Who Is At Fault in a Head-On Collision?


Head-on collisions are one of the most severe types of auto accidents. Fortunately, they are relatively rare, making up a relatively small percentage of annual crashes in the U.S. (approximately 2%). Depending on where you live, you may be at varying risk of falling victim to this type of incident. For example, head-on collisions make up a larger portion of total collisions in rural areas than they do in urban neighborhoods. No matter where they occur, it can be tough to determine who is at fault and who isn’t. The knowledgeable Virginia collision lawyers at Rutter Mills have provided important information on who may be liable as well as top factors that cause head-on collision accidents.

The process of assigning blame and receiving compensation from the guilty party’s insurer may differ depending on your state of residence. For example, in a no-fault state, the innocent party is not required to prove fault before receiving compensation. In at-fault states, on the other hand, the fault must be proven for compensation to be released, and the burden of payment lies only with the guilty party. 

In terms of determining fault, the following details are taken into consideration:

  • The direction in which the vehicles were being driven (if the other driver was driving the wrong way down a one-way street or freeway, for instance, they are at fault)
  • Distracted driving (i.e., texting, multitasking while behind the wheel, etc.)
  • Drunk driving
  • Driving while drowsy
  • Speeding
  • Driving habits during adverse weather conditions

These are typically the factors that present the clearest results of who was at fault in a head-on collision. The driver who engaged in these dangerous habits will receive most, if not all, of the blame, as they directly contributed to the danger. For a head-on crash to occur, at least one vehicle must be on the wrong side of the road – that alone is enough to rightfully assign blame.

Difficulties in Assigning Fault in a Head-On Crash

Though some factors are quite clear, at times, there may still be a bit of gray area when attempting to assign blame for head-on collisions. For instance, in mountainous environments, the roads tend to be much narrower. When combined by the several blind turns that are typical of mountainside highways, both vehicles are at greater risk of causing a collision, especially when traveling at high speeds. There are also plenty of roads that lack the appropriate markings – typical of rural roads. Without a clear division separating one side of the road from the other, it may be difficult to determine which driver was on the wrong side of the road at the time of the collision. 

For these reasons, you need the help of an accident attorney following a head-on collision. An experienced attorney will investigate the collision and build a strong case to protect you from undeserved punitive action. You will receive exactly the compensation you need, despite any difficulties in assigning fault. Contact an expert accident attorney today to get your case started and be on your way to recovery. 

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