Who Is Liable in a Head-On Collision?

March 13, 2023

Head-on collisions often result in catastrophic injuries for those involved. There are various ways that head-on collisions occur, and determining liability is essential so that crash victims can recover compensation for their injuries and property damage losses. Here, we want to discuss the complex liability issues revolving around West Virginia head-on collisions.

How Head-on Collisions Occur

Data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that more than 25% of all collisions in the US are the result of a head-on incident, the second most common type of auto accident that occurs. However, we do not want to understate how dangerous head-on collisions are, particularly those that occur at high speeds. These incidents can lead to significant injuries for those involved.

Some of the most common causes of head-on collisions include:

  • Drivers accidentally turning down the wrong way on a roadway
  • Drivers crossing over the center line on a two-lane roadway
  • Speeding or operating too fast for conditions, which can lead to a driver losing control
  • Improper passing procedures on the roadway
  • Drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Drivers distracted by their phones, other devices, or individuals in their vehicle
  • Fatigued driving

How is Liability Determined After These Incidents?

Determining liability after a head-on collision is crucial in order for those who sustain injuries or property damage to recover compensation. The police absolutely need to come to the scene of these incidents so they can conduct a preliminary investigation and fill out an accident report. Liability will fall to whichever driver failed to uphold their duty of care to others. For example, if a head-on collision was caused by a driver who was driving down the wrong side of the roadway, then they will almost certainly be responsible for the incident.

There will be various types of evidence used to determine liability after a head-on collision occurs. The police report will certainly be important, but so will any evidence gathered at the scene of the incident. This can include photographs taken by using cell phones, surveillance from nearby video surveillance cameras, statements from eyewitnesses, statements from other drivers and passengers, and more.

There may be head-on incidents where two or more drivers involved share fault, and this can complicate the process of recovering compensation. West Virginia operates under a modified comparative negligence system where individuals can still recover compensation if they are partially at fault. However, the total amount each person is required to pay (or how much they receive) in compensation will vary depending on their percentage of fault.

Contact an Attorney for Help

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a head-on collision caused by the negligence of another driver, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled Martinsburg car accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can use their resources and conduct a complete investigation into the incident. They will handle all communication with other parties and work diligently to recover the compensation you are entitled to.


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