Head on collisions are no joke. They are the most dangerous of all types of car accidents, and occur when the fronts of two vehicles collide. When these accidents involve a big truck, the sheer size can make the accidents devastating.
Head on collisions often occur on highways when truck drivers traveling at high speeds lose control of the vehicle, crossing over the centerline. The rate of speed, alone, makes these accidents more serious than other types of truck accidents. Victims rarely have sufficient time to avoid the accident, and injuries can be severe. Beyond sustaining serious injuries, victims of head on truck collisions lose their life. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 58 percent of all head on collisions result in fatalities.
Even those head on truck accidents that occur at lower speeds can result in injury to the occupants of the other vehicle. The collisions almost always involve extensive property damage. The cost of diagnosing, treating, and recovering from injuries sustained in head on collision accidents can be enormous. Victims are often overwhelmed with medical expenses that they do not have the financial means to pay. Medical debt is the number one reason people file bankruptcy in the United States. Many injured victims have no way to decrease the financial burden associated with medical costs.
Virginia law allows victims of head on truck collisions to recover damages (monetary compensation) from a negligent driver. To seek compensation for their injuries, injured victims must file a personal injury lawsuit. However, you don’t have an unlimited amount of time to file your claim. This is where expertise and knowledge of local and state law can help, that’s why most people turn to an experienced truck accident attorney.
In Virginia, there is a statute of limitations that limits the amount of time within which an injured victim may file a personal injury claim. The statute of limitations allows victims to file a claim within a strictly enforced time period from the date of the injury. With few exceptions provided by the law, there is little wiggle room with this deadline. Attempting to file your claim after the expiration of the statute of limitations will almost certainly result in your suit being dismissed.
After the dismissal of a lawsuit based upon the expiration of the statute of limitations, you have no further legal remedy to recover damages. Although 2 years seems like a long time, it often goes by quickly. That period can pass more quickly than you might think when you are focused on healing from your injuries. It is important to contact a Virginia head on truck collision attorney as soon as you can.
If your loved one was in a head on truck collision and suffered a fatal injury, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit operates to allow surviving family members to recover monetary damages for their loss. Like a personal injury lawsuit, a wrongful claim must also be filed within two years of the decedent’s death.
Family members may be entitled to recover compensation for the pain and suffering from the loss of a loved one. In addition, they may recover for loss of income from the deceased person that the family member relied on, medical bills, funeral and burial costs. In some cases, families may recover the cost of hiring someone to perform services the deceased person would have provided to the family. For example, some service costs may include domestic services, child care, or protection. Recovery for loss of consortium or the deceased person’s companionship, comfort, love, advice, and guidance may also be allowed.
Types of Head-on Collision Injuries
The injuries victims may suffer in a head on truck collision vary widely. However, some injuries are more common than others. Common collisions resulting from head on truck collisions include:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
TBIs can range in severity from a relatively minor concussion to a severe coma. Oftentimes, victims of TBI suffer lifelong limitations and complications. TBIs can occur when the brain experiences a severe blow or jolt to the head. A violent impact can cause the brain to move back and forth in the skull. Head injuries are among the most difficult injuries to diagnose. Symptoms of TBI may be delayed and not apparent for days or weeks after the incident that caused the injury.
Treatment plans for TBIs can also be difficult to predict because each individual is affected differently. Some TBIs can permanently alter a person’s brain function, changing the way they act, talk, think, and interact with others. While there is no cure for a TBI, surgery, therapy, or rehabilitation services can lessen the impacts of a TBI. However, most victims suffer the consequences of a TBI for the rest of their lives.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Injuries can result when the spine is compressed or nerves are severed during an accident. A functioning spinal cord is essential for communication between the brain and the body. Damage to the spinal cord changes the way the brain and spinal cord communicate. Spinal cord injuries may cause chronic pain, limited ability to control movement or feel sensations, and even partial or full paralysis.
Burns, Lacerations, and Broken Bones
Cuts, burns, and broken bones are common injuries resulting from head on truck collisions. If the collision causes a truck to crush a passenger vehicle, occupants may be trapped inside a burning car, In addition, it is highly likely bones or body parts will also be crushed. The crushing of a vehicle may involve shards of glass being sprayed about, which can cause cuts and lacerations. While victims usually fully heal from lacerations and broken bones, burns can leave severe scarring and disfigurement. Consequently, burn injury victims may experience mental anguish associated with their physical appearance.
How a Truck Collision Attorney Can Help
It’s rarely a good idea for injured victims to pursue a personal injury lawsuit on their own. Typically, personal injury suits implicate insurance companies and the trucker’s employer. Both parties have legal teams whose sole focus is defending their companies in personal injury suits. Insurance company defense attorneys have virtually one job–to ensure that their employers pay accident victims as little as possible.
An experienced Virginia head on truck collision attorney will be familiar with the tactics and strategies employed by defense attorneys. When appropriate, an attorney may negotiate on behalf of injured victims or take their case to trial if negotiations are unsuccessful.
Lawyers develop negotiation and litigation skills with time and refine them through experience. Select an attorney who not only has personal injury experience, but specific experience with head on truck collisions. When you suffer injuries from a head on truck collision, you should focus on your recovery. Your attorney’s job is to handle the legal complexities of your case.