One of the most dangerous vehicle accident scenarios you can face is a head-on collision. Statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed that head-on accidents had a 58% fatality rate in 2017. The causes for head-on accidents are many but almost all of them involve someone engaging in negligent or reckless conduct. If you have been hurt or have lost a loved one to one of these extremely damaging accidents, be sure to get the legal help you need by retaining a knowledgeable San Mateo car accident lawyer right away.
The Bay Area witnessed another one of these tragic events recently. According to the San Mateo County Coroner, a 25-year-old San Francisco man died as a result of a head-on collision in South San Francisco. The accident, which occurred shortly after noon, also seriously injured two other people, the San Mateo Daily Journal reported. The police did not immediately release any additional details about the crash, according to the report.
A few days later, another head-on accident yielded more tragedy. A Chevrolet SUV and a Dodge pickup truck collided head-on in Modesto. The southbound SUV, for unknown reasons, crossed into the northbound lane and the vehicles slammed head-on into one another. The two occupants of the SUV died, and the driver of the truck suffered “moderate” injuries, according to an ABC 10 report.
Generally, these kinds of accidents will fall into one of two categories: driver error or vehicle malfunction. Driver error can include things like a driver who was distracted (such as by a cell phone,) intoxicated, or drowsy/fatigued. It can also take place when a driver speeds or fails to allow enough space in attempting to pass on a two-lane road.
Certainly, when you have a case where there’s strong proof a driver was DUI or was texting while driving, you have the foundation of a potentially winning case. Indeed, depending on the egregiousness of that driver’s conduct, you may be entitled to recover both compensatory damages and punitive damages. Punitive damages potentially can be three, four, or five (or more) times the amount of compensatory damages.
No Driver Error Does Not Mean You Have No Case
It is important not to overlook your legal options even if no driver committed any errors of operation. Just because there was no driver error doesn’t mean there was no negligence. Say, for example, the driver who crashed head-on into you lost control because she experienced a tire blowout. If you can obtain proof that she knew or should have known that her tire was in an unsafe condition, but she chose to drive anyway, then you may still be able to present a winning negligence claim and obtain compensation.
The same is true in the case of a medical event. Say that the driver who hit you drove into your lane because he experienced a seizure and blacked out. If you can obtain evidence that that driver had a history of experiencing seizure-induced blackouts, including while driving, then you may have a very powerful argument that the man knew or should have known he was not safe to drive and, by doing so anyway, was negligent.
Were You the Primary Cause for Your Crash? You Can Still Win!
Finally, do not forget that California is a “pure comparative negligence” state. What’s that mean? It means that even if you were partly to blame for the crash… in fact, even if the accident was mostly your fault… you can sue, win, and collect. If in your lawsuit, you proved that you suffered $500,000 in damages and the jury decided that you were 25% to blame and the defendant was 75% at fault, then you would collect a judgment of $375,000. Even if the jury found you 75% at fault and the defendant 25% liable, you’d still be entitled to a judgment for $125,000.
When you are hurt or a loved one is killed in a head-on vehicle accident, you need a powerful legal advocate in your corner. Look to the experienced car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos to give your cause the legal representation needed for success. To set up a free consultation with one of our helpful attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.