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Head-On Collisions

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report that 13% of all fatal car accidents are head-on crashes. In California specifically, the NHTSA recorded 17,000 accidents involving head-on collisions.

A head-on collision is rare, but can result in severe damages. Statistically head-on accidents have a much higher rate of fatality compared to side or rear-end collisions. Injuries from head-on crashes can be serious, and auto costs can be tremendous.

Any person who has been injured in a head-on collision should seek legal representation from a car accident attorney.

Los Angeles Lawyers for Head-On Crashes, CA

Often times, a head-on collision is a result of negligence. Drivers or motorcyclists that get drowsy, distracted, or reckless can increase the chance of a head-on collision. No person should suffer due to another’s negligence. If you’ve been injured in a head-on car accident, it is vital you contact a personal injury attorney.

The attorneys at Yarian & Associates, APC have decades of experience in personal injury. Our team of legal professionals is compassionate to auto accident victims and is knowledgeable in personal injury law. Attorney Levik Yarian has procured millions of dollars in settlements in prior auto collision cases. We want to help you obtain what you deserve. Yarian & Associates, APC files claims for clients throughout the greater California Central District Court area and surrounding cities including Visalia, Glendale, Irvine, Riverside, Pasadena, Long Beach, and Los Angeles.

Yarian & Associates, APC wants to be your partner in this legal process. Call (844) 291-1911 or submit an online contact form today.

Overview of Head-On Collision Claims in California


Head-On Collision Statistics

A frontal or head-on crash is defined as one in which the front end of a vehicle comes into contact with the front end of another vehicle crash together. Any kind of head-on collision can create lasting damage. The statistics and facts below were gathered by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports in 2013.

  • California had a total of 159,762 fatal and injury traffic collisions;
  • Head-on car accidents make up 13 percent of all fatal car accidents
  • California had more than 17,000 accidents involving head-on collisions
  • Head-on collisions make up only 2 percent of all crashes, yet account for 10.1 percent of fatalities
  • Three-quarters of head-on collisions transpire on rural roadways

Head-On Collision Causes

A head-on collision is a rare occurrence. So, how does a head-on collision happen? Often, a frontal car accident will happen due to a U-turn or at a busy intersection. Alongside these two causes, there are many other causes of head-on car accidents.

Some common causes for head-on collisions include:

  • Reckless Driving – A risky driver who swerves into oncoming traffic, weaves through lanes, or rushes through intersections and stoplights increase the risk of a head-on accident.
  • Distracted Driving – Drivers who are distracted either by their radio, cell phone, passengers, etc. can cause a driver to crash into another vehicle.
  • Fatigued Driving – A driver who is fatigued can be as dangerous as a drunk driver. Driver fatigue, especially among truckers, can induce a frontal end collision.
  • Driving Under the Influence – Any impaired person driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is raising the risk for a head-on collision.
  • Road Conditions – Inclement weather, poor road maintenance, and objects blocking the road way can create a head-on car accident.

Common Injuries with Frontal End Crashes

A frontal-end car accident can create severe injuries. Head-on collisions normally happen at high speeds or in congested intersections, these circumstances raises the risk of serious injury.

A few common injuries that can occur after a head-on car accident can include:

  • Broken Bones – A lot of people experience broken arms, legs, ribs, etc. during a head-on collision. Broken bones normally occur due to the deployment of the airbags or when the front end of the car is crushed in.
  • Neck Injuries or “Whiplash” – Neck pain is very common as a result of a head-on car accident. In high impact car accidents, a person’s neck may be stretched beyond its normal length due to impact. If the neck is unnaturally extended it can result in whiplash. Whiplash is not life threatening. However, it can affect a person’s way of life. Slipped or herniated discs are also possible neck injuries from a front end collision.
  • Back Injuries – Often a person will be smashed back and forth in their seat during a head-on car accident. High impact car accidents often lead to back injuries. A few widespread back injuries from head-on crashes are herniated discs, slipped discs, and a bruised or broken spinal column. All of these injuries can induce nerve damage or even paralysis.
  • Cuts – Frontal-end collisions often lead to shattered windshields or side windows. These damages can result in severe cuts to the face or body. Some lacerations may be so intense they case disfigurement or require plastic surgery.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries – A common injury in a head-on collision is damage to a person’s ligaments, tendons, or muscles. A soft tissue injury can be incredibly painful and can require long-term treatment.
  • Lost Limbs – In incredibly dangerous head-on collisions, limbs may be crushed or severed. Amputation may be the only resort for serious limb injuries.

