Head-on Trucking Accidents

Head-on trucking accidents are among the most devastating collisions on our roads, leading to significant, life-altering consequences for those involved. When a massive truck collides head-on with a smaller vehicle, the results are often catastrophic, leaving victims and their families with severe physical injuries, emotional turmoil, and financial uncertainty. Due to the sheer size and volume of large commercial semi-trucks, head-on truck accidents often result in fatalities, even at relatively low speeds. People who do survive these crashes, however, are often left with debilitating injuries and permanent disabilities.

If you or someone you love got hurt in a head-on collision with a large commercial truck or big rig, you need an experienced California trucking accident lawyer to help you fight the large trucking companies. Your injuries may require a lifetime of care, so any compensation you receive should reflect these significant life changes.

Causes for Head-on Truck Collisions

There are many causes for head-on collisions, but the most common include:

Truck drivers who routinely drive long hours may find themselves fatigued or even falling asleep behind the wheel. When that happens, they may drift into the opposite lane and into oncoming traffic. Likewise, truck drivers can be distracted while driving by talking on cell phones, texting, or using CB radios. This, too, can cause trucks to drift over the line and into oncoming traffic.

Brake failure and improper truck maintenance are other causes of head-on trucking accidents. Trucking companies that want to save money may cut corners by decreasing vehicle maintenance by failing to change tires, brake pads, and rotors. When one of these parts breaks or fails, it can cause truck drivers to lose control and crash head-on into another vehicle.

Head-On Trucking Accidents Can Lead to Severe Injuries

A fully loaded big rig can easily weigh 80,000 pounds. In comparison, the average car on the road weighs just 3,000 pounds. As a result, when these two vehicles collide head-on, the passenger vehicle occupants often suffer severe and life-threatening injuries. These injuries frequently result in long-term, if not permanent, disabilities, drastically altering the lives of the victims and their families forever. In the blink of an eye, individuals may find their physical abilities, independence, and quality of life profoundly impacted, underscoring the devastating reality of head-on truck collisions.

Some of the most common physical injuries caused by head-on trucking accidents include:

  • Fractures
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Internal Organ Damage
  • Lacerations and Bruises
  • Burns
  • Amputations
  • Neck and Back Injuries 

Getting hurt in a head-on trucking accident can leave lasting scars, not just on the body but on the mind as well. After a violent accident, profound emotional distress can arise, encompassing a range of mental health challenges, including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression.

PTSD is common after a violent crash, such as a head-on trucking accident. It is characterized by flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the accident. Victims may find themselves reliving the trauma repeatedly, making it difficult to move past the incident. The triggers can be unpredictable, turning ordinary situations into reminders of the trauma.

Establishing Liability in Head-on Collisions

While it’s easy to assume that the truck driver is "at fault" for your head-on collision, the trucking company or a trucking parts manufacturer may really be to blame. As such, it is important to retain the services of an experienced San Jose trucking accident lawyer immediately.

Upon taking your case, your injury attorney will conduct a thorough investigation to pinpoint the exact cause of the accident. This involves a meticulous review of various forms of evidence, including: 

  • Driving Logs: Examining the driver's logs can reveal whether they were adhering to the federally mandated hours-of-service regulations, which limit how long a driver can be on the road. Violations could indicate fatigue, a common contributor to accidents.
  • Maintenance Records: These records are crucial for determining if the truck received proper and timely maintenance. Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to mechanical failures that could cause an accident.
  • Cellphone Records: Reviewing the driver's cellphone records can help establish if they were distracted by a call or text in the moments before the accident.
  • Black Box Data: Modern trucks are equipped with electronic logging devices (ELDs) or "black boxes" that record data about the vehicle's operation, such as speed, braking, and hours of operation. This data can be invaluable in reconstructing the accident and determining who is to blame.
  • Other Evidence: Your lawyer may also gather additional evidence, such as eyewitness statements, traffic camera footage, and expert testimonies, to build a comprehensive case.

In many cases, the fault may not rest with a single party. For instance, while the driver may have been operating their big rig negligently, the trucking company might also be liable if they failed to enforce regulations or conducted inadequate maintenance. Similarly, if a mechanical failure contributed to the accident, the manufacturer of the faulty part could also be held accountable.

An experienced trucking accident lawyer in San Jose will identify all potentially liable parties. They’ll then build a case that ensures you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Any settlement or award you receive should reflect the full scope of the accident's impact on your life, from immediate medical expenses to long-term care and lost earnings. Hiring a skilled injury accident attorney immediately can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

If you or someone you love has been injured in a head-on commercial trucking accident, contact the trucking accident lawyers at Cerri, Boskovich & Allard at (408) 289-1417.

The trucking accident lawyers at Cerri, Boskovich & Allard have successfully handled truck accident cases throughout Northern California, including accidents on Highways 1, 5, 17, 33, 101, 152, 580, and 680.

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