Big wheel truck accidents, even minor ones, can cause severe injuries. Although the accidents occur similarly to car accidents, they have a greater chance of causing severe injuries and damages to the drivers, passengers, and any other involved party. The weight of the trucks exceeds those of other vehicles; thus, the victims of truck accidents suffer more severe injuries. The injuries range from superficial cuts to internal injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, back injuries, burns, brain injuries, and even wrongful deaths.
The sudden impact of a truck accident may cause your head to hit the dashboard, steering wheel, or any other item inside the car, which often leads to head injury. The extent of the injury will depend on the force, and the level of damage suffered. The truck accident leads to several types of head injuries as follows:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
This is the most common type of head injury in truck accident victims. A severe blow or jolt to your head may attract brain injury. Traumatic brain injury often leads to life-altering impacts like personality changes. When the traumatic brain injury is severe, it might even lead to death. The following are signs and symptoms which might show you have suffered TBI after a truck accident:
- Wide pupils
- Loss of conscious
- Nausea or vomiting
- Limited pupil movement, vision problem, or dilation
- Memory loss
- Pain, redness, swelling, or even warmth at the site of the trauma
- Loss of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Inability to wake from sleep
So, when you experience any of the listed symptoms after a big wheel truck accident, it's crucial to seek medical care right away. When you strike your head, speak with your doctor immediately without waiting for the signs to appear. Request the doctor to conduct a brain scan or MRI to rule out whether you have any internal damages to your brain.
The impact of the accident might cause the passengers of the involved vehicle and the truck itself to strike their heads on the seat, window, and dashboard. The impact of the accident will cause a skull fracture exposing the brain to damage. A few victims may not realize skull fracture easily since it takes several forms based on the part of the skull hit. The following are the common types of skull fracture:
A compound fracture. It’s commonly known as an open fracture. It occurs when you suffer a break in your skin, thus exposing the splintered bone.
A simple fracture. It's also known as a closed fracture. The fracture occurs when you don’t break your bone while no damage is seen on the skin.
A linear fracture. It occurs when you have a crack on your skull that’s a straight line. The fracture doesn’t distort your bone.
A depressed fracture; The fracture involves your skull being crushed inwards towards your brain.
Sometimes, the impact of the accident may cause your brain to swell when it bounces inside the violently moving skull. The swelling will occur with potential bleeding and cause excess pressure to develop in your skull, thus causing your brain tissues to become compressed or move out of their place. The compression is commonly known as herniation. It might even cause permanent brain damage, stroke, and at times death.
So, when you or your relative suffered a truck accident at the hands of a reckless driver, it's essential to know that treating brain herniation is arduous as well as life-threatening. When you are in a difficult situation, the doctor will more likely order measures to stop further brain damage from taking place. The surgeon may recommend removing blood clots to stop the swelling, removing a part of the skull to provide room for the brain, or placing a drain in your brain to remove the cerebrospinal fluid.
Facial or Eye Injuries
Eye or facial injuries may result when you come in contact with windshield, airbags, flying debris, steering wheel, or dashboard during a truck accident. Facial fractures, vision damage, and scarring will also occur.
Another common type of head injury is a concussion. A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that occurs when your head is violently jolted or blown from the impact of the truck accident. It's good to note concussion will lead to disorientation and unconsciousness. Thus you may take many days before you recover. The following are the possible signs of concussion after a truck accident:
- Blurred vision
- Temporary loss of consciousness
Back injuries resulting from big wheel trucks may be severe, cause extensive chronic pain and longer medical care. In a few cases, recovering will be next to impossible, meaning future medical bills may also rise due to the injuries. The following are the common back injuries that result from a truck accident:
Sprains or Strains; occur when your back muscles and ligaments are damaged.
Spinal Cord Dislocation or Fracture
A serious accident will cause damage to your vertebrate as well as the surrounding ligament in your spine. A spinal fracture occurs when a portion of your bone suffers intense pressure causing it to fracture, break or even shatter. The spinal fracture may put pressure on your nerves and disc and result in complications. A spinal dislocation occurs if the ligament surrounding your vertebrate is stretched or torn and the bone splits out of place. Note, dislocation may cause nerve damages, among other chronic issues.
