Who is at fault for a head-on accident depends on whose negligence led to the accident.
Head-on collisions may be caused by drivers who go the wrong way on the road, either from being drunk, distracted, or turning incorrectly. However, there could be extenuating circumstances that make determining fault more difficult.
How Fault is Determined in Head-On Collisions
The person at fault following a crash is the driver whose negligent action led to the accident and injury. Proving negligence — careless or reckless action or inaction — requires demonstrating four points:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
Each driver’s duty of care is to obey the rules of the road and behave reasonably to avoid causing harm. If a driver breached this duty and caused an accident, you can hold them liable.
Gathering Evidence of Negligence
Investigating the events of an accident could include:
- Reviewing traffic footage and photos
- Interviewing witnesses
- Reconstructing the accident
- Consulting experts
- Researching the drivers
Investigating the accident can ensure that the full extent of the accident is understood and the injured victim has a strong case against the negligent driver for damages.
Frontal Collisions Caused by Wrong-Way Driving
Wrong-way driving could result from other contributing forms of negligence, such as:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Improper turns
- Violating signs or signals
Simple mistakes can also lead to frontal crashes. Someone driving in an unfamiliar city may unintentionally go the wrong way on a one-way street. Others may try to avoid an obstacle in the road and overcorrect. These human errors still qualify as negligence and leave the driver responsible for injury expenses.
Frontal Collisions Caused by Other Factors
While wrong-way drivers are commonly at fault, this cannot be assumed in every case. A chain of events must occur for an accident to happen; sometimes, the front collision is the consequence of several decisions made by several people.
For example, driver A fails to look before pulling out of a side street, T-boning driver B. Driver B is then pushed into oncoming traffic, striking driver C head on. Although driver B technically hit driver C, it is driver A who caused the accident and can be held liable for failing to yield.
A head-on collision can be a secondary crash in any of these scenarios:
- Side-impact collisions
- Rear-end crashes
- Hitting an obstacle
In addition to these multi-car crashes, some head-on collisions are caused by external forces like a blown tire or faulty road conditions. In those cases, fault may instead lie with a tire company, auto shop, manufacturer, or city maintenance.
Challenges in Assigning Fault After a Head-On Crash
Investigating who is liable can be complicated by:
- A lack of evidence from the scene
- Loss of memory from victims
- A lack of witnesses or traffic footage
- Conflicting statements
For instance, the driver who seems at fault may be too injured to account for their decisions, and you may not remember. Accidents on isolated roads with traffic cameras can also devolve into finger-pointing.
If your frontal collision case is proving complicated, an injury lawyer can help. Attorneys from our firm have access to resources you do not, and their job relies on finding evidence to determine fault.
You can Seek Damages from the Liable Party
Understanding who is liable is not just about who gets cited by the police. Identifying any negligent parties can allow you to seek compensation to pay for your injuries and recovery. Your case may be worth more than you realize. You could receive damages for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Changes to your life
The devastating consequences of front-end crashes could mean weeks or months of recovery time. Knowing who was at fault can ensure you spend that time healing, not worrying about money.
Head-On Collisions are Often Fatal
The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that head-on collisions accounted for nearly 11 percent of traffic fatalities in 2018. Determining fault can help you pursue wrongful death damages, such as:
- Funeral expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of income
- Bill reimbursement
If you lost a loved one in a head-on collision, our team can investigate who to hold responsible.
We will Conduct a Full Investigation for Your Front-end Crash Case
At Kaine Law, determining who is at fault after a head-on collision involves listening to your story and researching the facts, not making assumptions. While many frontal collisions are caused by wrong-way drivers, we investigate all the evidence to understand your crash.
Call someone from our team today to receive a free consultation. We handle cases on a contingency-fee-basis, which means you owe us nothing upfront. We only receive attorney’s fees if you obtain a settlement or award. There is no risk when you enlist our help.