When you’re hit head-on, you can hit back by hiring a team of California’s best car accident lawyers.
It’s one of the worst things that can possibly happen on the road: a head-on collision. An accident like this could leave you seriously injured and deeply traumatized.
Although head-on collisions account for only 2% of all crashes, they involve more than 10% of all driving fatalities due to the severity of the injuries they can cause. Having a head-on collision is a devastating and life-changing event.
Now you’re trying to recover from your car accident injuries while facing a pile of medical bills, plus missed days of work and an extended period of rehabilitation. How will you ever get your life back?
In this situation, California’s injured people turn to the dream team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We have a solid reputation for helping our injured clients stand up to the people who hurt them and demand the fair and full compensation they deserve.
We can usually help you negotiate a valuable auto insurance settlement that covers your medical bills and prevents you from ever having to spend a single moment in court. Plus, we use legal techniques that maximize the money in your pocket, like convincing medical providers to lower your medical expenses and locating evidence that boosts your claim’s value.
You’ve already been in a serious head-on car accident that wasn’t your fault. Isn’t that enough? Let us take the wheel after your head-on collision. Get started now with a free case evaluation.
How To Protect Yourself and Your Head-on Collision Claim
Injured car accident victims have well-established rights under California law. But your next steps will play a huge role in determining whether you can claim the compensation you’re due and how large your award will be. Here’s what to do next.
Protect Your Health and Get Medical Care Immediately
If you sustained serious injuries in your head-on collision, you probably traveled by ambulance to a major hospital in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or somewhere else in your area. If not, go to the ER right away to report your injuries and start your treatment.
Seeking urgent medical care is the first step to building a solid car accident claim. Even minor injuries should be evaluated by a qualified medical professional, and be sure to follow the instructions from your care provider down to the smallest detail to ensure you can prove you did everything you could to support your recovery.
Gather Evidence from Your Head-on Collision
Next, you’ll need to make progress on gathering car accident evidence before it’s lost forever. Take videos and/or photos of the scene of the vehicle accident, including any road signs or debris nearby. It’s perfectly legal to take photos of your car and anyone else’s car in your accident.
Also, it’s important to get the other driver’s insurance information and any eyewitness contact information. The sooner you can secure this info, the less chance there is that it will disappear due to failing memories and changing opinions.
Your lawyer can help you reach out to the witnesses to make sure you have a solid case for fault against the other motorist. Meanwhile, get a copy of the police’s traffic collision report. Also, photograph all of your injuries and any scarring you may have as a result of the car wreck, and start keeping a journal of your emotional injuries and the impact on your life.
Talk to a Lawyer BEFORE the Insurance Adjuster
The insurance company can’t wait to talk to you and see what kind of information they can pry out of you. Remember, their priority is saving money and they won’t be eager to give you any kind of payment unless it’s a small payment to make you go away.
Keep Your Head-on Collision off Social Media
Don’t use social media to announce your car accident, as tempting as it might be. This information could be used against you later, and even the most innocent comment could be twisted to destroy your case.
Leave the Legal Burden to Your Lawyer
Talk to your lawyer as soon as possible and refer all requests to them. The insurance company might ask you to make a recorded statement and try to get your private information, like your social security number, but don’t do it! Just say, “Please call my lawyer.”
Common Causes of Head-on Car Accidents in California
Here at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, our team sees certain types of accidents happen over and over again. Here are some of the most common causes of head-on collisions:
Alcohol and Drug Impairment
Driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs – including legal drugs – is a crime and a persistent problem in California. When someone gets behind the wheel intoxicated, it’s much easier for them to make a driving mistake that causes them to swerve across the line and into another driver.
- More than 1,000 Californians lose their lives every year due to drunk driving
- Fully 50% of all drivers killed in California auto accidents tested positive for some type of intoxicating substance.
- Up to 77% of fatal drunk driving crashes involve a repeat offender who’s already been caught driving drunk before.
That’s infuriating for someone like you who’s been hurt in a head-on collision. You may have a strong legal case against an intoxicated driver who hits you head-on, so make sure you talk to a lawyer about the details of your accident.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) attributes about 2,800 deaths and 400,000 injuries to distracted driving accidents each year. Distracted driving can happen for many reasons, although texting and driving is a common cause. Other distractions include navigational devices, in-car entertainment screens, food, music, passengers, and pets.
A distracted driver might take their eyes, hands, or mind off of the road as they veer into the oncoming lane. But how do you prove it? Your car accident lawyer can help you gather evidence of the other driver’s distraction to bolster your case.
Vehicle Maintenance Failures
Any car can have a mechanical failure that causes a head-on collision, but an out-of-control big rig can trigger a horrific head-on collision. Commercial semi-trailer brake failures are fairly common because these enormous vehicles spend so much time on the road and require almost constant maintenance.
To prove the basis of your claim, your lawyer can help you obtain vehicle maintenance records that would otherwise be inaccessible. There could be strong evidence that your injuries and other damages arose from the other driver’s failure to maintain their vehicle properly.
Bad Weather and Bad Roads
Did someone hit you head-on and blame the weather? Sometimes foggy, icy, windy, or stormy conditions make it hard to see what’s ahead – but it’s still a driver’s responsibility to drive safely!
