Head-on collisions are among the most dangerous and potentially deadly types of motor vehicle accidents. When people fall asleep at the wheel or swerve into oncoming traffic while distracted, these crashes can happen in an instant, destroying lives and leaving families with unbelievable medical expenses.
At the Cain Law Office, we are very familiar with the ways that these accidents take place, and we work hard to see those innocent victims are not left financially devastated due to their injuries. Please contact us today if you or a loved one has been hurt in a head-on truck crash in Oklahoma City. A consultation is free, and we can get started on your personal injury claim immediately.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Head-On Collision with a Truck?
Every case is unique, but when it comes to semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles, determining liability can be much more complicated than in crashes involving two passenger cars. These cases are simply different from the start.
For one, it’s often not just the truck driver at fault in causing the accident. Many times, there are a number of other parties involved in a truck’s operation that may be responsible for the crash. Here are some examples:
- The truck driver and trucking company – While there are certainly other culprits, truck drivers who operate fatigued are one of the major causes of head-on truck collisions. However, the trucking companies behind them may also be held accountable. Drivers are supposed to be limited in the number of hours they can drive at a time, but some companies push drivers past these limits, which can result in fatigue and serious consequences.
- Dispatchers – Some dispatchers are under immense pressure to meet deadlines for pickup and delivery schedules. This can make them very aggressive. Sometimes they will pressure truck drivers to operate past their legal hours of service. Other times they will threaten to fire truck drivers if they do not break the law and continue driving.
- Negligent lumpers/loaders – Warehousing companies are charged by the load, so the more they can fit on a truck, the better off they are. Of course, truck drivers must be wary of the warehouse companies that notoriously overload trucks without informing the driver. Although it is the driver’s responsibility to get weighed right away, some drivers are under such a time crunch that they may take a chance. But an overloaded truck can be extremely hard to control on the road, especially if the driver must stop abruptly, swerve, or make a sharp turn.
It is crucial to speak with an experienced Oklahoma City truck accident attorney as soon as possible after a crash. Evidence can be cleaned up or disposed of quickly, and your legal team will want to begin an investigation right away.
Compensation After a Head-On Trucking Accident
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that upwards of 14 percent of all fatalities on rural highways are caused by head-on collisions. When heavy trucks face off against much smaller passenger cars, the impact can be devastating.
After a head-on collision, most people have rushed to the emergency room right away. Few such accidents result in minor injuries. Indeed, most involve broken bones, head traumas, and life-changing physical impairments. Victims may be entitled to compensation that includes:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Future anticipated medical costs
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Loss of a normal life
- Modifications to a home or vehicle (for permanent disabilities)
Schedule a free consultation today to speak with a knowledgeable Oklahoma City head-on collision truck accident lawyer about your legal rights.
Causes of Head-On Truck Collisions
Although truck drivers who cause these tragic accidents generally are not intending to hurt anyone, that’s the very definition of negligence. It is what happens when someone unintentionally, yet carelessly fails to follow the rules, and then causes someone else to be injured. Here are some of the key reasons for a head-on collision truck accident:
- Distraction – Federal motor carrier safety regulations strictly prohibit truck drivers from using handheld devices to talk or text while behind the wheel of an interstate commercial vehicle. Oklahoma law also prohibits this type of conduct by professional CDL drivers. Nevertheless, as many accidents over the years have shown, drivers continue ignoring the rules.
- Drowsy driving – Truck drivers must adhere to specific hours of service guidelines, which are designed to make sure they are not driving too tired. When drivers violate these rules, they can cause serious accidents. This is one of the most common causes of a head-on truck accident.
- Driving under the influence – A drunk truck driver is probably the most reckless and dangerous thing on the road. With upwards of 80,000 pounds in tow, no one should ever be operating a commercial truck under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This includes prescription medications with side effects that create drowsiness or affect judgment, reaction time, or perception.
- Unfamiliarity with roads – Truck drivers are almost always in unfamiliar territory. Except those who drive dedicated routes each week, truck drivers are constantly having to locate warehouses, factories, and shipping facilities. In the past, that meant relying on maps. Today, however, most modern truck drivers use in-cab GPS devices. Still, being unfamiliar with local roads can lead to wrong-way driving and serious collisions.
Head-On Truck Accident Injuries
Among the many injuries people suffer in head-on collisions, some of the most serious include:
- Traumatic brain injuries/concussion – A head trauma can result in speech delays, mood swings, lack of coordination, headaches, irritability, and even personality changes. Some severe injuries can lead to cognitive deficits and mental impairment.
- Spinal cord injuries – A spinal cord injury generally can lead to paralysis and loss of mobility. These are among the most severe injuries people can suffer in a head-on crash.
- Broken bones – Fractures are very common in high-speed head-on collisions. Even a slight fracture can cause excruciating pain and agony for months.
- Internal injuries – Damaged internal organs, internal bleeding, and ruptures can all create lifelong health problems for victims of a head-on collision truck accident.
- Whiplash – The force of a crash is often doubled or tripled by virtue of a head-on collision. Therefore, the speed and force of the impact can lead to severe whiplash cases that take months to heal.
Contact Our Head-On Truck Accident Lawyers in Oklahoma City
Throughout Oklahoma City, the dedicated personal injury attorneys from the Cain Law Office have developed a reputation as aggressive advocates for their clients. If you need help pursuing compensation for your injuries, please call our team today. Your consultation with an attorney is free, and we don’t collect any fees upfront. Instead, we are only paid if you collect compensation for your injuries.