Imagine you are driving down a busy city street. The light Is green on your end, and you begin to drive forward in the intersection. Suddenly, a car on the opposite side of oncoming traffic swerves to the side and slams into the front of your car. In moments like these many wonder, what should I do? What attorney should I see?
The unfortunate accident described above is a Head-On car accident, also called frontal collision. These accidents are not limited to just cars, but frontal collisions could also involve trucks, buses, and motorcycles.
What Is a Head-On Collision?
A Head-On collisions occur when two vehicles directly collide with one another. This almost always occurs when another car from the opposite oncoming traffic swerves into the opposite lane. These accidents usually occur at long straight stretches of freeways and highways, usually when going from one state to another.
The Insurance Institute for highway Safety reported a 58% fatality rate in Head-On collisions. Head-On collisions are also more likely to happen in one lane rural areas. 13% of crashes on rural highways are Head-On collisions, whereas only 7% of crashed in urban areas are Head-On collisions.
To prevent Head-On collisions, many states, such as California, usually install a center divider. This center divider is made from concrete, and if a car were to swerve to the opposite side of oncoming traffic, would likely hit the center divider.
What Causes Head-On Collisions?
Some common causes of Head-On accidents are caused by brake failure or a defect in the car steering wheel. However, the number one reason is distracted driving. Driving while texting or driving while tired lead to the driver swerving through lanes, and eventually ends up in the opposite lane.
Although not as common in urban areas, other reasons for Head-On accidents include an animal in the middle of the road, which causes a driver to swerve to the opposite lane to avoid hitting it.
- Distracted driving: many drivers behind the wheel will look down at their phones, which lead to the car swerving into another lane.
- Driving while tired: this is especially common for truck drivers who have driven for days.
- Confused drivers: the driver may not be from the city and may drive into a one-way street. This is especially common in Los Angeles residential areas.
- Speeding: drivers who speed are more likely to lose control of the vehicle and swerve into another lane.
- Impaired driving: intoxication may lead to blurred vision.
What to Do After a Head-On Collision
Many are left wondering what to do after a Head-On accident. Our Head-On accident attorneys at Heidari Law Group have created a list of steps a driver involved in an accident could take.
- Seek medical treatment. Oftentimes, Head-On collisions end up in injuries, and so it is advised to seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Even if you think you do not have any injuries, it is still advised to seek a medical examination.
- Obtain an accident report. Usually after every accident, police create a report of what they witnessed and describe the scene. You can obtain an accident report by going through the steps
- Get legal assistance. Getting an experienced car accident attorney is crucial to navigate through the legal process. For more information, visit our page
- Gather evidence of the damage as much as possible. For example, if the car has been towed away, take photos of the damage. If there were any witnesses, speak and interview witnesses.
Who Is at Fault in a Head-On Collision?
According to the California Highway Patrol, figuring out who is at fault in a Head-On collision is somewhat more difficult when compared to other accidents. An attorney will most likely hire an accident specialist who will determine who was at fault. The specialist will take various conditions in mind, which include how fast the cars were going, where the accident occurred, and the condition of the drivers. Many usually file a claim with their insurance company after the accident, however, the insurance company will also want to know who is at fault.
If both parties are in disagreement as to who is at fault, parties usually end up going to court. The way to prove liability is to show negligence on behalf of the driver. This is usually proven by either party through duty, breach, and causation, as explained below:
- Duty: Did the driver have a duty to the other driver? (most jurisdictions, especially California, will find that all drivers have a duty of care to other drivers)
- Breach: Did the other driver breach when they drove in a certain way? Whether or not the other driver breached is usually determined by a jury.
- Causation: Did the defendant’s failure to act caused the plaintiff injury? Did the driver’s failure to drive in a reasonable way cause injuries on plaintiff?
- But for test: but for defendant’s act, would plaintiff have been injured?
- Proximate cause: Was plaintiff’s injury foreseeable as a result of defendant’s breach?
- Damages: Did the plaintiff incur any injury as a result of the defendant’s breach? This is where plaintiff will assert the injuries sustained from the accident, along with the costs sought from the other party. An actual injury on behalf of plaintiff is needed to establish negligence.
Head-On car accidents, although rare, are more likely to result in serious injuries and fatalities. The reason why Head-On accidents result in more serious injuries is because getting hit Head-On is the closet to the driver. Further, drivers may hit the steering wheel from the whiplash impact, or the airbags could go off with a severe force. For example, if the accident were to occur from behind, the driver would not feel as much of an impact.
Common Injuries Suffered From Head-On Collisions
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Chest injuries from the pull of the seatbelt
- For more information on injuries sustained during accidents, visit our page
If you have been involved in a Head-On car accident in California or Nevada, our experienced Head-On car accident lawyers at Heidari Law Group will be able to assist you through every step of the legal process. Our attorneys will make sure you have all the available resources to receive fair compensation for your injuries. Our firm is not only limited to Head-On injuries. Our experienced attorneys are specialized in various types of car accidents, and can help get you the representation you deserve. For more information regarding our car accident attorneys, you can view our experience here.
***Disclaimer: This blog is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this blog, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.