Poorly-maintained roads can also cause head-on collisions by making drivers swerve away from things like potholes, construction debris, or fallen rocks. Perhaps a private company or governmental agency holds some responsibility for your crash. Talk to your lawyer about this possibility.
Types of Head-on Collision Accident Injuries
Head-on accidents tend to involve severe injuries due to the massive physical forces involved. Below is a list of some of the most common physical injuries from head-on crashes.
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Torn muscles and ligaments
- Neck injuries including whiplash and chronic neck pain
- Back and spinal injuries
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Knee and ankle injuries
- Wrist and hand injuries
- Chest and ribcage impact and crushing injuries
- Loss of feeling in the limbs
- Limited range of motion
- Problems with balance
- Nerve damage
- Chronic pain
- Emotional damage
People who are injured in car accidents often have deep and long-lasting mental and emotional injuries. The person may need significant psychological treatment over a long period.
Seek a mental health evaluation and talk to your lawyer if you have developed a fear of driving or struggle with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some or all of your treatment could be covered by an accident claim.
How to Handle Insurance After Your Accident
The insurance company will contact you after an collisions occur and is hoping to find a quick, inexpensive way to settle your injury claim. They have plenty of experience with offering people bottom-dollar payments, so approach them carefully on the advice of your lawyer.
Remember, a fast offer is probably a lowball offer that could easily be negotiated higher to cover more of your losses. The insurance company’s goal is to minimize the payments they make, even when they know you deserve a higher award under the law.
When the insurance company wants a statement from you or wants you to consider any offer they make, please tell them to talk to your lawyer at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. Then give our name and contact information and hang up. That’s all you have to do!
Don’t admit fault, don’t make unclear statements, and don’t allow anyone to take a recording of your conversation. Things you say, no matter how innocent they seem, will become part of your case’s official record and could impact your ability to recover compensation.
Is There a Time Limit for Starting an Accident Claim?
California doesn’t give you forever to take action after a head-on collision. There is a strict time limit on filing a car accident lawsuit, which is known as the statute of limitations.
For most head-on collisions and other car accidents, this period is within two years of the date of the accident. When you can’t settle your accident by then, you’ll have to start a lawsuit before the deadline passes or your legal right to do so expires.
However, special circumstances sometimes apply and shorten this period considerably. If your accident involves a governmental entity like a city, county, or state agency, you must file a governmental claim form within six months of the date of the accident. The government entity has 45 days to take action on the claim and if your claim is rejected, which commonly happens, you then have six months from the date the claim is rejected to file a lawsuit.
How is Fault Determined in a California Car Accident?
Determining fault is very important because California is a comparative fault state, which means the blame will be assigned proportionally and your award will be reduced by your percentage of fault. Assigning responsibility also helps everyone understand what happened in your crash.
California car accident lawyers, insurance companies, judges, and juries consider many factors when deciding how to assign fault after a car crash. They’ll evaluate these factors as they determine how much compensation you could be due.
Relevant factors may include:
- Location of the head-on crash
- Witness accounts
- Additional expert witness testimony
- The damage to each vehicle
- Positions of vehicles according to a reconstructionist
- Drunk, drugged, or distracted driving
- Video footage
- Police reports and testimony
- The weather and road conditions
- Applicable laws and violations
The fault for your crash could fall to a commercial trucking company or driver for FedEx, UPS, or the US Postal Service. It might involve a delivery company like DoorDash or GrubHub. An Uber driver or even a driverless Uber might have been involved. There are many possibilities.
Your lawyer will conduct their investigation in addition to the police investigation, and you might learn some interesting things about the circumstances of your crash. You might not know the whole truth until your lawyer investigates what happened. A special situation might completely shield you from blame.
For example, our clients are sometimes covered by California’s emergency doctrine. This rule states that if you are suddenly confronted by a danger you didn’t create, your liability might be very low to nonexistent.
A common example of the emergency doctrine is when a car hits you head-on due to a chain reaction collision or you hit someone else head-on because you were forced to swerve into a group of other cars. You didn’t create this situation, so you might be entirely protected from blame.
You Need a California Head-on Collision Lawyer ASAP!
Why hire a lawyer? We’d love to explain why you need our services as soon as possible after your head-on collision.
First, think about how stressful it will be to interact with the insurance company without our help. They’ll know you don’t have a lawyer and will assume your costs are lower, so they’ll offer you a very low amount.
Also, an insurance company might make a fast initial offer to pay for your basic medical bills, but what about all of your other costs? Will they compensate you for your lost earnings from missed days of work? Your future medical treatment? Your ongoing counseling to cope with the trauma of the accident?
A lawyer also helps you put a proper value on the pain and suffering you’ve experienced. You deserve full and fair compensation under the law for the extensive impacts of the accident on your body, mind, and life.
Our experienced lawyers know how to increase the money in your pocket and maximize the value of your case. We’re worth far more than the cost of your legal fees, so hiring us is a smart investment that pays off.
At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we don’t take our fee until the conclusion of your case. That’s after you’ve already maximized your compensation and covered your other costs. After a head-on collision, we’re here to help you face your legal situation head-on and move forward with your life!
We Handle Your Car Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After your accident, contact the car accident attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including head-on collisions. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.