You Have Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in a Truck Collision. What Do You Do Now?
Every day, we share the roads with large commercial vehicles. Our daily commutes and weekend trips bring us into close proximity to big rigs multiple times a day. Usually, there is no incident. But when we are involved in a large truck accident, it can be catastrophic. Due to their sheer size and weight, a semi-truck or big rig accident can cause severe injury such as traumatic brain injury to the driver or passengers in the other vehicle.
If you, a family member, or another loved one has been involved in a large truck accident that results in traumatic brain injury, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You need an experienced Pennsylvania truck accident attorney who can fight alongside you to help you get your life back, recover lost wages, medical expenses, and more.
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At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we have more than 60 years of experience fighting for truck accident victims’ rights. Your injuries and damages can be expensive but you should not bear the burden alone. You have rights as an injured truck accident victim.The truck accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys know how to handle the legalities of getting you the compensation you deserve to help you with your medical expenses and other losses. Call today or use our online form to schedule your free consultation.
How Can a Traumatic Brain Injury Affect Your Life?
Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys knows the devastating effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on our families’ lives. When a loved one has experienced such a life-changing injury, the cost of medical and rehabilitation services can seem overwhelming. An experienced attorney can help recover financial compensation to help you get back to your life.
Truck accidents can cause minor disruptions and sometimes severe complications in the lives of those who suffer from TBIs. In some cases, TBI can cause long-term mental problems, including difficulty to focus reading or controlling a person’s anger. In severe cases, the injured truck accident victim may need permanent ongoing treatment. A brain injury after a truck accident often affects concentration and motor skills and can lead to vision problems and other health issues.
What Types of Head Injuries Are Most Common in Truck Accidents?
Brain injuries are categorized by open-head injuries and closed-head injuries. An open head injury is one in which something penetrates or breaks the skull and harms the brain. A closed head injury does not fracture the skull but it can be just as dangerous.
According to Johns Hopkins University, some of the most common head injuries are:
- Concussion. A concussion is an injury to the head area that may cause instant loss of awareness or alertness for a few minutes up to a few hours after the traumatic event.
- Skull fracture. A skull fracture is a break in the skull bone. There are four major types of skull fractures, including the following:
- Linear skull fracture. This is the most common type of skull fracture. In a linear fracture, there is a break in the bone, but it does not move the bone. These patients may be observed in the hospital for a brief amount of time, and can usually resume normal activities in a few days. Usually, no interventions are necessary.
- Depressed skull fractures. This type of fracture may be seen with or without a cut in the scalp. In this fracture, part of the skull is actually sunken in from the trauma. This type of skull fracture may require surgical intervention, depending on the severity, to help correct the deformity.
- Basilar skull fracture. This is the most serious type of skull fracture and involves a break in the bone at the base of the skull. Patients with this type of fracture frequently have bruises around their eyes and a bruise behind their ear. They may also have clear fluid draining from their nose or ears due to a tear in part of the covering of the brain. These patients usually require close observation in the hospital.
- Intracranial hematoma (ICH). There are several types of ICH, or blood clots, in or around the brain. The different types are classified by their location in the brain. These can range from mild head injuries to quite serious and potentially life-threatening injuries.
- Diffuse axonal injury (DAI). These injuries are fairly common and are usually caused by shaking of the brain back and forth, which can happen in car accidents. Diffuse injuries can be mild, such as with a concussion, or may be very severe, as in diffuse axonal injury (DAI). In DAI, the patient is usually in a coma for a prolonged period of time, with injury to many different parts of the brain.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. An object that goes through brain tissue also can cause traumatic brain injury.
According to the Mayo Clinic, traumatic brain injury may affect your brain cells temporarily; a more serious TBI can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding, and other physical damage to the brain. These injuries can result in long-term complications or death.