When your spinal cord is damaged, you will lose the ability to move or feel your body parts. Quadriplegia is paralysis that involves all limbs, while paraplegia involves the lower parts of your legs and body.
Herniated or Bulging Discs
The great force in commercial truck accidents may harm your spinal discs, the cushion between the vertebrae of your spine. The disc may tear or shift, thus placing pressure on the surrounding nerves. The condition is referred to as bulging discs or herniated discs. When your doctor diagnoses you with the condition, they will likely recommend physical therapy, steroid injections, and pain medications. When these treatment options fail, the doctor may order surgery. The following are the common symptoms of the condition:
- Muscle weakness
- Tingling or numbness
- Intense, lasting leg or arm pain
- Loss of bladder or bowel control on certain occasions
The condition occurs when the space around your spinal column begins to narrow. Thus it causes much pressure on the nerves causing numbness, pain among other symptoms. The condition may result from a truck accident. Thus when this is your case, the doctor will more likely recommend combining the following pain medication, steroid injections, and physical therapy. In severe cases, you will require spinal decompression surgery. The following are the common symptoms of spinal stenosis:
- Worsening pain in your back or neck
- Cramping in your leg
- Bladder or bowel issues
- You may experience tingling, numbness, or weakness in your leg, foot, arm, or hand.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Sometimes big wheel truck accidents result in spinal cord injuries, the bundle of tissues and nerves connecting your brain to the other body parts. Although the injury is not as common as the other spine injuries, spinal cord injuries tend to be severe and lead to permanent paralysis or loss of mobility. Also, the injuries will require lifelong medical care and even alter your ability to provide your care, enjoy life, communicate with your loved ones, and earn a living.
It's next to impossible to repair a damaged spinal cord injury. Instead, you will focus on pain management and rehabilitation to help you obtain relief from certain symptoms. The following are the common symptoms associated with spinal cord injuries:
- Involuntary spasms
- Loss of sensation
- Loss of movement
- Intense stinging and pain
- Inability to control your bladder or bowel
- Difficulty in coughing and breathing
When a commercial truck collides with a small car, its body might be thrown away in various directions. Thus you will more likely suffer injuries of the neck and even damage the following:
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury that takes place on your neck's soft tissues when your neck moves forward suddenly before it stops. It's common in a rear-end collision. Whiplash usually ranges from mild to severe and requires continuous treatment and an extensive recovery period. The following are the common symptoms of whiplash:
- Pain in the shoulders or your neck, especially when moving the neck
- Numbness or tingling in the arms
- Experiencing stiffness throughout your shoulders and neck
- Limited range of movement in your neck
Fractures and Broken Bones
Big wheel truck accidents may cause blunt force trauma resulting in broken bones or fractures in any part of your body. Treatment for broken bones will include casting or surgery. After the accident, you will more likely face broken bones in the following body parts:
- Wrist and hands
- Skull and the bones on your face
After a truck accident, it’s not only the body parts that sustain damages. Due to the large size and huge weight of the vehicle, property damage might be enormous. The damage will involve the involved vehicle, which will more likely lead to physical damage to your body. The damage may also affect other properties based on the location of the collision. For instance, when you happen to be hauling a camper or boat, a commercial vehicle accident will leave many items damaged.
Sadly, due to the magnitude and the size of the big wheel truck accidents, not every victim involved in the accident has the guarantee to survive. The medical experts will do everything to ensure they treat and save as many lives of the victims as possible; however, wrongful death is also a possibility. Several deaths take place at the accident scene, while others take place sometimes later.
Thus the survivors of the accidents want to seek psychological help apart from seeking treatment for the general injuries. It's true the physical injuries themselves may cause psychological trauma, which needs the help of a professional.
