What You Should Know About Head-on Truck Collisions
October 7, 2021 | Truck Accidents
A head-on truck collision can be one of the most devastating types of accidents on the roads. If a truck driver’s negligence led to your or your loved one’s crash and injuries, you may be entitled to compensation. Cases involving an 18-wheeler or other commercial truck can be especially complicated, however—and due to the serious injuries involved, potentially high settlement amounts may be on the line.
While working with a lawyer is not required by law, there are several benefits of legal help in these types of cases. A lawyer can help you navigate the many complexities of truck accident claims and help you seek the financial recovery you need.
Recoverable losses after a head-on truck crash
One of the most important things you should know about your truck accident case is that someone else may be responsible for paying you. If a truck driver or another party caused the crash, you could get compensation for both the financial and non-financial consequences of the accident.
Also known as damages, you could recover post-accident losses that cost you money—and that may continue to cost you money in the future.
These may include:
- Medical costs, such as for emergency room care, diagnostic testing, hospitalization, surgeries, visits to a doctor or specialist, physical therapy, medications, and more
- Future medical costs, which can reflect the estimated cost of your future care needs such as surgery, therapy, and more
- Lost income, reflecting your paychecks missed due to recovery time
- Reduced earning capacity, if your ability to earn income will be harmed in the future because of your injuries
- Other out-of-pocket costs, including in-home care, medical devices, and more
Those in smaller vehicles involved in truck accidents are often likely to suffer disproportionately severe injuries and consequences, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). You don’t need to pay for these costs and losses on your own.
Non-financial losses can take a large toll on your life.
While they have no obvious dollar value, a lawyer will help you determine the value of these losses in a settlement or lawsuit.
- Pain and suffering, if your injuries cause you serious physical pain and other hardships
- Scarring and disfigurement, if your physical appearance is left altered by your injury
- Mental anguish, for the psychological consequences of the crash or injury
- And more
Seeking wrongful death damages
If you lost a loved one to a truck accident, you don’t have to take on your case alone.
Your lawyer can help you recover your losses, including:
- Medical costs, if your loved one required care before their passing
- Funeral and burial costs
- Non-financial losses, such as loss of companionship and support
What lawyers do for truck accident victims and their families
You may now be determining whether legal representation makes sense for you. If you don’t wish to handle the back-and-forth process and the legal details entailed in a truck accident case, a lawyer can help.
The legal team will deal with every aspect of a case for you, including:
- Determining your damages
- Gathering compelling evidence
- Identifying a liable party or parties
- Filing necessary paperwork
- Handling the negotiation process and other communications
- Taking your case to trial, if necessary
- Ensuring your case complies with statute of limitations deadlines
- Protecting your rights throughout the process of your case
- Using our understanding of local and state law for your best results
During this process, the law firm will keep you updated on the details of your case. For instance, if you receive any settlement offers during negotiations, they will let you know and discuss your options.
Your lawyer’s goal is to seek the best possible settlement or award for you. In an injury case, this means they will build strong evidence for your case. They will then pursue the financial compensation that you may deserve to get the care and recovery you need.
Proving fault and liability in a truck accident case
In a personal injury case, your lawyer will work to show that someone’s actions or inactions caused your accident—and they will also investigate the context of your crash to prove who is responsible for paying you.
The person who is at fault for the crash and the person who is liable for paying you may be two separate parties, especially in a truck accident case. This is another important aspect of a truck accident case that you should understand, and it is another reason why you may find a lawyer’s help useful.
Your lawyer will gather evidence of negligence to prove fault
In a head-on truck accident, one or more parties likely made either a major judgment error or acted carelessly. However, even if you were doing everything you should have been doing as a driver and a truck hit your car head-on, a lawyer still needs to gather evidence to prove that the other driver was negligent.
Forms of negligence may include:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Texting while driving
- Illegal maneuvers
- Losing control of the vehicle
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Failing to maintain their lane
- Road rage
- And more
Your lawyer may gather evidence of these and other forms of negligence by collecting:
- Police records
- Black box data
- Trucking company records
- Witness statements
- Traffic camera footage
- Accident reconstruction details
- And more
Much of this evidence is time-sensitive, so we often encourage potential clients to begin a case quickly.
