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You may have many questions when you are involved in a car wreck, we are here to help! We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions by head-on car accident victims in the US.

Who Determines Who Was At Fault In A Head-On Collision?

Courts will review evidence such as the police report, investigation by insurance companies, and witness statements to determine fault in a head-on collision.

A fault may be assigned in terms of percentages, which affects the claim payout in some states.

Can You Sue For Injuries Caused By A Head-On Crash?

Yes, you can sue for injuries caused by a head-on crash.

If the crash was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim seeking compensation for damages.

These damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

What Is The Average Settlement For A Head-On Collision?

There is no average settlement for a head-on collision, as every case is different and settlements are based on a variety of factors.

These factors include the severity of injuries, cost of medical treatment, and impact on the victim’s life.

It is important to work with a personal injury lawyer to determine a fair settlement amount based on the specific circumstances of your case.

Head-on collisions are extremely dangerous and can cause severe injuries or fatalities. Determining fault for these accidents can be complex due to various factors involved. Find out about fault in head-on collisions, what causes head-on crashes, and tips to avoid head-on collisions.

head on collision side view on wet road during rain

Determining fault in an auto accident involving head-on collisions can be a challenging process.

The at-fault driver is the one who is responsible for the accident, and it is their insurance company that will be responsible for covering the damages and injuries that result from the accident.

In head-on collisions, the driver who is at fault is often found to have crossed into oncoming traffic or to have driven the wrong way.

However, there are cases where the oncoming driver may also share some responsibility for the accident. For instance, if the oncoming driver was distracted or speeding, this may contribute to the accident.

Additionally, road conditions or mechanical failure of the motor vehicle could also contribute to the accident.

Learn about fault in head-on collisions, what factors affect fault in car accidents, and your legal options if you or your loved one are injured in a head-on accident.


How Fault Is Determined In A Head-On Collision

One of the primary factors taken into consideration for fault in any car accident is negligence.

Negligence refers to the failure to exercise a reasonable standard of care while driving, which results in an accident.

In a head-on collision, the at-fault driver is typically the one who crossed over into the oncoming traffic lane, thereby making them negligent. But, this is not always the case.

To determine fault, the police will investigate the accident and examine evidence such as witness statements, skid marks, and damage to the vehicles.

They will also consider whether any traffic violations occurred, such as running a red light, driving under the influence of substances, or traveling in the wrong direction.

All of these factors are taken into account to determine which driver was negligent and at fault for the accident.

The Role Of Negligence

Negligence plays a significant role in determining fault in a head-on collision.

If a driver is found to be negligent, they will be held responsible for any damages or injuries that result from the accident.

Negligence can include actions such as distracted driving, failing to yield to oncoming traffic, turning onto a one-way street, crossing the centerline, and more.

In some cases, both drivers may be found to be negligent, which can complicate the process of determining fault.

In such cases, each driver may be held liable for a portion of the damages, based on the percentage of fault attributed to them.

Fault Vs. Liability In A Head-On Crash

When it comes to head-on collisions, being at fault doesn’t always make you liable for damages and injuries resulting from the accident.

For instance, there may be unforeseen circumstances beyond a driver’s control that led to the accident.

These could include hitting a pothole or encountering unexpected construction equipment left behind by road construction crews without proper signage.

In such cases, the driver may be found at fault for the accident, but not necessarily liable for damages and injuries resulting from it.

However, in most head-on collisions, the driver who is found to be at fault is also held liable for the damages and injuries resulting from the accident.


When Is A Driver Not At Fault In A Head-On Collision?

Head-on collisions often happen due to one driver’s negligence, but in certain situations, the driver may not be at fault.

If the driver is pushed into oncoming traffic due to another driver rear-ending them, or if they suffer a sudden medical emergency, they may not be held responsible for the collision.

Defective vehicles, improper road signage, poorly maintained roads, and unexpected weather conditions may also absolve a driver of fault.


What To Do After A Head-On Crash

After a head-on crash, it’s important to take certain steps to protect your health and your legal rights.

1. Seek Emergency Medical Attention

If you or anyone else involved in the crash has been injured, seek medical attention immediately.

Even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a healthcare professional.

2. Report The Accident

Call the police and report the accident as soon as possible. Provide them with as much information as you can about the location, the vehicles involved, and any injuries sustained.

3. Take Photos And Note Details

If you’re able to do so safely, take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to the vehicles, skid marks on the road, and other relevant details.

Also, jot down notes about the weather conditions, time of day, and any other factors that may have contributed to the crash

4. Consult A Car Accident Attorney

Consider consulting with an experienced car accident lawyer who can advise you on your legal options and help you navigate the claims process with insurance companies.

