Types of Injuries Suffered in a Trucking Accident
How Serious is a Truck Accident?
Commercial trucks are at a higher risk of causing or being involved in serious accidents, particularly because of their overwhelming size on the road, their weight, and due to truck drivers managing their vehicles on the road. If you’ve suffered an injury in a truck accident to someone else’s carelessness or negligence, injuries are often serious, require an extensive recovery process, and bring about expensive medical costs. Truck crashes often create car-on-car wrecks, and many fatal crashes, as well. You or your loved one may be entitled to financial compensation for the damages you sustained; however, it is in your best interest to hire a truck accident lawyer to fight the insurance company on your behalf.
At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we have a team of truck accident lawyers with decades of experience with accidents involving large trucks. Reach out to us today for a free consultation on how best to proceed with your case.
How Dangerous are Truck Accidents?
Especially during the most recent Covid pandemic, consumer demand and economic pressures have certainly escalated the presence of commercial vehicles on the road, and the timeliness of delivery deadlines. Coupled with being overworked and exhausted, distracted driving has been more prominent than ever.
Tractor trailer accidents and semi truck accidents consistently show that the average passenger vehicle has plenty of exposure to negligent truck drivers: according to the National Highway for Traffic Safety Administration data, these accidents are very common: 2021 marked a 16-year high in traffic deaths. Passenger vehicles account for 97 percent of all truck-related crashes.
What Are Some of the Most Common Truck Accident Injuries?
Since truck accidents weigh 25 times more than an average passenger car, the injuries you may suffer following a truck accident are catastrophic. Some of the most common types of truck accident injuries include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Head and brain injuries
- Burn injuries
Let’s take a look at each type of injury.
Head Injuries After a Truck Accident
There are many variables that are to be considered, depending on the nature of the victims’ injury: concussions, hematomas, hemorrhages, and contusions. Discriminating between the types and proactively seeking care is crucial.
- Concussion: The trauma from an exterior force to the head can cause a complete loss of function or side effects such as headaches, decreased reflexes and alertness, insomnia, or unconsciousness.
- Hematoma: This can appear to be like a common bruise; however, blood collects outside of the vessels in your head and pools under the skin tissue. If present in the skull or dura, it can be dangerous.
- Hemorrhage: Inflammation and swelling of the brain or skull tissue; can cause bleeding. As increased bleeding occurs, so does increased head pressure; if ignores, coma or death can be fatal outcomes.
- Contusion: Small hemorrhages that leak small amounts of blood into the tissue of your brain can eventually bruise brain tissue. This needs close monitoring because it is slowly progressive.
Head and brain injuries make truck accident victims vulnerable, and the force of a truck accident can cause passengers to strike their heads on car interiors. This impact can lead to severe damage to the skull, and incite brain damage. Skull fractures can be classified in four categories, and extremely dangerous; they should be treated immediately to prevent further brain injury risks:
- A simple fracture/closed fracture: When there is a break in the bone and no damage to the skin.
- A compound fracture/open fracture: This is when there is a break in the skin, exposing a splintered bone.
- A depressed fracture: This is when the skull is crushed inward.
- A linear fracture: This is a crack in the skull that is a straight line;
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) 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:
- Brain herniation
- Torn tissues
- Other physical damage to the brain
To resolve this, emergency procedures are sometimes conducted in a coma-induced setting to afford part of the skull to be removed to decrease swelling and promote healing. These injuries can result in long rehabilitative efforts, long-term assisted care, long-term complications, or death.
Back Truck Accident Injuries
The blunt force trauma of a truck accident can damage ligaments and vertebrae that provide spinal support. There are three common scenarios:
- Bulging discs herniated/slipped discs: A torn or overstretched ligament can permit the bone to shift or slip out of place. Often, nerve damage is associated with the bulging disc because the shift creates pressure on surrounding nerves. Physical therapy and appropriate stretching can help make it more manageable.
- Pinched nerves: Compression of the nerves resulting in discomfort and abbreviated movements. These can be extremely painful and debilitating to mobility and everyday movements; physical therapy and stretching can facilitate improvements.
- Fractured vertebrae: In these instances, fractured vertebrae are the result of sustaining a great amount of force all at once, which occurs in a truck accident. The fractures create extra pressure on surrounding discs and nerves; this is extremely uncomfortable and can affect the efficiency of movement. Physical therapy and pain management can assist.
Self-care, mobility, and ability to work can be compromised. Therapy and a proper routine are key. Possible symptoms include:
- Pain in the neck or back
- Numbness and tingling
- Muscle spasms
- Weakness and fatigue
- Loss of bowel control
- In some cases, paralysis
Spinal Truck Accident Injuries
Quality of life can be affected by a spinal injury, including the ability to work, perform activities, and independent self-care. Injury to the spinal cord in a truck accident can be grave, often resulting in paralysis. A spinal cord injury may not be obvious initially; it is important to seek care and evaluation. Everyday routines feel very taxing when spinal cord injuries discomfort, limited range of motion, and uncertainty. Proper therapy and guidance can help with the injury.