The trucking company may be liable for your damages
If a truck driver was working for a trucking company at the time of your collision, the trucking company may be deemed liable for your losses.
Understanding this fact is important, as it can affect your case in several ways:
- You could collect a higher settlement or award, per the trucking company’s higher insurance coverage limits.
- A trucking company may have more resources to challenge or delay your case.
Additionally, other parties could bear liability for your truck accident case.
These liable parties could include:
- Cargo loading companies
- Local governments, if poor signage or other roadway factors contributed
- Other drivers, if a multi-car crash was involved
Common questions asked by truck accident victims and their families
No personal injury case is simple, much less a devastating head-on crash with a truck. Throughout your case, we will work to get your questions answered. For now, here are some of the most common questions that you might have:
Should I work with a lawyer?
Yes. Especially seek out a lawyer’s help if:
- You are too injured to take on a case alone.
- You want to understand the full value of your case.
- You have serious injuries and want to seek all the money available to you.
- You don’t want to deal with unfair insurance tactics alone.
- You don’t want to deal with taking your case to court on your own.
- You don’t understand all the nuances of personal injury law and want help with these legal details.
- You don’t want the insurance company to delay your case.
All of these are good reasons to work with a law firm after a major accident. While it is possible to represent yourself, you may run into many complications during an insurance claim involving a trucking company—and a lawyer can handle any of these problems for you.
How much will it cost to work with a lawyer?
Many people assume that they will need to pay steep upfront fees to get legal help. When a law firm works on a contingency-fee basis, you don’t have to pay anything upfront, however.
The law firm will only collect a percentage of your settlement or award if they win results for you. No hourly rates or retainers are involved—so if you hire a lawyer, you don’t have to burden yourself further with more financial challenges.
What do I do if I’m encountering unfair insurance tactics?
An insurance company may have already contacted you.
You could need to deal with:
- Lowball settlement offers soon after the crash
- Attempts by the insurer to get a recorded statement
- And other aggressive or bad faith tactics
Keep in mind that you are under no obligation to make a recorded statement or accept a settlement offer. If you’re getting contacted soon after the crash with an offer, the insurance company may be attempting to settle before you get legal help and before you understand the full cost of your health outlook.
If you work with a lawyer, you can keep these conversations to a minimum and refer the insurer to your attorney.
How much could my case be worth?
You may want to know how much you could expect to get through an insurance claim or lawsuit, but keep in mind that there is no predetermined amount you could seek for these types of cases.
A lawyer will investigate the full picture of your case to better understand:
- The severity of your injuries
- How cost of your medical bills
- How much the accident and injury affected your work and life
After your lawyer gets a better sense of your losses and who was liable for the crash, they can determine a goal settlement amount for your case and negotiate from there.
Important steps to take after a head-on truck collision
It could seem as though many factors are outside of your control after experiencing a major vehicle accident. At the same time, you should know that there are several things you can do to improve your chances of successful results in an injury case.
Getting all the medical care you need will help your case
It’s an excellent first step to go to an emergency room if you’re injured in a crash. This will not only help you begin the path to recovery, but will help document a link between your accident and your injuries.
Next, you’ll want to continue getting any necessary medical care. If there is a gap in your treatment history, an insurance company may try to say that your injuries are serious primarily because you neglected your treatment. Then, your claim could be challenged.
Gather your own evidence file
You can collect important evidence that can be useful in your injury case. You can collect a crash report of the accident, which may be available in person or online, depending on your area’s protocol.
Keeping a pain journal can create a record of your injuries and how they affected your life. If you collected information from any witnesses to the accident, you can also pass this along to your legal team.
Know the statute of limitations deadline
In most states, you will need to be aware of the deadline to file a lawsuit in personal injury cases. While these deadlines vary by state, you may have as little as one or two years.
Your lawyer will meet these important deadlines. This is one reason why you should begin your case as soon as possible—to ensure you still have the chance to seek a financial recovery.
You can seek a free consultation for your head-on truck collision case
You don’t have to be alone after a major accident case, let alone something as severe as a head-on truck collision. There are many important details about these types of cases that you should know as you move forward, and a St. Louis truck accident lawyer can help you navigate them all.
The Dixon Injury Firm
9666 Olive Blvd #202,
St. Louis, MO 63132