Lancaster Head-On Truck Accidents
A head-on collision is the most dangerous type of auto accident. When a head-on crash involves a commercial truck or tractor-trailer, the consequences are often catastrophic.
Truck accidents are always more serious than crashes involving smaller vehicles. The sheer size difference between an 18-wheeler and a standard car means that when the two collide, the smaller vehicle will certainly sustain the most damage. Worse yet, the occupants of those vehicles usually suffer the most severe injuries. Many people do not survive head-on truck collisions.
In South Carolina, individuals who are hurt in a head-on collision with a semi-truck can seek compensation for their injuries through a personal injury claim. In fatal collisions, eligible family members may be entitled to wrongful death compensation. The best way to find out your legal options is by meeting with an experienced Lancaster head-on collision lawyer at David Blackwell Law.
At David Blackwell Law, we understand how devastating truck accidents can be. You can count to us to fight for maximum compensation for you while you focus on rebuilding your life.
Time is of the essence when it comes to truck accident claims. Don’t wait — call or contact us today for a free consultation.
Common Causes of Head-On Truck Collisions
Many head-on truck collisions are caused by negligence, which is a legal term used to describe someone else’s carelessness or recklessness. There’s a mistaken belief that truck drivers are the only ones to blame for a wreck. In truth, truck accident claims are very complex. Many different parties can be held liable. At David Blackwell Law, we can identify all negligent parties and pursue full and fair compensation for you.
Some of the most common causes of a head-on truck collision include:
- Distracted driving: Texting and driving is illegal, both in South Carolina and in trucking regulations issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). A recent federal study of truck accidents showed that six percent of fatal truck crashes were related to distraction, with 16 percent of those distractions listed as cell phone use.
- Impaired driving: Truckers who get behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs run the risk of causing head-on collision.
- Driving while fatigued: The federal government has outlined the number of consecutive hours a trucker is allowed to drive on the roads before they must rest. This is known as the hours of service rule. Unfortunately, some truck companies pressure drivers to make deliveries on time and even offer incentives for early deliveries. This can compel some drivers to break the hours of service rules, staying out on the road when they should be asleep.
- Bad weather: South Carolina is no stranger to severe weather. Poor weather conditions can make maneuvering a heavy truck difficult. Poor visibility during storms can make it hard for truckers to see lane divisions, which may result in them crossing the center line and inadvertently colliding head on with a driver coming in the opposite direction.
- Inexperienced drivers: In their haste to make a profit, truck companies sometimes do not take steps to ensure that their drivers are properly trained. Driving a tractor-trailer requires special licensure and skills. When truck companies cut corners, they can be held liable for any accidents caused by negligent hiring practices.
- Speeding: Speeding is a main cause of all accidents on the road, but it is particularly dangerous when truck drivers do it. Trucks need more time to stop. When a trucker speeds, there is little time to respond effectively if traffic suddenly slows. This may cause the driver to swerve, potentially straight into the path of an oncoming car.
- Defective equipment: Head-on collisions are not always the trucker’s fault. Manufacturers are also responsible for making vehicle parts that work properly. When an equipment failure such as the brakes causes a truck crash, the manufacturer of the defective parts can be held liable.
- Improper loading: Cargo companies are responsible for making sure that tractor-trailers are loaded safely. When cargo is not loaded properly, it can shift during transit and throw the entire truck off balance.
When negligence plays a role in a head-on truck collision, accident victims should seek the advice of a skilled lawyer right away. Truck accident cases are more complicated than the average car accident claim because they involve both state and federal laws. An attorney will need to get started on your case right away to collect important evidence that proves why you deserve full and fair compensation.
Injuries Caused by Head-On Truck Accidents
Head-on collisions can cause devastating injuries. Survivors of these accidents may live with lifelong disabilities that limit their ability to work and enjoy activities that they once did.
Common head-on truck accident injuries include:
- Neck and back injuries: Whiplash, broken bones, and slipped discs can cause chronic pain for the rest of victims’ lives.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): A TBI can range from a very mild concussion to severe trauma that can permanently alter a person’s ability to walk, feed themselves, speak, work, or care for themselves without assistance. The lifetime costs for someone with a severe brain injury can reach into the millions, depending on their age at the time of the accident.
- Spinal cord injuries: Damage to the spinal cord can range from bruising to cutting the cord altogether, leading to partial or permanent paralysis.
- Amputation: A crushed limb may need to be removed surgically to save the victim’s life. A limb could also be accidentally amputated from the force of impact at the crash scene.
- Internal organ damage: Punctured lungs, broken ribs, ruptured spleens, and other organ damage can cause internal bleeding that can be fatal if not treated immediately.