There are three types of spinal cord injuries:
- Cervical: Cervical spine injuries occur in the neck and cause breathing loss, partial or complete paralysis of upper extremities, as well as lost ability to control heart rate and blood pressure
- Thoracic: A thoracic injury occurs in the mid-back and often results in paraplegia
- Lumbosacral: These involve the lower back and can cause loss of bladder function and other leg/hip functions
Orthopedic Truck Accident Injuries
Orthopedic injuries account for broken and fractured bones. Depending on where the orthopedic injury is, bone fractures and breaks can result in extensive therapy and rehab. The impact of a truck accident can produce incredible impact force on a passenger vehicle to endure. Passenger vehicle occupants may be pinned, crushed, and/or thrown against various car surface areas; bone fractures are a common result of such trauma. Bone fracture injuries may require surgery and additional medical treatment.
Skull fractures, limb fractures, and vertebral fractures are all common injuries after a commercial truck collision. Injuries can be temporary but also bring about chronic pain and long-term care.
The manner in which a bone experiences trauma will help to afford how it is going to heal:
- Impacted – Occurs when bone fragments are forced into each other
- Spiral – Occurs when bones are twisted
- Complete – Occurs when the bone is broken all the way through
- Comminuted – Occurs when a bone shatters into multiple pieces
Depending on the nature of the break, the treatment for these injuries can range from minor casts and splints to surgery; some healing requires the passage of rest and time, whereas others require extensive rehabilitation.
Amputations and Truck Accidents
Amputations in truck accidents can happen either due to the actual crash, or more often because it is medically necessary for a doctor to remove a victim’s limb to save their life. Amputations may result in a victim’s loss of an arm, hand, leg, or combination thereof. Because of its size and weight, a truck is more likely to cause a significant, life-altering injury to those involved in a collision, especially while traveling in a smaller vehicle.
Injuries that commonly lead to amputation include:
- Crushing Injuries – whereby a limb is crushed, often because the limb is stuck between parts of a vehicle when the crash occurs.
- Infections – when an infection is unable to be controlled and becomes life-threatening if spread, an amputation may be necessary.
- Severed limbs – when a limb is severely cut, or completely detaches from a victim’s body, it may be impossible to reattach, requiring an amputation.
A limb may be severed during an accident by a significant amount of pressure; however, it is also possible that the extremities have endured such a great amount of tissue and nerve damage that surgical amputation is a must:
- The limb endured severe trauma during an accident
- The extremity has unusually lessened blood flow due to the trauma
- The limb has been infected and cannot be rid of the infection
Recovery from amputation is usually a long, multifaceted process that takes a substantial amount of time to adjust to and recover from. Healing, relearning, and acquiring new skills for normal daily tasks are all to be endured. Rigorous rehabilitation and getting accustomed to a prosthetic limb is an emotional and laborious process. Post-traumatic stress disorder is often accompanied by coping in this new phase of life for victims.
Whiplash and Neck Injuries in a Truck Accident
Whiplash is the identifier for a neck sprain or strain. The onset of whiplash involves trauma to the neck after it has been forced back and forth quickly, with the sudden delivery from an external force. This is what causes soft tissue inflammation, and can cause:
- Chronic back, shoulder, and neck injuries
- Neck herniated disc injuries
- Nerve damage: tingling or numbness in arms
- Chronic headaches
- Body aches and pains: shoulders, upper back, arms
- Fatigue, dizziness.
With proper rest and support, a couple of weeks is adequate for recovery. When left untreated, it can progress and become chronic. In these instances, physical therapy if often prescribed and recommended.
Truck Accident Burn Injuries
When a truck accident crash involves fire, haste is of the essence. Injuries need swift medical attention because fast-spreading, high-temperature fires may develop in truck accidents, particularly when:
- The gas tank may be punctured
- The truck tank must be maintained and cared for to avoid leaks
- Tire sparks can onset a fire
- Flammable cargo may be unsecured
- High temperatures and pre-existing environments may cause flammable cargo to be in harm’s way.
With the risks that these scenarios pose, fire can be imminent. Rescue teams must be relied upon. If a fire does occur, fellow passenger cars may be stuck in the fire, in need of rescue, and they may be liable to receive 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degree burns.
How a Truck Accident Lawyer at Munley Law Can Help
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 truck accident 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 a catastrophic injury to you or a loved one, you might be angry, scared, and confused. A serious injury from a truck accident 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 personal injury lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys to learn what legal options are available to them. Call, chat, or email our experienced truck accident attorneys today for a free consultation.
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