Determining Fault and Damages after a Head-on Accident in California

head-on-collision on road

Head-on collisions are among the most devastating types of car accidents, often resulting in catastrophic injuries or even loss of life. If you’ve been involved in one of these traumatic incidents, a California head-on collision analysis from our auto accident lawyers can help you understand if you could be owed compensation and, if so, how much.

Contact a car accident attorney from The Shamsi Law Firm, APC, for help determining fault and compensation after a head-on accident in California. We want to help you pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and more.

Understanding Head-On Collisions

A head-on collision occurs when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions hit each other, front end to front end. A typical example of a head-on crash is a car drifting across a double yellow line or crossing a freeway median into oncoming traffic.

While head-on crashes are not the most common type of accident, they are the deadliest. The National Safety Council estimates that head-on collisions account for just 3.9 percent of total crashes but 6.5 percent of injury crashes and an astounding 27.4 percent of fatal crashes.

The most common factors leading to head-on collisions include:

  • Excessive speed
  • Impaired driving (alcohol, drugs, or over-the-counter medication)
  • Distracted driving
  • Aggressive driving
  • Hazardous road or weather conditions
  • Wrong-way driving due to confusion or impairment

Factors Considered for Fault Determination

Investigators will ask several questions as they determine fault for a head-on crash, including:

  • Was one of the drivers cited for breaking the law?
  • Which vehicle was traveling in the right direction at the time of the crash?
  • Was there a reasonable explanation for why one of the drivers was traveling in the wrong direction?
  • Did another collision cause the vehicle to enter oncoming traffic?
  • Was the roadway design especially confusing?
  • Did one of the drivers lose control of their vehicle due to recklessness or negligence, such as speeding or going too fast for conditions?

Who Can Be Held Liable in a Head-on Collision Lawsuit?

While one or more of the involved drivers is typically liable for a head-on collision, other parties may also be legally responsible. Depending on the circumstances, the following could be liable in a head-on collision lawsuit:

  • Vehicle or part manufacturers
  • Municipalities in charge of road maintenance and signage
  • Employers (if the at-fault driver was on the job at the time)
  • Other motorists

Crucially, you can recover compensation for a head-on crash in California even if you are partly liable. However, comparative fault in head-on collisions can be complex. Talking to an experienced car accident attorney at our law firm will be helpful.

What Evidence Is Needed to Prove Liability in a Head-on Collision in California?

Evidence plays a crucial role in establishing liability in a head-on collision case. Fault determination in car accidents hinges on evidence such as:

  • Police reports, which include an officer’s opinions about what happened
  • Witness statements, which can provide an objective perspective
  • Vehicle damage, skid marks, debris, and other physical evidence from the accident scene
  • Vehicle data recorders that might indicate acceleration, braking, and other actions by the at-fault driver
  • Reconstructions made by experts who recreate the scene using advanced computer analysis 

Talk to Our California Head-on Collision Lawyer Now

Our California head-on collision lawyers are ready to help you navigate the complexities of personal injury law, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, present your case in court. Contact The Shamsi Law Firm, APC, today for a free consultation and find out what we can do for you.