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Determining Liability in a Head-On Collision Car Accident

Determining Liability in a Head-On Collision Car Accident

Head-on collisions represent a very small fraction of car accident types in Wisconsin but they are particularly dangerous and deadly. Even when accident victims survive, they may require significant medical care and have life-changing injuries. Many victims pursue compensation for their injuries in order to be able to pay for their ongoing medical needs. Before any compensation can be paid out, however, the insurance company will want to determine liability for the accident.

Causes of Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions occur when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions crash into each other. Damage occurs to the front of both vehicles and the extent of the damage is often used to determine the speed of each vehicle at the time of the accident.

These accidents can happen on any Wisconsin roadway from poorly-lit rural roads to high-speed interstates and can happen for many different reasons, such as:

  • Drunk or impaired driving.
  • Distracted driving.
  • Drowsy driving.
  • Inexperienced drivers.
  • Excessive Speed.
  • Reckless or aggressive driving.
  • Not driving appropriately for road conditions.

In many of these situations, drivers don’t see the danger in time or lose control of their vehicle because of their behavior.

Liability in Head-On Collisions

It can be difficult to determine liability in head-on crashes. In most cases, the driver who is driving the wrong way is at fault because they demonstrated negligence in obeying the rules of the road, but it is possible for both drivers to be partly responsible for the accident and thus bear liability for it.

Since Wisconsin is a comparative fault state, both drivers can be found liable for the accident with each bearing a certain percent of the liability. In situations where compensation is awarded, the compensation amount awarded to each driver may be reduced by the percent amount of liability that each driver bears for the accident. If you are 20 percent liable for the accident, your final awarded amount will be reduced by 20 percent.

In some cases, it is even possible for a third party to be liable for the accident. If an aggressive driver causes another driver to swerve into oncoming traffic and that leads to a head-on collision, the aggressive driver may bear some fault for the accident. Similar situations have happened with pedestrians who stepped out in front of oncoming traffic and caused drivers to swerve to avoid them. In rare cases, there is even the possibility that a manufacturer defect caused the accident and the manufacturer may be liable.

Obtaining Compensation From A Head-On Crash In Wisconsin

Car insurance is required in Wisconsin which means the insurance provider of the driver who is at fault will be the one to compensate the accident victims. Obtaining this compensation is not always as easy as it sounds. The insurer will need to investigate the accident, which takes time. They may try to talk you down and they may offer a settlement that is far below what you deserve or need.

This is where a car accident attorney can help you. The car accident attorneys at Eisenberg Law Offices represent accident victims to insurance companies to ensure their rights are protected, they are not intimidated into accepting a low offer, and they receive the full compensation amount which they are due.

If you have been involved in a head-on collision or any other type of car accident, contact our Madison law firm to arrange a free case consultation by calling 608-256-8356 or emailing



Eisenberg Law has successfully represented our clients in thousands of Personal Injury, Criminal Defense and Family Law Cases during our 30-plus years in business.