Head-on truck accidents are some of the most serious cases that the truck accident lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC take on, primarily due to the devastation occurring when large trucks collide with smaller, lighter passenger vehicles.
Even the most advanced and innovative safety technologies being deployed in vehicles today are not enough to counter the weight, momentum, and force of a head-on collision of an 80,000-pound vehicle slamming into a 5,000-pound car, van, or pickup truck.
Many of these large truck head-on collisions and their corresponding catastrophic injuries are due to driver error or fatigue due to long hours, and the victims and their families are entitled to recover fair compensation for negligent and reckless behavior on the part of drivers and their employers.
Were you or your loved one injured in a head-on accident? Contact our Chicago head-on truck accident attorney at (888) 424-5757 for a free case review.
Responsibilities of Truck Drivers to Avoid Head-On Collisions
Truck companies and their commercial truck drivers take it upon themselves to get behind the wheel of vehicles that are highly lethal and capable of causing complete carnage every single day when driven at high speeds.
This responsibility should only belong to well-trained people who respect how dangerous semi-tractor trailers can be in head-on truck collisions.
The reality, however, is that many drivers lack the respect for fundamental laws that are meant to keep our roads safe, and in addition to speeding or ignoring traffic devices and signage, truck drivers will go as far as falsifying their logs to extend their work hours and operating trucks or other vehicles when fatigued or under the influence.
The law is not ambiguous: when a truck driver breaks the law, and it results in an accident, the breach of law is enough to argue that they acted negligently.
There are often trucking accident cases where the employer (trucking company), manufacturer, or those responsible for maintaining the truck may share culpability. However, most of the responsibility will fall on the truck driver’s shoulders when it is revealed that they failed to follow basic traffic laws or were illegally operating the vehicle.
Contributing Factors to a Head-On Truck Accident
Whenever you must share the road with large trucks, it is helpful to understand the conditions that often precede an accident. Many head-on truck collisions with large commercial vehicles result from some form of error on the truck driver’s part, such as under or oversteering and driving while distracted.
The leading causes of truck crash our lawyers have investigated involve:
- Crossing the center line: When performing a maneuver, the driver crosses the center line into oncoming traffic. If a vehicle is sitting at a light when this occurs, the victim may have little recourse to avoid the accident as the trucker approaches from the opposite direction.
- Semi-truck driver violating signals: Not obeying a traffic control device such as a red light or stop sign could lead to a head-on crash with an oncoming vehicle turning left.
- Passing head-on collision: When passing other vehicles on the highway, the driver does not have adequate clearance and cannot return to his or her lane before hitting an oncoming vehicle.
- Tractor-trailer jackknifing head-on collisions: A trailer jackknife causes the driver to completely lose control of the truck, sending it into oncoming traffic or creating a pile-up accident.
In many cases, driver fatigue or distraction is a significant factor in the accident. Our experienced truck accident lawyers will investigate the accident scene and log books to determine if the truck driver violated the laws regulating how long drivers may work each shift and each week to avoid driver fatigue.
Talking on the phone, texting while driving, and impairment are other causes of head-on truck crashes — all of which are inexcusable when considering the disregard these distracted truck drivers must have for others by acting irresponsibly.
Injuries Sustained in Head-On Truck Accidents
The massive size and incredible speed involved in these incidents mean that victims can be severely injured when hit from the opposite direction.
Witnessing lifelong injuries resulting from these Chicago head-on truck collisions is not uncommon. The exact form of injury depends on the manner of the accident.
Common injuries in head-on truck collisions include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Amputations (dismemberment)
- Deep cuts and lacerations
Normally, one might expect bone fractures, concussions, skin lacerations, and disability to arise from Chicago head-on crashes especially if they involve tractor-trailers, but death is common in head-on crashes. To determine the full extent of your injuries, meet with a doctor immediately.
Head-On Truck Accident Statistics
- There are nearly 5,000 head-on collisions each year.
- Head-on motor vehicle/truck wrecks cause nearly one in ten road fatalities.
- Head-on collisions happen more in rural areas than in urban areas.
- The most frequent causes of head-on collisions include distraction, fatigue, and intoxication.
Relief for Chicagoland Head-On Truck Crashes
Financial compensation is necessary immediately after a head-on collision to pay for hospital bills, severe injury, lost income, disability, and suffering. Victims would need to file a claim for this relief, and a Chicago truck accident lawyer can help.
When filing a claim, the truck accident law firm will demand compensation for their client’s damages. In these circumstances, the most common category of personal injury damages is economical, typically covering medical expenses, paychecks, car damage, and other tangible out-of-pocket items.
