation.

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  • Missoula Office
    736 South 3rd Street West
    Missoula, Montana 59802
    Phone: 406-728-6868
    Fax: 406-728-7722