The Symptoms of a TBI
TBI can have wide-ranging and lasting physical and psychological effects. Some symptoms begin immediately, others may appear days or even weeks after the event. According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of a TBI can range from mild discomfort to changes in your emotions and speech. The most common symptoms to watch out for include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Problems with speech
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Sensory symptoms
- Sensory problems, such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears, a bad taste in the mouth or changes in the ability to smell
- Sensitivity to light or sound
Cognitive, behavioral, or mental symptoms
- Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
- No loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented
- Memory or concentration problems
- Mood changes or mood swings
- Feeling depressed or anxious
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sleeping more than usual
When the TBI is moderate to severe, they can include any of the signs and symptoms of mild injury, as well as these symptoms that may appear within the first hours to days after a head injury:
- Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours
- Persistent headache or headache that worsens
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
- Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
- Loss of coordination
Cognitive or mental symptoms
- Profound confusion
- Agitation, combativeness, or other unusual behavior
- Slurred speech
- Coma and other disorders of consciousness
If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury during a large truck accident, contact our experienced traumatic brain injury attorneys today to see what compensation you may be owed.
What Are the Leading Causes of Truck Accidents?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle accidents contribute 24.5 percent of the deaths related to TBI in the United States. These injuries are among the most severe and possibly lasting injuries a person may suffer from an accident.
Many factors can cause an accident involving a tractor trailer. Driver error, mechanical failure, weather-related incidents, and longer brake times can result in catastrophic injury to those involved. Whenever a truck crash occurs, the risk of an injury victim receiving a traumatic brain injury is greater for the occupants in a passenger vehicle than it is for the truck driver.
Truck Accidents Caused by Mechanical Errors
The vast majority of the primary factors in heavy vehicle failure crashes were related to faulty or unchecked tires and wheels, brakes, power train failure, and unsecured trailer and overloaded trailers. According to recent data, vehicle defects include, ranked by frequency in relation to truck accidents:
- Unsecured trailer/overloaded – Large trucks already weigh a massive amount, and overloading them or incorrectly loading truck cargo can cause a very dangerous situation. Overloading and other unsafe loading practices can make it very difficult for a trucker to correctly maneuver a truck, cause cargo shifts, cause a rollover, or greatly impact stop times, resulting in a collision.
- Power train failure
- Total steering system failure
- Trailer hitch/improper towing
- Vehicle lighting related
- Windshield/defective wipers
Trucking companies are responsible for performing regular inspections and maintenance on their vehicles to keep them safe and in proper working order. If a trucking company neglects its obligations to make the required inspections, maintenance, and repairs to its vehicles, they are putting at risk its drivers and everyone else who shares the road with its drivers and equipment.
Negligent truck companies may try to save money by allowing drivers to use large trucks and other equipment that hasn’t been properly maintained. Neglect in making timely inspections, sticking to a maintenance schedule, or refusing to make necessary repairs can lead to a serious truck accident.
An experienced and knowledgeable trucking accident attorney can review the records of a truck’s individual repair schedule, which may show neglect of necessary maintenance or repairs.
In addition to mechanical causes, truck crashes can be caused by a variety of human errors and neglect. Let’s review some of these.
Truck Accidents Caused by Human Error
Accidents involving large trucks, big rigs, 18-wheelers, and tractor-trailers can prove devastating and result in severe brain trauma. Common truck driver error causes of truck accidents include:
- Driver Fatigue – One of the most common causes of truck accidents, truck driver fatigue, and drowsy driving are extremely dangerous. Trucking companies sometimes impose unrealistic deadlines that force commercial truck drivers into working longer hours than federal trucking regulations allow. This creates a very real danger for the occupants of passenger vehicles and also for truck drivers. If a violation of the hours of service regulation contributed to your accident, we know what evidence to look for, and we’ll hold the negligent parties responsible.
- Distracted Driving – Distracted driving has become a huge problem in this country and the cause of many commercial truck accidents. When a truck driver is distracted, the resulting accident could be catastrophic. Texting while driving a truck, checking social media or replying to social media messages or eating while driving, looking at paperwork, or taking attention off the road for any reason while driving a truck can cause a fatal truck accident.
