A head-on truck accident occurs when the front end of a large commercial vehicle collides with the front end of an oncoming car. While these accidents make up a relatively small portion of all truck crashes, head-on collisions are the most catastrophic and deadly.
According to the most current statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), nearly 3 in 10 passenger vehicle occupants killed in fatal truck accidents were struck head-on by large trucks. More than 600 people died.
If you were injured in a Los Angeles head-on truck collision, you have the right to demand compensation for your accident-related losses. The experienced California truck accident lawyers at Custodio & Dubey LLP can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Causes of Head-On Truck Collisions
Head-on collisions are often associated with:
- Driver fatigue: Truckers have demanding schedules and that leaves them prone to drowsiness. If a truck driver nods off behind the wheel for even a second, they can drift into oncoming lanes of traffic and crash head-on.
- Distracted driving: When truck drivers are distracted by mobile phones, GPS devices, or eating or drinking, they cannot focus their full attention on safe driving. Distracted truck drivers can easily coast into head-on collisions.
- Driving under the influence: Truck drivers who are drunk or high do not have the reflexes or clear judgment needed to make safe driving decisions. Head-on truck accidents can occur when impaired drivers fail to remain within designated lanes or ignore the right of way at traffic intersections.
- Driver inexperience: A nationwide truck driver shortage means highly qualified drivers are harder and harder to find. Inexperienced drivers are far more likely to make driving errors that cause destructive head-on wrecks.
- Negligent truck company practices: Motor carriers that hire poorly trained drivers, fail to conduct required background checks, or skimp on mandatory maintenance can be held liable for head-on truck collisions if any of those factors contributed to the crash.
- Inadequate maintenance: Trucks that are not serviced regularly are at risk of breakdowns caused by equipment failures. If critical components such as brakes, steering systems, or tires fail, even the best truck drivers can lose control and veer into other vehicles head-on.
- Faulty parts: In some cases, malfunctioning truck parts may cause crashes due to defects in the manufacturing or assembly process. When manufacturing defects lead to a component failure, automakers may be liable for any subsequent head-on collisions.
- Improper cargo loading: If a truck’s trailer is overloaded or carrying an unbalanced load, the weight of the cargo can cause tire blowouts or shifts in the truck’s center of gravity. This can lead to loss of control and head-on collisions.
Common Injuries Caused by Head-On Truck Accidents
Head-on truck collisions are some of the most devastating traffic accidents, causing injuries such as:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Facial scarring and disfigurement
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Partial or total paralysis
- Cuts and puncture wounds
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Liability for Head-On Truck Collisions
- Truck drivers: Drivers may be liable for head-on accidents if they were distracted, fatigued, impaired, unqualified, or committing driving errors at the time of the crash.
- Other drivers: In some cases, other motorists may be liable if they engage in driving behaviors that force truck drivers to swerve head-on into oncoming traffic.
- Trucking companies: If a trucking company hires an unskilled driver, pressures the driver to violate trucking regulations, or provides drivers with unsafe trucks, they can be vicariously liable for head-on crashes.
- Truck mechanics: When truck mechanics or third-party repair companies fail to properly inspect, maintain, or repair trucks as they should, they may be held responsible for head-on collisions caused by vehicle failure.
- Parts manufacturers: If a truck component is manufactured with shoddy materials or faulty designs, the manufacturer can be considered at fault if the defective part contributes to a head-on crash.
- Cargo loading teams: If the company that places cargo into a truck’s trailer doesn’t properly secure the freight according to federal regulations, they can be held liable if an overweight or unbalanced load contributes to a head-on wreck.
What Should You Do After a Head-On Truck Collision?
Most people who are struck head-on by a tractor-trailer suffer serious injuries. Getting emergency medical help is always the top priority.
Once your injuries are treated, it’s time to call an experienced Los Angeles truck accident lawyer. The sooner you contact an attorney, the better. Trucking companies are protected by large insurance companies and often multiple policies. They also will send adjusters to the accident scene immediately. You’ll want a lawyer to get started on an independent investigation to prevent evidence from being lost, destroyed, or altered.
After a head-on truck accident, you can also protect your health and ability to pursue maximum compensation by:
- Following all of your doctor’s treatment recommendations.
- Attending all follow-up appointments, especially for rehabilitation like physical therapy.
- Keeping a record of all medical bills and other accident-related costs.
- Writing down everything you recall about the crash while it’s fresh in your mind.
- Recording your daily levels of pain and physical limitations in a pain journal.
- Not discussing the crash with anyone aside from your attorney.
- Not posting or sharing on social media while your claim is pending.
Because head-on crashes are often fatal, family members should know that California law does allow certain relatives to file a wrongful death claim if a loved one is killed in a collision. At Custodio & Dubey LLP, our compassionate truck accident lawyers can assist you if you’re grieving the loss of a family member.
Contact a Head-On Truck Accident Lawyer at Custodio & Dubey LLP Now
When you choose the award-winning legal team at Custodio & Dubey LLP, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands. For more than 40 years, our attorneys have fought relentlessly for injured victims in the Los Angeles area. Our tenacity and drive have allowed us to secure millions of dollars in compensation for clients just like you.
We charge no upfront fees to begin work on your case, and you’ll never owe us a cent unless we win compensation for you. Our initial consultations are always free.
Don’t let the opportunity to hold negligent parties accountable if you’ve been hurt. Count on Custodio & Dubey LLP to fight for justice for you.