A close up of a head-on collision with the words, "head-on collisions in Texas."

It happens in a moment. Slick road conditions combined with speeding and inexperience cause a young driver to lose control of their vehicle. It begins to slide, and the driver tries to correct as they were taught but turns the wheel too hard and slams on the brakes. It causes the car to spin, sending it out of the lane he is in and in the opposite direction. In a matter of moments, he sees the eyes of another driver before both cars slam head-first into each other. The result is serious injuries to both drivers and the cars being completely undrivable. 

While head-on collisions are not as common as rear-end collisions and sideswipe accidents, they caused 636 deaths in Texas in 2022. Head-on collisions are responsible for 10% of all fatal accidents across the United States. This makes them one of the most serious types of accidents that a driver can be involved in. 

The Dallas car accident attorneys at the Hernandez Law Group, P.C. understand how devastating a car accident can be. Whether you or a loved one was injured, the aftermath can result in hefty medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Trying to get your life back together after one of these serious accidents may seem impossible, but there is hope. The attorneys at the Hernandez Law Group, P.C. fight hard to ensure that our clients get the compensation they deserve. We represent our clients and handle their cases for them so that they can focus on recovery and not have to deal with the other party or the insurance companies. 

In this article, our dedicated car accident attorneys are going to go over the injuries, aftermath, and how fault is determined in a head-on collision. Here is what you need to know:

Understanding the Dynamics of Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions refer to a full-frontal collision. They often involve two cars striking each other in the front while traveling in two different directions, but they can also refer to when a car drives into a stationary object, such as a guardrail.

These accidents often result in a tremendous amount of damage. Hoods of the vehicles completely crumple, windshields shatter or crack, and the driver is thrown forward and then back, resulting in whiplash or even worse injuries if they weren’t wearing a seatbelt.

Causes of Head-On Collisions

Typically, head-on collisions occur when one car crosses into the opposing lane of traffic and hits another car going in the opposite direction. Drivers who find themselves traveling down a one-way street incorrectly or being forced into the opposing lane of traffic on a highway often find themselves in a head-on collision. 

There are many potential causes of a head-on collision but these are the most common:

Injuries Resulting From Head-On Car Accidents

a woman with a migraine

Head-on collisions are one of the most serious types of accidents that a driver can get involved in. The injuries resulting from these accidents are often severe and require months to years of rehabilitation and recovery. The following are the most common injuries recorded after head-on collisions:

Any of the above injuries can result in individuals being unable to support their families, as their injuries prevent them from returning to work. On top of that, climbing medical expenses and the cost to replace damaged property, such as the car, can leave victims scrambling to make ends meet. To make matters worse, individuals who suffer these serious injuries often face an uphill battle against depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Hernandez Law Group, P.C. Insight: Long-Term Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries involve damage and swelling to the brain. These serious injuries produce both acute and chronic consequences that can lead to life-long disabilities and challenges. In some cases, traumatic brain injuries have been so severe that they reduced the life expectancy of the victims even after they had recovered from the initial injury. 

The direct consequences of traumatic brain injuries include:

  • Headaches
  • Light sensitivity
  • Noise sensitivity
  • Balance disruption
  • Vertigo
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Confusion

The long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries include:

  • Permanent memory loss
  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Visual changes
  • Fatigue
  • Paralysis
  • Balance problems
  • Reduced language skills
  • Mood swings
A close up of a red car with the airbags deployed.

