Head-on Collision Accidents in San Pablo

The Law Office of Nikolaus W. Reed helps car accident victims in San Pablo. One of the most common and devastating you’ll come across is a head-on accident. These types of accidents not only leave you with serious injuries, but are often fatal. When you lose a loved one in these accidents or experience life-changing injuries, my firm can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Steps to Take After a Head-on Collision

Following any head-on car collision, it’s normal to feel disoriented and rattled. However, it’s crucial to take certain steps in the aftermath to protect yourself and your interests.

  • Get to safety and find medical care – Your first priority is to stay safe and take care of yourself. Even if you feel okay at first because of adrenaline, it’s important to see a doctor right away. If you don’t, insurance companies might use it against you when they look at your injuries.

  • Report the accident – Depending on where it happened, you might need to call the San Pablo Police Department, Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, or ambulance. In San Pablo, you have to tell the police about the accident by law. When they get there, they’ll make a report of the incident. You can’t use it as evidence in a potential lawsuit, but it still has important information for your claim.

  • Get information about what happened – After you’re safe, the authorities are called, and you’ve gotten medical attention, start gathering details about the accident. Take pictures and videos of your car and any injuries you have. If you’re not comfortable getting information from the other driver, you can ask the police to help you.

Where We Can Help

There’s no legal requirement in California that says you have to have a lawyer. And in the event your injuries or the accident itself is minor, you probably don’t need to worry about the legal process. However, if your accident is more typical of a head-on collision, you’ll probably need extensive help. This is where our team comes in. We’ll walk you through the legal process, whether it involves filing an insurance claim and presenting a settlement demand or filing a personal injury lawsuit in court.

We help you collect evidence and build a strong case for damages. We’ll negotiate for you and prioritize making the legal process easier for you and your family so you can focus on recovery. Remember, you decide whether to work with us. And know that we offer free consultations and work on a contingency-fee basis, so there’s no upfront cost to you.

Damages in a Claim

There’s two ways to look at damages in the context of a head-on collision. First and foremost, it’s going to correspond to your injuries. A head-on accident, as you might expect, typically results in more serious injuries because of: 

  • The nature of the collision
  • The speeds at which you and the other car are going
  • The impact force and where it occurs (the front end of both cars)
  • The areas of your body that are most affected (usually your head, neck, and chest)

With that in mind, a typical head-on collision is going to result in:

  • Neck injuries from sudden head movement.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Chest injuries like contusions, broken ribs, or internal damage.
  • Spinal injuries causing paralysis or mobility issues.
  • Limb injuries such as fractures, dislocations, or lacerations.
  • Internal organ damage from blunt force trauma.
  • Emotional distress, anxiety, and PTSD.
  • Facial injuries like broken bones or dental damage.


So, with these possible injuries, it means long bouts of medical care and expenses, on top of missed work and other damages. That’s the purpose of filing an injury claim. The law in San Pablo tries to factor in your losses when determining what damages you can recover in a claim. In a head-on collision, you can potentially recover:

  • Medical expenses – Covers all treatment costs, including hospital bills, doctor visits, medications, therapies, and necessary medical equipment.

  • Ongoing medical care – Covers long-term treatments, rehabilitation, follow-up appointments, and other medical expenses for continued recovery.

  • Vehicle repair/replacement – Covers the costs of fixing the damaged vehicle or its fair market value if it’s declared a total loss.

  • Lost income – Relates to income losses during the recovery period, including regular salary, bonuses, commissions, and benefits.

  • Pain and suffering – Provides financial considerations for physical pain and mental suffering caused by the accident.

  • Permanent disability/disfigurement – Covers long-term impact of severe injuries, resulting in lasting disabilities or changes in physical appearance.

  • Emotional distress – Relates to psychological harm such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, or other emotional trauma resulting from the accident, separate from pain and suffering.

  • Wrongful death expenses – Includes funeral and burial costs, medical bills, loss of financial support, benefits, companionship, and other damages if the accident resulted in a fatality.


The key aspect to your claim is going to be who is responsible for covering these damages. This, in legal terms, is known as liability. And the determining factor in liability is negligence. Negligence, at least in terms of a head-on collision, refers to the:

  • Duty of care the other driver had to keep you safe
  • The breach of that duty, which then caused the accident
  • The link between your injuries and the accident

Most of the time, the driver that hit you head-on is going to be the one that’s primarily responsible for these damages, particularly if they were speeding, driving recklessly, or driving while intoxicated. However, other parties may share some liability:

  • Secondary drivers
  • Passengers
  • Pedestrians
  • Motorcyclists or bicyclists
  • Repair shops or mechanics
  • Local governments

You can also share some liability under the concept of “comparative negligence.” This says that any percentage of fault you contribute to the accident is going to reduce your damages by the same percentage.

Also, you’ll need to file your claim within California’s statute of limitations for injury claims. Currently, you have:

  • Two years from the accident date to file.

Missing this deadline means you (or your surviving family members) won’t be able to file a claim, and as a result, will miss the opportunity to recover these much-needed damages.

NWR Law Will Support You After a Head-on Collision in San Pablo

When you’re involved in a head-on collision, you can feel powerless and alone. Not only do you have to deal with serious injuries, there’s the challenging claims process to go through. Dealing with insurance companies and other responsible parties can get overwhelming, but you can count on NWR Law for support. We’ll explain your options and stand up for your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation to get the process started.