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Considerations for Head-On Collisions


Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

Head-on collisions can be particularly traumatizing and very destructive experiences. A head-on collision occurs when two vehicles, which are travelling in opposite directions, directly crash into one other. Head-on collisions tend to be relatively uncommon, but when they do occur, the resulting injuries and loss of property can be catastrophic.

Head-on collisions often occur as a result of mechanical failure or a driver’s negligence, such as when a driver ends up on the wrong side of the road, is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or is distracted.  The impact of a head-on collision is more severe than in other common types of accidents, and the accumulated costs of medical care associated with treating subsequent injuries will likely be extreme. This is unfortunate, especially if an injured individual is unable to return to work for several weeks or months at a time, if ever.

Injuries as a result of a head-on collision are often life changing, and victims and their families will need representation by an experienced car accident lawyer who will fight for the compensation they deserve.

Injuries Caused By Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions produce some of the most horrific injuries, and if they occur at excessive speeds, permanent or fatal injuries are almost inevitable. Anytime a vehicle strikes another head-on, the energy released in the impact is multiplied. Combine this with the sudden loss of speed at the moment of impact and a person can easily be thrown through a windshield, which is more trauma than the average human body can handle.

Some form of negligence on the behalf of one, or both drivers, is often the culprit in a head-on collision. Generally, there is no real reason for a head-on collision to occur unless negligent or reckless driving was involved. Some of the more devastating injuries that may occur after a head-on collision are:

  • Brain Trauma
  • Paralysis
  • Broken Bones
  • Disfigurement

Considerations for Head-On Collisions

If you were involved in a head-on collision, the burden of proof will be on your car accident lawyer to prove that either negligence or recklessness on behalf of the other driver was the cause of the collision in order for you to recover any damages from that driver. In order to prove that driver’s negligence or recklessness was the cause of the head-on collision, it needs to be proven that the other driver indeed breached their duty of care.

Duty of care: Every driver has a responsibility to drive safely and behave in a reasonable manner while behind the wheel. If a driver violates this responsibility, say by choosing to drive drunk or fatigued, he or she can be found responsible for the collision. Choosing to drive drunk or fatigued will likely be considered a breach of duty, as a driver is more likely to end up driving the wrong way or possibly swerving into oncoming traffic in an inebriated or exhausted state.

Determining liability in a head-on collision can be a real challenge, as the initial impact is so violent that both cars end up flying in different directions, and the resulting positions after the collision occurred may be completely different than when the impact originally took place. Therefore, your car accident attorney and insurance companies may hire experts such as forensic engineers or accident reconstruction specialists to determine who is at fault or what actually happened. Liability can sometimes be determined, for example, by analyzing skid marks left on the road after a collision, although this isn’t always the case.

However, what happens if both drivers are found to be at fault? In these cases, both drivers may bring personal injury claims against one another. Going to trial, for example, is one way to determine who is more responsible for the head-on collision. Of course it is possible to settle outside of court. But if the case goes to trial, a jury will determine exactly how to distribute liability between you and the other driver.

In cases that go to trial, whether you’re able to recover any damages will depend on which theory your state follows: comparative negligence or contributory negligence. The state of California follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, which means that you may be able to recover some damages even if you played a role in the head-on collision. On the other hand, in states that follow the doctrine of contributory negligence, you may not recover any damages if you’re found even 1% at fault for the accident.  

Special Circumstances Involving Head-On Collisions

Most of us believe that driving is driving. You get in you car, keep your eyes on the road, turn up the music, and go anywhere your heart desires. But not all roads are the same. Some roads have a higher likelihood of contributing to the possibility of a head-on collision.

There is data that suggests that head-on collisions are more common in rural areas. In fact, head-on collisions account for 13% of all rural car crashes involving fatalities. By way of comparison, head-on crashes in urban areas make up 7% of all car crashes involving fatalities, a 7% difference. The lesson? Be extra careful while driving on those winding, country roads.

Contact us to find out how we can help

If you have sustained injuries as a result of a head-on collision, an attorney at our firm can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at 213 927 3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.



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