They can also help you seek compensation for any injuries or damages resulting from the crash.


Common Causes Of Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions are some of the most severe types of car crashes, and they can occur due to a variety of reasons.

One of the most common causes of head-on collisions is distracted driving. When a motorist takes their eyes off the road or hands off the wheel, they can quickly drift into oncoming traffic, causing a frontal collision.

Another cause of head-on collisions is impaired driving. Drunk driving, in particular, is a major contributor to these accidents. Motorists under the influence of alcohol or drugs can become disoriented, slow to react, and prone to weaving in and out of lanes, increasing the likelihood of a head-on collision.

Speeding is also a significant cause of head-on collisions, as it can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, especially when navigating turns or bends in the road.

Poor visibility, such as fog or heavy rain, can also cause head-on collisions, as drivers may not be able to see oncoming vehicles until it’s too late.

Finally, driver fatigue is another major contributor to head-on collisions, as tired or sleepy drivers may drift into oncoming traffic or off the side of the road.


Types Of Injuries In Head-On Collisions

Injury cases resulting from head-on collisions can be severe and life-changing.

Traumatic brain injuries are a common outcome of these crashes, occurring when the head strikes the interior of the vehicle, potentially causing lasting damage to the brain.

In addition to brain injuries, victims of front-end collisions may also experience:

  • Fractures
  • Cuts/contusions
  • Whiplash
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Other serious injuries

The severity of the injuries often depends on several factors, including the speed of the vehicles, angle of impact, and use of safety devices like seatbelts and airbags.

Even with safety features, victims of head-on collisions may require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing care to manage their injuries and recover from the motor vehicle accident.


Legal Options For Victims Of Head-On Accidents

Victims of head-on accidents have legal options available to them to seek compensation for their injuries and losses.

One option is to seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney who can help determine the best course of action based on the circumstances of the case.

The attorney can also help victims file an insurance claim to recover damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If the at-fault party’s insurance company denies the claim or offers a settlement that is insufficient to cover the victim’s losses, the victim may need to file a personal injury lawsuit.

This legal action may be necessary to recover fair compensation for damages such as disfigurement, whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and other serious injuries sustained in the head-on collision.

In cases where the head-on accident resulted in wrongful death, the victim’s family may also have legal options available to them.

They may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party to seek compensation for damages such as funeral expenses and emotional distress.

Damages In Head-On Accident Claims

When someone is injured in a head-on collision, they may be entitled to seek damages for their losses.

Damages in head-on accident claims can cover a range of losses such as medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.

Victims of head-on collisions may also be able to recover damages for property damage, including the cost of repairing or replacing their vehicle.

In the case of a wrongful death claim, damages can include loss of consortium or companionship for surviving family members, as well as funeral and burial expenses.


Proving Fault In Head-On Collision Cases

Head-on car accident cases often need various types of evidence before the fault in a collision can be accurately determined.

Types of evidence needed to prove fault in head-on collision cases can include:

  • Eyewitness testimony: Statements from people who saw the accident occur can be helpful in determining who was at fault.
  • Police report: The official report of the accident can be used as evidence in court.
  • Physical evidence: Damage to the vehicles and the location of the impact can provide valuable information about how the accident occurred.
  • Skid marks: If available, skid marks on the road can indicate the speed and direction of the vehicles involved in the accident.
  • Traffic camera footage: Footage from traffic cameras or surveillance cameras in the area can help establish fault.

Legal elements required to prove fault in a head-on collision case:

  • Duty of care: All drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner.
  • Breach of duty: If a driver fails to meet their duty of care by acting recklessly or negligently, they may have breached their duty of care.
  • Causation: The plaintiff must establish that the defendant’s breach of duty of care caused the accident and resulting injuries.
  • Damages: The plaintiff must prove that they suffered damages as a result of the accident, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.


How Long Do You Have To File A Head-On Collision Injury Claim?

The time limit for filing a head-on collision injury claim depends on the state in which the accident occurred.

For example, in California, the statute of limitations is two years, while in Rhode Island, it is three years.

It is crucial to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer to avoid missing the deadline for filing your claim.

Failure to file within the statute of limitations can result in the loss of your right to compensation for your injuries.


Reach Out For A Free Consultation After A Head-On Collision

If you’ve been involved in a head-on collision, it’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Reach out to a personal injury law firm and speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can evaluate your case and help you determine your legal options.

Contact us today for a free consultation and to be connected with some of the best law firms in the U.S.


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Published: 18 April 2023


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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, April 6). “Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries.” Retrieved April 4, 2023 from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, April 6). “Transportation Safety”.
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