Head-on collisions are not the most common type of motor vehicle accident in California, but they are some of the most deadly. Even when a person survives the accident, he or she is likely to deal with the resulting injuries for months, or even years, to come. California law allows accident victims to hold those responsible for the collision liable for paying compensation. This is often necessary as head-on collisions are not only life-changing, but they are expensive, too.
After an accident, no one should ever think that his or her insurance will provide the coverage necessary to cover these expenses. A California car accident lawyer can help victims pursue the full amount of compensation they deserve.Determining Fault in a Head-on Collision
Determining who was at fault for the head-on collision rests on the legal concept of negligence. Negligence is defined as failing to act in a reasonable manner that keeps everyone safe. In order for the courts to find someone negligent, the injured party must show that:
- A driver owed other drivers a standard duty of care
- That driver breached that duty of care by acting negligently
- That negligence caused the accident and was the reason for injury or death
Proving that one driver owed others a standard of duty of care is not typically difficult, as all drivers in California owe this standard of care to others. Proving that a driver breached that duty, however, becomes more complex. In some cases, it is necessary to reconstruct the scene of the accident, which can require special tools and resources. For this reason, no one should ever try to prove negligence on his or her own. A head-on collision accident lawyer in California is a valuable resource when determining fault and negligence.Compensation Available in Head-on Collision Cases
After a head-on collision, accident victims face many expenses. A personal injury lawsuit can provide the finances needed to recoup these expenses and bring the accident victim back to the way of life he or she knew before the accident.
In California, this compensation is known as damages and the courts will divide these up into two categories: economic, and non-economic. Economic damages are those that have an actual dollar value. They include, but are not limited to:
- Medical bills
- Ambulance bills
- Emergency room treatment
- Physical therapy
- Prescription medication
- Ongoing care and treatment
- Repairs to vehicle
Non-economic damages are those that do not have a dollar value and as such, are more difficult to calculate. A California head-on collision accident lawyer will typically determine the amount of non-economic damages to seek by multiplying the amount of economic damages by a certain number. That number will vary depending on the nature of the accident and the severity of the injuries. A few types of non-economic damages include:
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium, or parental or spousal relations
Another type of compensation, known as punitive damages, are sometimes available in a head-on collision case. These damages are not sought in a lawsuit but determined by a judge or jury. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate the victim but instead, punish the defendant for gross negligence or carelessness.Hurt in a Head-on Collision? Call the Experienced California Car Accident Attorneys
Too often after a head-on collision, accident victims believe insurance will provide all the compensation they need. This is not usually the case. Insurance companies do not want to pay out on large settlements, and sometimes their offers are unfair to accident victims. Even when a fair settlement is offered, it is not always enough to fully cover the cost of expenses. It is for these reasons that those involved in head-on collisions need to speak to a car accident lawyer in California who can help them claim full compensation.
If you or a loved one was involved in a head-on collision, contact the experienced attorneys at Willoughby Brod, LLP at (800) 427-7020. We know the law surrounding these types of accidents and we apply it to every accident case we see. Do not leave your future in the hands of the insurance company. Call us today for your free consultation.