In the absence of any other factors, when a driver leaves their lane of travel and goes into oncoming traffic, the resulting head-on collision is usually 100 percent their fault. From there, it can change if the injured party had the ability to perceive the danger and could have avoided it. Depending on what the at-fault party did, such as crossing lanes into oncoming traffic and hitting someone head-on, the majority of the liability in a Boca Raton head-on collision case is attributed to the driver who crossed into oncoming traffic. With a head-on collision, it is usually pretty clear which driver is responsible for the accident, but on occasion, there can be complications proving it, making it important that a head-on collision attorney is contacted and involved in the case.
Factors Impacting Liability
Factors that can affect liability in a head-on collision case include whether the at-fault party was under the influence or impaired by alcohol or other substances. From the injured party’s perspective, did they have an opportunity to perceive the danger? Did they have an opportunity to avoid the danger? Those are factors heavily considered when assigning liability.
Other factors to consider are the speed of the collision, the point of impact, the angle of impact, and whether the injured person was stopped at the light or traveling in traffic. The totality of the accident, how it occurred, and when it occurred must be evaluated. That can include lighting, guardrails, and prior occurrences of similar types of accidents in the past. Perhaps a bend in the road should have had a guardrail to prevent cars from pulling across. There may be a history of similar accidents in the area.
When determining liability in head-on collision cases, it is important to consider punitive damages, when the state of the driver who caused the accident must be assessed. Were they impaired? Were they under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating substances? Were they fatigued from lack of sleep? Did they have a medical condition which should have precluded them from driving. Was their car properly maintained? A varying number of human factor components that caused the at-fault driver to hit someone head-on must be taken into account.
Cell phone usage could lead to punitive damages if a person is not using a hands-free device. People are still allowed to talk on cell phones while driving, but texting is strictly prohibited. If the at-fault driver was texting at the time of the accident, that could open the at-fault driver to punitive damages because they were doing something illegal. Drinking and driving or being high and driving are also reasons for punitive damages. These factors must be shown to get punitive damages, as they are not automatically awarded.
Contacting an Attorney
The more severe the injuries and the collision, the further someone’s attorney will dive into the development of the case. The attorney examines the conditions of vehicles before the crash, and the black box to identify what the at-fault driver’s car was doing moments after the collision. They want to uncover if the at-fault driver put the brakes on, if they intentionally turned into traffic, if they tried to drift, or if the weather had any effect. Skilled attorneys will work hard to uncover any other determinations to uncover liability in someone’s head-on collision case in Boca Raton.