A head-on collision is a traumatic event and the financial, medical, and legal aftermath can feel overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to understand the steps you should take to navigate a successful recovery—so that the insurance company and liable party cannot take advantage of you. Here is what to do after a head-on collision:

  • Call the police: One of the first steps that should be taken after an accident is to call the police, if you are able to. This will ensure that the accident is properly recorded and investigated.
  • Seek medical attention: The aftermath of a head-on collision often results in serious injuries that need immediate medical attention. It is important that all injured parties are seen by a healthcare professional to ensure that they are getting the proper treatment for their injuries. This also allows all injuries to be properly documented and used as evidence when the injured party seeks compensation.
  • Gather relevant data: Gathering information after an accident is extremely important to show the negligence of the other party. Evidence that should be gathered includes:
    • Pictures of the accident scene
    • Contact, driver’s license, insurance, and vehicle information from the other driver
    • Witness statements
    • A copy of the car accident report from the police

Should I Talk With The Insurance Companies After the Accident?

You should definitely call your own insurance company after an accident, but avoid speaking with the other driver’s insurance company. While the other insurance company may come off as sympathetic and wanting to help, they will ask leading questions to try and get you to admit partial fault or that your injuries are not that bad. Anytime you have to talk to the other driver’s insurance company, make sure your car accident attorney is present.

Typically, the driver who was traveling in the wrong direction will be considered at fault for a head-on collision. For example, if a driver was distracted by trying to type an address into their GPS, and they went down a one-way street and collided with another car traveling down that road, they would be held responsible based on negligence

However, this isn’t always the case. A collision between motor vehicles traveling in the same direction can result in one vehicle being pushed into oncoming traffic. In this case, the at-fault driver may be the driver who caused the first collision and not either of the vehicles involved in the head-on collision.

Other examples of when either driver may not be at fault include when a car has a mechanical malfunction such as fault brakes giving out or a roadway wasn’t properly maintained and led to a driver losing control. In this case, the manufacturer of the car part or the government agency that is in charge of the roadways may be considered at fault for the accident. 

How Is Fault Proven in a Head-On Collision?

Four elements must be present when it comes to proving fault in a head-on collision. These elements are as follows:

  • The at-fault driver had a duty of care: The driver had a legal duty to travel with reasonable care to keep themselves and other drivers safe on the road. This means following all traffic laws.
  • The at-fault driver had a breach of duty: The driver breached their duty of care by driving recklessly, such as texting and driving or driving while intoxicated.
  • The breach of duty caused the accident: Because the driver broke their duty of care it resulted in an accident that injured another party.
  • The accident resulted in damages and injury: The accident caused damages to other vehicles, injuries, and expenses.

What Type of Evidence Is Used to Determine Fault?

Evidence used to show fault includes:

  • Official police report of the accident
  • Statement from professionals
  • Witness statements
  • Damage reports
  • Photo evidence from the location of the car accident

What Compensation Can I Receive After a Head-On Collision?

A legal statue with the Texas flag.

With an experienced car accident attorney on your side, you can get compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Disability
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium (in cases of wrongful death)

Let Our Family Fight For Yours—Get the Compensation You Deserve

The Hernandez Law Group, P.C. is DFW’s, Abilene’s, and Amarillo’s leading car accident attorneys. We have helped thousands of clients get the compensation they deserve, setting their lives back on the right track and adding to their overall recovery. We do not allow the negligent party to bully you into taking a settlement that is less than you deserve. Contact our family today for more information on our car accident attorney services or to schedule a free no-obligation consultation.

Head-On Collision FAQs

What Happens During a Head-On Collision?

A head-on collision is when two cars strike in a full front position. It is often caused by one vehicle traveling in the opposite direction of another and they end up colliding. However, other types of head-on collisions do not involve another vehicle, such as when a car strikes a telephone pole or a road barrier.

Is a Head-On Collision the Worst Possible Crash?

Head-on collisions are one of the most fatal types of car accidents. They accounted for 10% of all fatalities in motor vehicle accidents in 2020 and were responsible for 3,631 deaths across the United States.

Can a Head-On Collision Cause a Concussion?

Yes. A head-on collision can result in a traumatic brain injury as the head can either hit the steering wheel, or the back of the seat, with so much force that it causes damage to the brain. Even if the head does not strike an object in the car, the violent shaking of the head from the sudden impact can also result in a head injury/concussion.

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