A head-on truck collision often results in multiple injuries at once. Treating such complex injuries can require extensive medical treatment, surgery, and long-term rehabilitation. A successful truck accident claim can help recover damages for past, current, and future medical expenses. Get help today by contacting a South Carolina head-on truck accident lawyer at David Blackwell Law for a free case review.
Front-End Truck Collision Statistics
It is easy to understand why head-on truck collisions are so dangerous, but the statistics show just how risky they are. Consider these figures:
- In 2017, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported a 58 percent fatality rate for smaller vehicle occupants involved in front-end truck collisions.
- Approximately 250 people are killed each year in head-on collisions involving highway crossovers.
- Head-on collisions are three times more dangerous than other types of accidents on the road.
- Front-end collisions were responsible for 54 percent of fatalities for passenger vehicle occupants in 2015.
You shouldn’t have to pay for with the injuries and losses that often accompany a head-on collision if someone else was at fault. Unfortunately, insurance companies will make every effort to minimize their payouts to you. A truck accident lawyer from David Blackwell Law will strive to reach the best possible outcome in your case.
Who is at Fault in a Head-On Truck Collision?
One of the most challenging aspects of any truck accident is determining who is at fault. In a traditional two-car wreck, fault may rest on one or both the drivers. Accidents that involve trucks, however, have many potential liable parties and determining liability is not always so obvious.
The possible liable parties involved in a truck crash include:
- The truck driver: When truck drivers act negligently, such as driving while impaired or distracted, he or she may be to blame for the crash.
- The trucking company: Some trucking companies have been known to take shortcuts in their hiring practices. Failure to perform proper background checks and ensure that truckers are trained to operate a tractor-trailer may be grounds for a negligence lawsuit if someone is hurt in a head-on collision.
- Maintenance companies: Truck companies sometimes hire third-party companies to perform maintenance and repairs on their fleets. If poorly trained mechanics fail to perform adequate maintenance, both the company and the mechanic could be held liable for any injuries that come from equipment failures.
- Cargo companies: Just as trucking companies often hire third parties to maintain their trucks, they also sometimes hire outside companies to load their trucks. Improperly loaded trucks are more difficult to control. Anyone injured in a crash caused by an unbalanced load can seek compensation from the at-fault company.
- The truck manufacturer: Truck manufacturers have a duty to produce vehicles that are safe and made with well-designed parts. When a defective part causes a semi-truck to lose control, the truck manufacturer or the maker of the faulty part could be held accountable through a personal injury claim.
- Other drivers: If another motorist’s actions cause a truck to swerve out of control, at least a portion of the blame may fall on the other driver.
Because there are so many potential liable parties in a truck accident case, victims need a lawyer’s help to identify all possible defendants and seek proper compensation. Sometimes that means working with several insurance companies at once. The good news is that a South Carolina truck accident lawyer at David Blackwell Law can do all the negotiating for you. That way, your main focus can be on healing.
Who Can Collect Wrongful Death Compensation in South Carolina?
The most tragic outcome of a head-on truck collision is when a beloved family member dies. In South Carolina, certain individuals are allowed to bring a wrongful death claim for damages against the at-fault party(s).
A wrongful death claim can be filed by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. This may be a spouse or could be someone else designated as executor. If no one is listed as an administrator, the court can appoint someone.
Only certain people can receive compensation in a South Carolina wrongful death claim. These include:
- A spouse
- A child or children of the deceased
- Parents of the deceased
- The accident victim’s heirs
Damages in a wrongful death claim can include the cost of medical expenses, lost income, lost support, loss of companionship, funeral and burial costs, and pain and suffering.
During this trying time, enlisting the help of an attorney can help ease the hardships that family members often encounter after losing a relative. Although the idea of hiring a lawyer may feel impossible, obtaining wrongful death compensation can help ensure the family’s financial security moving forward.
How Can David Blackwell Law Help Me?
If you or someone you love was injured in a head-on truck collision in South Carolina, the attorneys at David Blackwell Law can handle all aspects of your claim for you. We’ll investigate your claim, place a value on your case, negotiate with the insurance company(s), and file all the necessary paperwork for you. Rest assured that our legal team will fight for compensation that accounts for all of your losses.
Worried about how you’re going to afford a lawyer? You don’t have to be at David Blackwell Law. Our law firm takes cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that you don’t have to pay anything upfront. We only get paid if we obtain compensation for you.
Don’t try to settle with the truck company’s insurer on your own. Instead, contact our head-on truck accident lawyers to arrange a free consultation. We represent clients in Lancaster, Indian Land, and the surrounding communities.