Head-on truck accident plaintiffs can also plea for non-economic losses such as the lost quality of life, lost companionship, and similar intangible harms.
To learn about what relief you may obtain in a Chicago truck accident lawsuit, arrange a consultation with an experienced law firm specializing in car accident cases, head-on collisions, semi-truck accidents, and large truck crashes.
Potential defendants in a head-on collision compensation claim could include:
- The truck driver
- One or more trucking companies
- Other motorists
- Truck mechanics
- Truck manufacturer
- Tire or brake component company
Head On Traffic Accident FAQs
Our personal injury law firm understands that many families have unanswered questions when dealing directly with insurance companies after experiencing a head-on crash. An accident injury lawyer has answered some of those questions below.
Call our law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form for additional information or to schedule a free consultation.
Are trucking companies legally liable if their employee causes a head-on collision?
Trucking companies can be legally liable if their employee is found responsible for causing a head-on collision. If their employee was negligent or violated any safety regulations, then the trucking company can be held accountable for any damages that may have occurred as a result of this accident.
In addition, under vicarious liability laws, the truck company may also be held responsible for any actions its employees take when operating the vehicle. However, it is important to note that each case is evaluated individually and that legal action must be taken to determine liability.
What are the most common truck accidents?
The most common collisions include rear-end accidents, sideswipes, head-on collisions, jackknife, and rollover accidents. Rear-end collisions occur when a truck strikes another vehicle from behind and can be caused by drivers following too closely or not being attentive to traffic conditions.
Sideswipe accidents occur when two vehicles travel in the same direction, and one drifts into the other’s lane. Head-on collisions often happen when a vehicle crosses into oncoming traffic due to driver mistake or fatigue.
Jackknife accidents occur when a truck’s trailer swings out to the side due to a sudden stop or turn; this can often lead to serious damages for both vehicles involved. Finally, rollover accidents occur when a truck tilts over onto its side due to excessive speed or an uneven driving surface.
What is the number one cause of truck accidents?
Driver error is the number one cause of truck wrecks, accounting for approximately 80% of all truck collisions. It can include driving while distracted, impaired, or fatigued and failing to obey traffic laws or signals.
Other common causes of truck collisions include mechanical failure, bad weather, and poorly maintained roads. In many cases, multiple factors contribute to an accident, and it is important to determine the primary cause to identify who may be held responsible for the damages incurred.
How often are truckers in accidents?
According to the most recent data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are around 15 trucking accidents involving fatalities every day in the United States. These accidents occur due to various factors, such as driver negligence, mechanical failure, bad weather, inadequate training, or maintenance standards.
Further research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that truckers are involved in around 350,000 non-fatal crashes yearly.
What vehicle causes the most deaths?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicles are the leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths in the United States.
More specifically, passenger cars make up 45% of these deaths, while light trucks (including SUVs and pickups) make up 27%. Big trucks, such as 18-wheelers, account for 10% of motor vehicle deaths yearly.
Talk to an Experienced Chicago Head-On Truck Accident Attorney
If you decide to pursue a lawsuit for financial compensation for your personal injuries from a truck collision against the truck company, the process might seem daunting, expensive, and time-consuming. A qualified Chicago truck accident lawyer can help you navigate this challenging legal path.
Here are just some of how your truck crash attorney could help expedite and effectively advocate your claims in court:
- Hire a team of investigators to get all the facts and interview all witnesses.
- Write a claim and file a complaint for damages against all responsible parties in the appropriate courthouse.
- Manage all discovery and depositions to ensure your claim gets everything it needs from the other side.
- Present your case to a jury in the best possible light.
- Initiate and negotiate a settlement to obtain the maximum compensation package available.
If you’ve been seriously injured or your loved one died in a head-on truck crash, your truck accident lawyer can help you by recovering compensation for the payment of medical bills, loss of income and opportunity, loss of consortium, mental or emotional anguish, pain and suffering, and wrongful death.
We have successfully represented thousands of victims of truck/car accidents and their family members, and our award-winning lawyers are some of the most trusted legal representatives in the state.
Contact us at (888) 424-5757 to arrange a free consultation with one of our Chicago truck crash attorneys so that we can get to work immediately on recovering evidence and building your case.
Additionally, we will assist you by working with your insurance companies to ensure you receive the quality medical care you need.
We work on a contingency basis, meaning if our personal injury law firm cannot recover compensation on your behalf, our services will cost you nothing.