If you are the victim of a car accident in Chattanooga, which left you injured and unsure of which way to turn, it could be time to call an experienced personal injury attorney. Being left with injuries and expenses related to those injuries can derail the course of your life, and having an attorney who is firmly in your corner during this difficult time can mean a more positive outcome. Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in Tennessee, and is the seat of Hamilton County. In 2013, the city of Chattanooga had 29 fatalities following auto collisions, which was slightly above the average number of fatalities for the state of Tennessee.
Four of the fatal accidents occurred on Sr-153, while three occurred on I-24. Hamilton County ranked fourth in the overall incidence of traffic accidents, and 89th for fatal car collisions. Located in Southeast Tennessee near the Georgia border, Chattanooga is at the junction of four interstate highways, and due to such attractions as the Tennessee Aquarium, multiple museums and tons of outdoors activities, the city brings in many visitors each year. As the local economy continues to grow, so will the incidence of auto accidents. If you have been involved in an auto accident you may still have questions after reading this page. If so, click here for a more comprehensive Car Accident Guide.
Are Head-On Car Collisions the Most Deadly?
While head-on collisions may make up only about 2 percent of all auto accidents, they make up at least 10 percent of all auto accident fatalities. Consider the fact that if each vehicle in a head-on car collision is traveling only 40 mph, the force of the crash is equal to 80 mph. Since few head-on collisions occur at lower speeds, you can assume the force of a “normal” head-on crash could be well over 100 mph. Automobiles which collide in a sideways manner have the impact of the collision distributed between all four sides of the vehicle. In a head-on collision there is no such distribution of the impact, leaving those inside the vehicle to absorb the entire impact force.
Where Do Most Head-On Collisions Occur?
Nearly three-quarters of all head-on collisions take place on rural roadways; most occur when both drivers are headed straight in their lane, and one crosses the center lane, while about 23 percent occur when a driver is navigating a sharp curve and another 5 percent when a vehicle is passing in an undivided two-lane road. Small, narrow lanes, plus excess speed multiplies the likelihood of a deadly outcome when a head-on collision occurs. Lane departures are generally the result of an overly tired, distracted, or impaired driver. Depending on the road and the circumstances, there may be no time or space for the other driver to take evasive action. Even vehicles which have airbags and approved crumple zones may be unable to fully protect a driver who is hit head-on.
What Injuries Result From Head-On Collisions?
Those who escape death after being involved in a head-on collision are likely to suffer very serious injuries. (For an expanded list of the injuries commonly seen following car accidents, click here). Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, severe burns, disfigurement and amputation of limbs can be so severe, recovery can take months, years, or even a lifetime. Severe facial lacerations can result in significant scarring, requiring multiple surgical procedures which can nonetheless fail to return the victim’s looks to normal. Rehabilitative therapy may be necessary, and some traumatic brain injuries can result in the necessity for a permanent caretaker. Huge medical expenses are common following a head-on collision; even those with medical insurance may reach their policy’s limits fairly quickly and will almost certainly be off work for a considerable length of time. For more information on the different types of auto accidents, click here.
Do You Know What to Do Following an Auto Collision?
Of the thousands of people who are involved in auto accidents each year, few fully understand what to do in the aftermath of that accident. If your reactions are immediate and appropriate, you may be able to accelerate the insurance payment process, prevent further injuries, get back to work more quickly, and have your vehicle restored to its former state. Of course none of those things may be possible if you have suffered a serious, head-on collision, however you still have the opportunity for a better outcome. First of all, you will want to attend to the medical needs of all those involved in the accident. Even if you, or another person involved in the accident feels “okay,” it is nevertheless important to have a doctor check you out. When an accident occurs, adrenaline floods the body, potentially masking symptoms of a serious injury.
If there are no grave injuries following the collision, move the cars safely out of the way (when possible) in order to avoid further accidents. Exchange information with the driver of the other vehicle; be polite and concerned, but never take responsibility for the accident until you have spoken with your personal injury attorney. If you are able, take photographs of the scene of the accident and the damage to vehicles with your cell phone, and jot down a few notes regarding the weather, the details of the accident and the names and addresses of any witnesses to the accident. Make sure you call the police and get a police report, as it will most certainly speed up the insurance claim process. Ensure you are familiar with your insurance policy and know what it covers and what it does not. If you can provide your attorney with a copy of your policy, so much the better. Call your insurance company, but keep details to a minimum until you have spoken to your attorney.
Could You Benefit from Speaking to a Personal Injury Attorney?
In the end, particularly if your Chattanooga accident was caused by the negligence of another and has left you with serious injuries, having a knowledgeable personal injury attorney by your side to handle all the details while you focus on healing, is the best course of action. Despite the warm and fuzzy insurance commercials we see on television, insurance companies have little interest in your injuries or your future, and will rarely respond with an equitable settlement offer unless you have an attorney to negotiate on your behalf. Whether you have been involved in an accident with grave injuries, or have suffered moderate injuries from an car accident, the Chattanooga personal injury attorneys at Martinson & Beason, P.C. have been protecting people just like you since 1937. Call us today for a free consultation to find out how we can help you.