New Jersey Head-On Truck Collision Attorneys
When a fully loaded commercial truck collides with a small passenger vehicle, the resulting injuries are rarely minor. This is especially true in the case of head-on collisions, which often have catastrophic results. Head-on truck collisions can lead to traumatic brain injury, life-threatening harm, and even death.
If you or someone you know was injured in a head-on collision with a big rig, 18-wheeler, or other large commercial truck, you should speak to an attorney right away. Compensation may be available, and an attorney can help you secure the financial support you need.
At Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers, our track record of success includes recovering over $200 million on behalf of those who have been wrongfully injured. Our New Jersey truck accident attorneys are ready to meet with you for a free consultation. Contact us at (973) 364-8300 to take the first step toward securing the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Head-On Truck Crashes
A head-on collision is when two vehicles moving directly toward each other collide. These dangerous crashes can be the result of negligence on behalf of either driver involved, but they can also be caused by unexpected factors, such as manufacturing defects.
Some of the most common causes of head-on collisions include:
- Driver Fatigue: When faced with unreasonable deadlines, some truckers resort to driving long hours without breaks. For safety purposes, federal regulations limit the amount of time that truckers can be on the road, but these guidelines aren’t always met. Fatigued drivers may suffer from impaired judgment or might even fall asleep at the wheel, causing a head-on crash.
- Driver Inexperience: Operating a large commercial truck requires specialized training. If a trucking company has negligent hiring practices and allows inexperienced drivers to operate their trucks, this presents significant dangers to others. Some head-on collisions are caused by truck drivers who don’t know how to effectively evade dangers on the road or safely operate their trucks.
- Improper Passing: When passing, it’s important for drivers to ensure that it’s both safe to pass and legal on that particular section of the road. For instance, on two-lane highways, passing is often restricted where there are frequent turns in the road. Passing without making sure it’s safe to proceed can lead to a head-on collision.
- Speeding: Excessive speed can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicle and cross the center divide between opposing lanes of traffic. Whether this happens on the highway or on surface streets, the results are often devastating.
- Disregard for Traffic Laws: Stop signs and signals not only optimize the flow of traffic, but they’re essential in preventing head-on collisions. Unfortunately, they don’t always stop impatient drivers who rush through intersections at high speed.
- Mechanical Defect: In the case of some head-on truck collisions, neither driver is to blame. Some wrecks are actually caused by mechanical defects, such as brake failures. These defects may be the result of a flaw during the manufacturing process, or neglect by third-party truck maintenance crews.
Injuries Suffered by Victims of Head-On Truck Collisions
Due to the direct and sudden impact of a head-on collision, the resulting injuries are usually severe. Sometimes these collisions cause chain-reaction crashes, which can lead to secondary injuries if the vehicles involved are pushed into other cars.
Common injuries include:
- Broken Bones: While broken bones are minor when compared to more severe injuries, they can still force victims to take time off work and lose a significant amount of income. Corrective surgery and rehabilitation may also be costly.
- Internal Bleeding: The force of head-on truck collisions can result in internal bleeding and damage to organs, which may be life-threatening when not treated in time.
- Spinal Injury: Victims of head-on truck collisions may also suffer from spinal injuries, which can cause paralysis and other difficulties with mobility.
- Loss of Limbs: If the collision occurred at a high rate of speed, victims may suffer from devastating crush injuries requiring amputation.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: Personality changes, cognitive impairments, and other long-term difficulties may result from brain injuries. Traumatic brain injury can also result in death.
Who Is at Fault in a Head-On Truck Collision?
Wrecks involving large commercial trucks are so complex, in part, because there may be multiple liable parties involved. There may be fault on behalf of the drivers, manufacturers of truck parts, third-party truck maintenance companies, and more.
When determining fault, many factors will be considered, including the following:
- Did one of the drivers make an unsafe lane change?
- Was either driver speeding at the time of the crash?
- Was the truck driver fatigued due to working long hours? If so, were they pressured by the trucking company to work longer than federal regulations allow?
- Was either driver operating their vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
- Did both drivers obey traffic laws at the time of the crash?
- Did a mechanical defect, such as brake failure, contribute to the crash?
After taking the above into consideration, each party will be assigned a percentage of fault. New Jersey is a “contributory negligence” state, meaning that more than one party can be found at fault.
The law states that the person pursuing compensation must not be more than 50% responsible for contributing to the accident. If you are found to be partially responsible, then your compensation will be reduced according to your percentage of fault.
How Our NJ Head-On Collision Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help
Legally speaking, being hit by a commercial truck is very different than being involved in a car crash. First, there are potentially multiple liable parties to contend with, and you may have to negotiate with large trucking companies who will do everything to protect their interests.
When pursuing compensation without the help of an attorney, it’s common for truck accident victims to receive low-ball settlement offers from the opposing insurance company. You might also overlook accident laws that are actually in your favor. This is why it’s best to hire an experienced attorney at the outset.
Our New Jersey truck accident attorneys can help in the following ways:
- Launch an independent investigation into the accident.
- Obtain important documents from the trucking company that can be used as evidence, such as driving logs and data from black-box recorders.
- Fight any attempts by the opposing parties to shift the fault to you.
- Maximize the value of your claim by demanding the highest compensation you’re entitled to.
- Hire expert witnesses to consult on complex issues.
- Navigate complicated federal trucking laws on your behalf.
- Fully uphold your rights and interests during negotiations.
- Provide top-notch legal services on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
Recovering Compensation After a Head-On Truck Collision
If you were involved in a head-on collision with a large commercial truck, you may be entitled to significant compensation. The amount you recover is based on:
- Damages: This is the legal term referring to your extent of physical, emotional, and financial harm caused by the accident.
- Fault: Your compensation may be reduced according to your percentage of fault.
If you secure a verdict after trial or are awarded a settlement, the following may be included in your compensation package:
- Repair costs for your vehicle.
- Medical-related costs, such as ambulance rides, surgeries, diagnostic testing, hospital stays, rehabilitation, and medications.
- The cost of any medical devices you may need, such as wheelchairs or neck braces.
- Lost income from having to miss work due to your injuries.
- Loss of earning capacity, if you can no longer return to work.
- The value of pain and suffering, disfigurement, and other psychological distress.
- Loss of companionship and support, if you are awarded compensation for a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one.
Statute of Limitations for a New Jersey Truck Accident Claim
The statute of limitations is a state law that sets important deadlines for filing claims. In the state of New Jersey, you must file a claim within:
- Two years from the date of the truck accident when filing a personal injury claim.
- Two years from the date of death, if you are filing a wrongful death claim for someone after a truck accident.
It’s important to know that if you miss this deadline, the court will dismiss your claim, and you will not be able to recover compensation. There are rarely exceptions to this rule. If you plan on pursuing compensation, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.
Speak to a New Jersey Head-On Truck Collision Attorney
Let the experienced legal team of Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers assist with your truck accident claim. Our proven strategies have helped injured people just like you rebuild their lives after suffering from a serious accident. And there is absolutely no cost to you unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
We are ready to put our skills and experience to work for you. To schedule a free consultation with a New Jersey truck accident attorney, contact us today at (973) 364-8300.