Semi-Truck Accident Head-on Collisions
When you’re involved in a car accident, it can ruin your day. But when you’re involved in a head-on collision with a commercial truck, it can ruin your life. The worst part about a head-on collision with a truck is that it was most likely preventable. If you or a loved one has been injured in a head-on collision with a commercial truck, big rig, or eighteen-wheeler, you may be facing a lifetime of medical costs, which don’t come cheap. When it comes to collecting damages for your injuries, you deserve to have an attorney who is focused on recovering the money you need to support your physical well being. Your life has transformed and it will take substantial funds to ensure you get the ongoing care you need.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were nearly half a million truck accidents in the United States in 2017. Twenty-three percent of these crashes involved serious injuries. Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue – Commercial truck drivers are pushed to complete deliveries and routes with sometimes unrealistic expectations. These expectations often result in drivers logging long hours behind the wheel. Studies have consistently shown that drowsy driving is similar to driving drunk.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol – Speaking of drunk driving, a common cause of head-on collisions with trucks is drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs. Truck drivers are subject to the same laws as everyone else so driving over the influence can have dire consequences.
- Failure to yield – Whether at an intersection or while changing lanes, truck drivers sometimes do not look for oncoming or existing traffic. Unfortunately, because of the size of the truck, this seemingly minor mistake can lead to extreme accidents.
- Distracted driving – Truck drivers are not immune to the beep of their phones or the need to change the radio station. Distracted driving causes serious accidents because truck drivers may not have time to apply the brakes before striking another vehicle.
While there are many causes for truck accidents, these are the most common. Unfortunately, because of the size of big rigs, they are difficult to maneuver quickly which means even if the driver sees an accident coming, it may be too late to take proper action to avoid a collision.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Trucks, by their very nature, are large vehicles and cause greater damage to property and person than an accident with another car. Common injuries include:
- Back and neck injuries – This includes everything from simple neck pain to spinal cord injuries. Your spinal cord is crucial to nearly everything you do so these injuries are often life-altering.
- Broken bones – The sheer force of the impact with a big rig is so great it could break your bones. These fractures are often more severe than a normal car crash.
- Head injuries – These include concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. Because of the force of the impact with a commercial truck, these types of injuries can be life-changing. In addition, these injuries may not be clear until days or weeks after the crash.
- Death – More deaths occur per accident in a tractor-trailer crash than do in other types of car accidents. In 2017, 713 persons died in truck accidents. While filing a wrongful death claim can never bring your loved one back, it can help your family move forward and put safeguards in place so another family doesn’t have to experience the same tragedy.
Truck injuries can be catastrophic. If the accident doesn’t kill you, it often leaves you with a lifetime of recovery or medical care. Your injuries could require months, years, or even a lifetime of care and this does not come cheap.
Steps to Take After Your Accident
If you or a loved one is involved in a head-on truck accident, there are certain steps you need to take right away.
- Call 911. Because your injuries are likely severe and your car severely damaged, this is the most important first step. Calling the police helps to protect and preserve the accident record. The police will create a report that documents what happened in your accident by speaking with you, the truck driver, and any witnesses. While the police report may not assign fault, it will allow the insurance company and your truck accident injury attorney to determine who was at fault.
- Get medical attention. Calling the police will also get you prompt medical attention. Have your injuries documented by a medical professional as soon as possible after your accident. Head-on collisions with a big rig are going to cause you serious injuries. You may even fall unconscious. Make sure a medical professional sees you as soon as possible. A record of your injuries gives your Florida truck accident lawyer a better chance to get you the full value of your claim and ensure you don’t have to pay out of pocket for your recovery.
- Take pictures. Documenting the accident scene is key to your financial recovery. That includes taking pictures of the accident scene and your injuries. This will help keep a record of the severity of your injuries and how they improve or potentially get worse. If you’re the one who was injured, it will not be possible for you to take pictures. So make sure you ask a trusted family member or friend to document as much as they can and send you the images.