- Reckless Driving – While most truckers take great care on the road, some truck drivers fail to put safety first. Truck accidents happen when a truck driver is driving recklessly, such as speeding, tailgating, changing lanes quickly, making unsafe turns, violating the rules of the road, or driving too fast for road conditions. If negligent actions from a truck driver, including the use of drugs or alcohol, caused an accident that injured you or a loved one, you may have a case.
- Negligent Hiring/Training – A trucking company may have hired an inexperienced truck driver, performed no background check or an inadequate background check, and then did not provide adequate training for the trucker on the particular size and weight vehicle they would be driving. If a trucking company’s negligent hiring or training practices led to your truck accident injuries, you may have a case against the trucking company. Contact the Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys truck accident lawyers today.
- Violation of Trucking Regulations – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations limit the hours a truck driver can drive, as well as limiting the maximum amount of weight a truck is allowed to carry. The FMCSA provides rules for proper loading and tie-down requirements, truck maintenance and inspection procedures, licensing and driver testing, and restricts the use of drugs and alcohol. Truck drivers and trucking companies must comply with all federal and state trucking regulations. When they don’t comply, and their negligence causes a truck crash, they can be held liable for any injuries. Truckers and trucking companies are required to keep logs and shipping schedules, which need to be updated and contain the correct information.
It’s natural to feel confused and upset at this time. And if you feel that your accident was caused by the negligent actions of the truck driver, you may want to pursue compensation for your loss. If you think you need compensation for your injuries due to an accident caused by a negligent truck driver, then your first step is to call an experienced truck accident lawyer to schedule a free consultation to determine what is owed to you.
Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys has experience in handling truck accident cases involving traumatic brain injury. We achieved one of the largest settlements in Northeastern Pennsylvania for a truck accident victim who received a brain injury. We understand the complexities of these cases and will do whatever we can to make sure you receive the compensation you need to recover from your brain injury. We will investigate your claim and get the evidence needed to prove who is responsible for your tractor trailer accident. We will go after the at fault parties and will not rest until you receive the maximum amount of compensation for your brain injury.
Contact a truck accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today for a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Brain Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents
Q: If I Suspect I Have a Brain Injury After a Truck Accident, What Should I Do?
A: It’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible any time you hit or injure your head in a truck accident. Once emergency services arrive, let them know what happened and any symptoms you are experiencing that may be related to head trauma.
At the emergency room, the staff will perform the Glascow Coma Scale on you. This test will be used to determine whether you suffered a brain injury in the accident and will determine how severe the injury is. The higher the score is, the less severe your injury is. You will also receive several tests such as a CT scan or an MRI to determine any damage that was done to your brain.
Q: What Happens If I Am Diagnosed With a Traumatic Brain Injury After a Truck Accident?
A: This depends on how severe the injury is. If you suffered a mild injury, you will still need time to rest and recuperate. You may need to miss work and the head injury could disrupt your daily life. If the injury is more severe, you could be in the hospital for weeks or months. Your life may change drastically, causing you to lose your job.
Q: What Should I Do If Someone From the Trucking Company Calls Me Before I’ve Spoken to a Truck Accident Lawyer?
A: It is imperative that you do not agree to make a recorded statement to the trucking company or their insurance carrier until you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. Also, refrain from signing any forms sent to you by the trucking company and their insurance carrier before speaking to a lawyer. Instead, call Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today for a free consultation, and an attorney will review any paperwork you receive.
Q. How Much Does an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Cost?
A. Our team of expert truck accident attorneys only takes a fee if we win you a settlement. You do not owe anything before your case is settled and it costs nothing to talk to one of our attorneys.
At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we believe that all people should have equal access to the justice system, regardless of income. That’s why our traumatic brain injury lawyers do not charge a fee for our services unless we win your case. We cover all the upfront costs so that you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket. Our contingency fee (a percentage of the accident settlement or verdict we obtain for you) will never exceed the total amount paid to you.
When a truck accident causes traumatic brain injury to you or a loved one, you might be angry, scared, and confused. Traumatic brain injury can severely affect your life, relationships, and ability to earn money or function socially. It is essential for the victim to receive immediate health care as well as schedule a free consultation to speak with a truck accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys to learn what legal options are available to them.