Who is at Fault in a Head-On Car Accident?

Liability for head-on collisions is determined by California’s negligence laws. The responsible party is to pay damages for the injuries and other costs caused to the victim of the collision. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent to successfully file a claim.

In California, the elements of negligence in a frontal-end car accident include:

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
  • The defendant breached that duty of care through negligence; and
  • The defendant negligence was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s damages.

Duty of care in California is defined as the basic standard of care that all drivers and motorcyclists must follow when operating a vehicle. The standard of care requires drivers to do the following:

  • Be aware of pedestrians, obstacles, and other vehicles;
  • Use reasonable care in driving a vehicle; and
  • Reasonably control the speed and movement of the vehicle.

If the plaintiff is successful in filing their claim, they can recover compensation from the defendant. These monetary damages are to pay for costs that occurred due to the accident. Some common damages that a plaintiff can receive include:

  • Past, present, and future medical costs
  • Damages done to the plaintiff’s automobile
  • Compensation for lost wages, both past and projected
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Cost of therapy or psychological counseling
  • Cost of rehabilitation

How Do I Avoid a Head-On Collision?

You cannot control the actions of other drivers. However, you can follow some helpful tips and tricks to avoid head-on car accidents. Most head-on collisions result from a driver being distracted, traveling too fast, taking a quick U-turn, or falling asleep.

A few reminders to follow to avoid frontal-end crashes include:

  • Drive only when you are alert and sober
  • Avoid, whenever possible, driving in challenging weather or road conditions
  • Use your seat belt
  • Stay well centered in your lane
  • In multilane roads stay in the right lane as it is the safest
  • Obey speed limits. You will have more time to react to a hazard or other vehicle, and the damage will not be as damaging at a lower speed.
  • Scan the road ahead for hazards.
  • Avoid making U-turns, and other vehicles who are doing U-turns

Additional Resources

2013 California Quick Collision Facts – View some data and statistics from the California Highway Patrol (CHP). See the 2013 average of collisions, fatalities, and injuries in the state of California. Compare the different types of collisions, and who is most likely to be injured if an event occurs.

Traffic Safety Facts – Visit the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to see data regarding head-on collisions. See the difference between rural and urban frontal-end crashes, the rate of fatalities, and the rate of injury that occur.

Crash Statistics – Visit the website of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute (IHI &HLDI). Read a yearly snapshot cataloguing car accidents in 2016. See the annual economic cost crashes create, and the data of what is the most common vehicle type, driver age, gender, and other factors in an auto collision.


Find a Attorney for Head-On Collision Claims, CA

Have you been involved in a head-on collision due to another’s negligence? You may be entitled to compensation for damages. The attorneys at Yarian & Associates, APC can help you by evaluating and filing your claim today.

Our attorneys are experienced in personal injury law and have decades of practice with auto accident cases. Yarian & Associates, APC cares about our clients and want to help you get your life back. No person should be suffering unconditionally. Yarian & Associates, APC accept cases throughout the greater Los Angeles County and Tulare County area and nearby cities including Long Beach, Irvine, Riverside,  Los Angeles, Visalia, Glendale, and Pasadena.

Take your first step to recovery with us. Call (844) 291-1911 or submit an online contact form today.


This article was last updated on June 19th, 2018.

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