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Head-on collisions are usually associated with catastrophic injuries and fatalities, largely because the front ends of two vehicles hit each other, making it extremely difficult for the drivers and passengers to survive this type of crash, particularly when these vehicles are traveling at a high speed.

Causes of head-on collisions vary from one case to another, though in most cases, they are caused after one of the vehicles drifts across the center dividing line or fails to yield the right of way at an intersection. In order to determine fault in a head-on accident, looking at the skid marks or assessing damage to the vehicle is rarely enough.

Why determining fault in a head-on crash is tricky

Our Seattle head-on collision attorney at Russell & Hill, PLLC, explains that determining liability in a car crash where the front ends of two vehicles collide is almost always complicated, because:

  • There may be different traveling directions;
  • The investigation will need to determine who had the green, yellow, or red light at the time of the collision;
  • Whether there was a stop sign;
  • Whether any of the drivers violated any traffic rule.

In fact, in many head-on crashes, both drivers share the fault, because both drivers may contribute to the collision. Even if it seems as if the other motorist is clearly at fault, you may be deemed partially at fault and will have your compensation reduced by the percentage of your own negligence, due to the fact that Washington is a comparative negligence state.

How insurance companies may attempt to fool you

Oftentimes, insurance companies take advantage of the fact that victims are not represented by an experienced head-on accident attorney in Seattle or elsewhere in Washington to shift the blame on to the victim to either minimize his or her damages or deny the personal injury claim altogether.

As you can guess, even the tiniest detail in your case will play a vital role in determining fault, so investigators will look into who had the green, yellow, or red light, who failed to yield the right of way, who got distracted, or who violated traffic laws that ultimately caused the head-on collision.

Causes of head-on accidents

More often than not, a car driver drifts across the centerline or fails to yield the right of way for any of the following reasons:

  • Drunk or drugged driving. Operating a vehicle while intoxicated negatively affects the driver’s decision-making abilities and judgment, which is why head-on collisions are bound to happen when you decide to drink and drive.
  • Distracted driving. Sure, many drivers swear that they only get distracted by urgent texts, but it does not change the fact that a distracted driver is much more likely to miss a stop sign, run a red light, or even drive across the center dividing line, not to mention a plethora of other negligent driving behaviors.
  • Aggressive or reckless driving. Yes, all drivers always find an excuse for passing in no-passing zones – they are late to work, they are in a hurry, they have an emergency, etc. – but there is no excuse for endangering the lives of other motorists and their passengers. Aggressive and reckless driving makes motorists more likely to make dangerous, unsafe, and negligent decisions.
  • Bad weather conditions. While it is true that drivers cannot be blamed for poor weather conditions, they can be held responsible for failing to adjust their driving to changing weather conditions such as poor visibility, heavy rain, or icy roads, and exercise special care when operating a vehicle under adverse weather conditions.
  • U-turns, wrong-way driving, and driving down the wrong side of the road. All of these maneuvers increase the risk of a head-on crash.

However, this is not the full list of causes of head-on collisions. If you do not think that your own head-on crash was caused by any of the above-mentioned factors, you may want to consult with a Seattle head-on accident lawyer at Russell & Hill, PLLC. Determine fault in your case by scheduling a free case evaluation today. Call our offices at 206-516-2045.

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