Truck accidents will do more than cause physical damages, and you will also suffer psychological injuries. After recovering from the injuries, the victims might find it difficult to return to driving. Its true simple tasks, including driving to work, taking care of your family members, might feel like a treacherous journey.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissues refer to the tissues supporting and connecting your body organs with other structures. The soft tissue injuries in a big wheel truck accident affect your body’s ligaments, tendons, muscles, and cartilage. Sprains and strains may also result in their severity. As a victim of the accident, you may end up requiring physical therapy or surgery in severe cases. You may not notice soft tissue injuries easily or immediately after the accident. The following are the common types of soft tissues injuries that might result from a truck accident:
- Bruising or confusions
- Sprains, a torn or stretched ligament
- Strains, torn or stretched tendon
Stress fractures, although they are small cracks in your bone, they still fall under soft tissue injuries.
Generally, the victims of soft tissue injuries can fully recover from the injuries. But, the recovery process tends to be painful and extensive. Many victims will not resume their normal daily activities during the rehabilitative period based on the affected areas.
Seat Belt and Airbag Injuries
Safety equipment in your car like airbags and seat belts are vital in saving your life after an accident. But the force of the big wheel trucks may lead to injuries resulting from these tools. The seat belt holds your body in place during the accident and prevents you from being thrown out of the vehicle. However, you should note the body will be thrown against the seat belt, thus causing injuries on the abdomen and chest. Many injuries related to seat belts are broken ribs, shoulder injuries, lacerations, abrasions, and bruising. Alternatively, airbags deploy with much force. When the situation occurs, blunt trauma, chest, back, and neck injuries will occur.
Truck accidents may lead to internal injuries among the victims. Internal injury occurs when organs in the body are damaged. Treating internal injuries may be difficult. Therefore the injuries may result in lifelong limitations to the victims. Internal injuries may affect the kidney, lung, heart, bowels, and spleen.
Burns in Truck Accidents
Commercial trucks carry more fuel. They also have larger fuel tanks than passenger vehicles. When an accident occurs, the tanks may rupture, leading to a fire. The fire results in severe burns among the involved people. The burns cause significant pain, scarring, blistering, and mutilation. Again, the victims may find it hard to escape the truck in fire, and therefore, they may die.
Different Degrees of Burns
Burns come in different categories based on the severity of the injuries. The following are the levels of burns in a truck accident:
First-degree. These are minor burns. They only affect the outer layer of your skin. Sensitivity and redness may occur.
Second-degree burns. These include burns that are more severe compared to first-degree burns. The burns affect the top layer of your skin as well as the underneath layer and your muscles.
Third-degree burns. These are the most destructive burns. The burns affect the skin and seriously damage the underlying tissues, muscles, bone, and nerves. Note third-degree burns are life-threatening.
Burns may cause serious complications to the victims. Apart from the immense pain they experience, the victims also suffer extreme blistering, which changes the body chemistry, damages their blood vessels, and even poses a possibility of developing serious infections.
When your body is burnt, your skin cells are damaged. Thus the cells will react to the burns by producing fluid and even forming a blister. Thus it might attract the following complications:
Shock; the loss of body fluid will interrupt circulation throughout your body, thus preventing your brain from receiving the required nutrients.
Low blood pressure; many burns victims will require extra fluids and blood transfusion to help maintain blood pressure and circulation after losing fluids.
Infections; when burns damage your protective skin layer, the exposed body tissues will be susceptible to bacterial infections. When the blisters rupture, the underneath area will become an unprotected wound.
Find a San Diego Truck Accident Attorney Near Me
When you are involved in a big wheel truck accident in California, you want to schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately, even when you feel okay at the moment. Only a well-qualified medical expert will diagnose your injuries. Remember, many injuries like spinal problems will not exhibit any symptoms immediately. Delaying to seek treatment will impact your health and make it difficult to obtain the compensation you deserve.
At Truck Accident Injury Attorney Law Firm, our attorneys can help you obtain your medical care and fair compensation from the responsible driver for the accident. Contact us at 619-754-7667 for a free and no-pressure consultation.