- Don’t speak to the insurance company. Don’t give them a statement until you’ve spoken with a trusted truck accident attorney. The insurance company is going to try and make you seem at fault for the accident so they don’t have to pay out your claim. Even saying something seemingly innocent like “I looked down for a second” could lead the insurance company to fight your claim tooth and nail making it more challenging for you to recover.
- Keep a personal injury journal. As you progress through your recovery process, it’s important to keep a journal of how you feel, what improvements you make, as well as any setbacks that occur. Keeping this journal makes certain that you don’t forget anything. By keeping a record of your medical progress day to day, your truck crash lawyer can better see your progress, or lack thereof, and help to get you the compensation you need to get better. If you don’t keep a journal, you may not remember the incredibly painful days or the smaller setbacks you suffered. These are all important to your claim.
- Call Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman. We’ve helped many clients just like you recover for their injuries. We know the tactics insurance companies play. We know what you’re going through and we know you need financial help to get better. Our goal is to get you the compensation you deserve so you can recover and get back to the life you love.
Making sure you have trusted legal representation can go a long way to lifting the burden off your shoulders. You deserve peace of mind knowing your attorney has your best interests at heart.
Insurance Company Tactics
The insurance company of the truck driver or the truck company will reach out to you shortly after your accident. They will offer you a settlement knowing that you are out of work and facing many medical bills piling up on your kitchen table. This is a low ball offer and you should not take it until you’ve spoken with a skilled and seasoned trucking injury lawyer.
Your accident with a truck was severe, and it will cost lots of money in recovery bills. The insurance company knows this and will offer you a settlement that likely won’t cover your future costs. It may cover those bills sitting on your kitchen table, but that is usually all. When you have such severe injuries, you need to be prepared to pay a lifetime of medical costs. But you shouldn’t be the one to pay for them. You didn’t cause the accident, so you should play no part in paying the bills associated with your care and recovery.
We can help you create an accurate estimate of your future costs so you aren’t shortchanged. While your future medical costs may be hard to calculate, we’ve helped many clients just like you determine what they’ll need to continue living their lives as best they can. We can also work with the insurance company to get you a fair settlement offer. But we’ll never settle unless it’s right for you. While it’s true that most personal injury cases settle out of court, if your case needs to go to trial, we are fully prepared and experienced to guide you through that process.
Determining fault in a commercial truck accident case is not as easy as a normal car accident. Commercial trucks are driven by one person, usually owned by another person or company, and serviced by yet a third individual or company. With all of these hands touching the truck, more than one person or entity is potentially at fault. Determining which ones requires a keen eye from a trusted truck accident attorney.
If something distracted the driver, we would file a claim against them. If the brakes were faulty, we’d file a claim against the owner of the truck and company which serviced the truck. What helps us get to this conclusion is our experience. When you meet with us, we can evaluate your claim and can investigate the facts of the collision. We can speak with witnesses. We can review the police report and medical records. We can look at the pictures and speak to you. What we want is to get a full and complete picture of your life before and after the accident. This helps us in our negotiations with the insurance company to get you the maximum amount you need to recover.
Damages to Fight For
When you or a loved one are injured in a head-on collision with a truck, your sole focus should be on your recovery. Depending on the circumstances, your truck accident lawyer should fight to get you compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Home remodel costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of companionship
Because of the severity of your injuries, you’re likely out of work, maybe temporarily and possibly permanently. This means you won’t have money coming in to help cover your bills. This is why it’s important to work with a skilled and trusted truck accident lawyer in Florida who can help you recover what you need so you don’t end up paying any bills out of pocket.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer for More Information
Meeting with an experienced team of truck accident attorneys is your first step toward securing a recovery and getting your life back. Look for a law firm that can review your claim, investigate your case, negotiate with the insurance company, advise on settlement offers, and, if necessary, guide you through the trial. Make sure the firm you choose works on a contingency basis, which means it only gets paid when you prevail.
It’s your life and you deserve the best chance of recovery. To do that, you need an attorney on your side you trust to advise you correctly and have your best interests at heart. Personal injury law is complex, and it can be difficult to know what to do immediately following a truck accident; an experienced semi crash attorney can help you understand your options, and develop a plan of action for obtaining the best outcome possible.