Head-On Collision

How Much is a Head-On Collision Worth?

Head on collisions are very liable to be bad accidents.  Bad accidents produce more damages.  Damages determine the value of a case.  Contrary to public opinion, lawyers don’t just pick numbers out of the air when deciding how much a lawsuit should be worth.  There is a basic formula.  That basic formula has numerous variables and some cases are worth more, some are worth much less.  Those factors form the basis of our car accident calculator.

What is a head-on collision?

A head-on collision, commonly referred to as a frontal crash, occurs when the front end of one vehicle hits the front end of another vehicle or stationary object.  This kind of impact often occurs when one vehicle enters a lane on the opposite side of the street or enters a street from the wrong direction. The effectiveness of seatbelts and air bags have played a huge part in reducing fatality in head-on collisions, reducing the fatality risk by 61 percent with a belted occupant and a vehicle equipped with air bags. Sadly, however, head-on collisions still account for 10 percent of the U.S.’s fatal crashes, even though 2005 United States statistics show they comprise only 2 percent of all crashes.  This is partly due to poor structural engagement between the vehicle and its collision partner – crashes that occur just off of a full frontal impact. In 2007, there were 11,659 frontal crash fatalities.

Who is at fault?

The driver that disobeyed traffic laws and hit the front of another car or stationary object is likely at fault for the accident. If the other driver was also disobeying traffic laws, fault will likely be shared.

Ask yourself these 5 questions when trying to determine fault in a car accident:

  1. Were there traffic citations or violations of traffic law?
  2. Was I rear-ended or hit by a car making a left-hand turn?
  3. Were there comments made by the drivers after the accident?
  4. Were there any witnesses?
  5. Were there negligent drivers?

These questions are not necessarily determinative, but they are a starting place.

Why am I hurt but my car is not?

Often times there is car damage in frontal collisions; however, the increasingly sturdy occupant compartment, seatbelt, and air bags often allow cars to withstand head-on collisions without serious damage to the occupants. While the seatbelt secures passengers in the seat, minimizing movement of the occupant’s chest, the air bag will inflate to lessen the impact of chest and head movement. Most modern cars also have crush or crumple zones to help disperse the energy before reaching the occupant compartment.

Sometimes, however, the opposite is true – the car is not very damaged, but the driver or passenger are hurt.  This often occurs at lower speeds.  It can be especially bad in a front-end accident where the airbag does not deploy.  Head injuries, concussions, whiplash, herniated discs, etc, are, unfortunately, somewhat common in cases like these.  Hitting a head on the steering wheel, against the dashboard, or on the front or side window can produce serious injury as well.

What are the most common head-impact injuries?

Lower Leg/Femur


  • Rib fractures are common in frontal collisions, and according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, rib fracture indicates the distinct possibility of organ injury, such as the liver, lung, intestines, and spleen.  Abdominal visceral injury is a serious threat in frontal collisions, as blunt trauma from vehicles and seatbelt impact can produce internal injury void of external evidence.


  • Though neck injury is most common in rear-end collisions, almost one-third of all neck injuries occur in frontal impacts. The impact of a car collision forces the neck to violently move back and forth and side to side, causing whiplash.

Secondary Injury

  • As a result of the high force jolt caused by a frontal collision, it is common for loose objects fly around the car at very high speeds and hit occupants. This can cause injuries ranging from minor surface laceration to more serious blunt trauma. 

How much compensation can I receive from the insurance company?

Unfortunately, insurance companies will use tactics to complicate a simple issue when it involves them paying compensation. That being said, there are many factors that can affect the value of your settlement. For this reason, insurance settlements for a low-impact collision without severe injuries can be as low as a few thousand dollars or less.  When there are substantial medical expenses, lost income, and car rentals, that number can get much higher, sometimes in the millions for catastrophic injuries.  Remember, no one who receives a substantial settlement or jury verdict would do it again.  Start with the calculator for a rough estimate.  Then speak to an attorney.

Calculate the value of your accident: http://accidentvalues.com/calculator/

What affects the value of my settlement?

There are many factors that can affect the value of your settlement. These include:

Special Damages

  • Special damages render economic losses. These can include lost wages, lost earning capacity, medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, and property damage. As the amount of special damages increases, so too should the amount of the settlement.
  • Amounts awarded are lowered when there is shared fault for the incident
  • Special Damages = sum cost of medical treatment + sum of earnings lost from the day of your injury + sum of the cost of repairs to your car + sum of all out of pocket expenses

General Damages

  • General Damages are non-economic losses. These can stem from physical and mental pain and suffering, such as embarrassment, loss of reputation, and discomfort. General damages often equal 1.5 to 5 times special damages. As with special damages, the more permanent and severe the general damages, the higher the settlement.
  • Some states place “caps” on non-economic damages in personal injury cases, while other states cap damages in certain types of injury cases.
  • General Damages = type and duration of pain and suffering + diagnoses and prognoses of emotional distress + loss of ability to perform valued activities + loss of sexual ability + punitive damages

Again, many other factors exist, but using the above formulas can help produce an estimate of the value of a head on collision.  I fear, if you’re reading this, it’s because you or a loved one is seriously hurt.  I will say this:  First, get a lawyer.  Someone needs to have an obligation to look out for you.  Nobody else has an ethical obligation to look out for you.  In fact, many people in the process are actively trying to get over on you.

Read more at: http://accidentvalues.com/info/

Calculate the value of your accident: http://accidentvalues.com/calculator/