Who Is at Fault in a Head-On Collision?

May 10, 2022
Who Is at Fault in a Head-On Collision?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities from car accidents have been increasing over the years. Oftentimes, fatalities occur in extremely tragic accidents, such as head-on collisions. These accidents are one of the most dangerous, resulting in catastrophic injuries and high numbers of fatalities.

Most head-on collisions occur between two moving vehicles from opposite directions, making fault determination tricky. However, determining fault is necessary as you are entitled to compensation for your injuries or other damages from the accident. Get in touch with a car accident attorney for support and guidance to establish who is at fault in a head-on collision.

How Is Fault Determined in Head-On Collisions?

The most common way to determine fault in head-on collisions is by using the law on negligence. Negligence refers to a driver's failure to observe the duty of care to other road users, leading to damage or injury to other road users and their property.

All drivers should use reasonable care when operating their vehicles. This means paying attention to road signs, traveling on the correct side of the road, and following other road traffic and safety rules. A driver who acts without exercising reasonable care is acting in negligence.

In cases like this, where one party has a clear disregard for human safety, it can be easy to determine fault. This often gives the victims freedom to file lawsuits against the at-fault party and demand compensation for their injuries and damages. Of course, the ability to do this often depends on the circumstances of the accident and specific state laws.

Who Are the at-Fault Parties in a Head-On Collision?

In a usual case, the one driving in the wrong direction is at fault. A drunk driver or a driver who is not familiar with the road can veer into the wrong lane or overtake at the wrong time and collide with oncoming traffic. In such circumstances, determining fault is relatively easy.

However, all accidents are different, and a variety of factors might be at play. For example, a collision between two vehicles driving in one direction can push one car into oncoming traffic, colliding with another car. In such a case, the driver pushing the other vehicle into oncoming traffic is likely at fault.

Determining fault in head-on collisions mostly depends on the circumstances around the accident. You can consult a car accident lawyer to help you determine who is liable in a head-on collision.

What Are Some Common Causes of Head-On Collisions?

Head-on collisions can happen due to many different causes. The common factor in all these causes is often human error, such as when a driver doesn't exercise a duty of care when driving. Some of these causes include:

Poor Visibility

Most head-on collisions occur when a driver is driving the wrong way. When driving, you need proper visibility to ensure you observe all road signs, such as the yellow marking dividing a two-way road. Poor visibility, such as lack of adequate lighting, encroaching vegetation, or malfunctioning headlights, can ruin one's visibility and cause them to drive on the wrong side, barring the relevant indicators showing you where to go.

Distracted Driver

It is not uncommon to see a car weaving in and out of traffic, sometimes even veering into oncoming traffic. This usually happens when a driver takes their attention away from the road, whether they are eating, checking their phones, or any other activity that causes them to lose focus. This is dangerous as it can affect their ability to stay in their lane and risk causing a head-on collision.

Inadequate Road Signs

The road's municipality needs to ensure that they have visible and easy-to-understand road signs. The signs need to be properly maintained at all times to ensure the markings don't fade, especially in sunny areas. Road agencies also need to fix any fallen or missing signs as soon as possible to avoid confusing the drivers.

What Compensation Do You Get in Head-On Collisions?

The compensation varies per state. For example, Florida is a no-fault state, so all drivers have their own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. However, if the damages and injuries you get exceed your coverage, you can often file a claim against the at-fault party.

Your car accident attorney can help you file a lawsuit against the party that gets you compensatory damages. Compensatory damages come in two types, economic and economic damages.

Economic damages include quantifiable damages from your accident, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages compensate you for unquantifiable items, such as pain and suffering.

Contact Dolman Law Group Today

With all the technicalities surrounding head-on collisions, it is important to ensure your interests are protected. That's why Dolman Law Group is here. We put in the work to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free case consultation.