Which Insurance Company Pays in a Head On Car Accident? Is one driver always at fault? Like many things in the legal world it depends.
Most of the time in a head-on collision one driver is found to be at fault. More often than not, a head-on collision is caused when one driver crosses into the lane of the oncoming vehicle. Sometimes, both drivers are comparatively negligent in a situation where perhaps both vehicles are too close to the center line. I had a case once where my client was driving on a snow-covered dirt road in Vermont during a heavy snowstorm. You really couldn’t tell where the center of the road was located. The driver coming from the other direction also couldn’t tell where the centerline was and collided with my client’s car. Ultimately, both drivers pursued a claim against the other drivers insurance company and both drivers were able to recover damages for their personal injuries. The amount of the recovery was reduced by the amount of their comparative negligence which was determined to be 50%. In Vermont, you can recover up to half of your damages so long as you’re negligence is not greater than 50%. If you’re negligence is determined to be 51% or greater you will recover nothing.
In the case below it is not clear who the at fault driver is. A final police report will eventually be available where the at fault driver will be named.
December 24, 2020
St. Johnsbury Barracks / Two Vehicle Crash with Injuries
STATE OF VERMONT
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
VERMONT STATE POLICE
MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH
RANK/TROOPER FULL NAME: Trooper Rodzel
STATION: St. Johnsbury Barracks
DATE/TIME: December 23, 2020 at approximately 1954 hours
STREET: Halls Lake Rd
CROSS STREETS: Scotch Hollow Rd
ROAD CONDITIONS: Black top, slick
OPERATOR: Luke Avery
SEAT BELT? No
CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE: Newbury, VT
VEHICLE YEAR: 1999
VEHICLE MAKE: Mercedes
VEHICLE MODEL: E32
DAMAGE TO VEHICLE #1: Totaled
INJURIES: Suspected Minor
HOSPITAL: Cottage Hospital
OPERATOR: Sieglinde Wood
SEAT BELT? Unknown
CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE: Newbury, VT
VEHICLE YEAR: 2013
VEHICLE MAKE: Hyundai
VEHICLE MODEL: Elantra
DAMAGE TO VEHICLE #2: Totaled
INJURIES: Serious, Non Life Threatening
HOSPITAL: Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
SUMMARY OF CRASH:
On December 23, 2020 at approximately 1954 hours, Troopers from the St.
Johnsbury Barracks responded to a reported two vehicle crash with injuries on
Halls Lake Rd, near the intersection of Scotch Hollow Rd, in Newbury.
Troopers arrived on scene and discovered the two vehicle involved struck each
other head on. Through the course of the investigation it was found that Luke
Avery (45) was traveling south in his 1999 Mercedes E32 and Sieglinde Wood (60)
was travelling north in her 2013 Hyundai Elantra when they collided.
Avery suffered minor injuries and was transported to Cottage Hospital in
Woodsville NH for treatment. Wood was DARTED to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical
Center for treatment, she suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries.
Avery was cited for Criminal DLS as a result of his operation of a motor vehicle
on a public highway.
Troopers were assisted on scene by the Woodsville Ambulance Service and Newbury Fire Department.
The circumstances leading up to the crash remain under investigation.
Vermont Civil Violation Complaint _____Pending_________ T23 VSA ____Pending___
LODGED – LOCATION: N/A
MUG SHOT: N
COURT ACTION: Y
COURT: Orange County Criminal Court
COURT DATE/TIME: 03/10/2021 0800 hours
*Please note: court date and time are subject to change at the discretion of
the court. Please call the criminal court clerk to confirm arraignment time.
at 12/24/2020 09:22:00 PM
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