How is Liability Determined in a Head-on Collision in California?

Any type of car accident can be serious, and a head-on collision is no exception. 

Even if those involved in the collision are protected by seatbelts and airbags, the collision can still lead to catastrophic injuries and damages. Survivors usually need to undergo extensive medical treatment and care, leading to lost time at work and hefty medical bills. 

In California, drivers are expected to observe the legal duty of care while on the road. A driver who fails to follow this duty of care, and causes injury or damage to another person, is liable under the law. However, in a head-on collision, it can be difficult to determine who is liable in the accident because the impact of the crash may send each vehicle in different directions.

Who is Liable in a Head-on Collision in California?

In most accidents, the at-fault party is liable for any damages that the other party sustained. But fault can be difficult to determine, and at times, both parties are responsible. 

A driver is considered negligent when they drive recklessly, fail to follow traffic rules, or carelessly engage in actions that put the life and safety of other people at risk. To have a valid claim against the other driver in a head-on collision, the person must show the following:

  • That the other driver did not follow their duty of care
  • That this negligence was the cause of the accident
  • That accident was the direct cause of the injuries they sustained

How is Fault Established in a Head-on Collision in California?

Those involved in a head collision are typically advised to remain on the scene until the arrival of law enforcement officers. Once they arrive at the accident site, the police will investigate, interview the parties involved, and talk to witnesses so they can provide an accurate account of the incident.

This account will then be placed in their official report, which may include their opinion of who was responsible for the accident. Although this is not conclusive, it will still be taken into account by the insurance companies and the courts when determining which party was at fault. 

Sometimes, however, the assessment provided in the police report may be completely off-mark. 

When this happens, hiring a reliable car accident attorney who can work with accident reconstruction experts and private investigators is the best way to set things right. Working with a personal injury lawyer increases the chances that they’ll be properly compensated for the damages they sustained.

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

Victims of head-on collisions need to take certain steps to strengthen their case. After they’ve promptly called for help from emergency responders, they should seek medical assistance right away. Even if they only sustained minor injuries, it’s still a good idea to get checked out to make sure these aren’t just symptoms of more serious issues.

As soon as they’ve received proper treatment and are well enough to deal with the legal consequences of the accident, they should begin to collect evidence, including the following:

  • Police reports
  • Medical records
  • Statements from witnesses
  • Opinions from accident reconstruction specialists and medical experts

Find an Experienced Head-on Collision Attorney

If you or a loved one gets involved in a head-on collision, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. A personal injury lawyer can protect your rights and aggressively fight for your interests to make sure you obtain the compensation you deserve. 

Our experienced and compassionate attorneys will advise you on the best course of action before you accept a settlement or make any other decisions involving your claim. We’ll leverage our skills, experience, and knowledge to make sure you’ll get the full amount of compensation you’re entitled to. 

Call us now at (619) 550-1355 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

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