Commercial trucks may cause significant injuries and damage in a crash. In the most severe cases, these collisions are fatal. If you have sustained truck accident-related injuries due to another driver’s negligence, you should contact a truck accident lawyer. At the Truck Accident Attorney Law Firm, we understand that, as a truck accident victim, you could be dealing with life-changing disabilities. Also, we are familiar with the common injuries that truck crashes cause. We take pride in helping our clients throughout California recover the compensation they deserve regardless of the injuries they sustain. In this article, common injuries reported after truck accidents are explained.
Common Injuries in Truck Accidents
In a California truck collision, the occupants of smaller autos involved are at a higher risk of being severely hurt or even die compared to the truck driver. This is because truck drivers ride much higher from the ground. The force and size of a loaded truck hitting a motorcyclist, bicyclist, car, or pedestrian may lead to long-lasting or permanent injuries to the victim.
Sometimes, the victim may even die. Data from the National Institute of Traffic & Highway Safety reveals that more than half of all truck crash-related injuries and fatalities are suffered by the occupants in the automobile hit by the truck. Common injuries that a truck accident victim may suffer are:
Injuries to the Spinal Cord
You could sustain a complete or an incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI) in a truck accident, causing total or partial paralysis. Based on where the injury is, along the spine, it may lead to the impairment of lower limbs or diminished ability in all four limbs. Injuries to the spinal cord often lead to the need for lifetime care, which may be costly.
Injuries to the head are more likely to occur when a car, pedestrian, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or any other roaduser collides head-on with a truck. However, they could also occur from nearly any form of crash. Most head injuries resulting from traffic collisions are concussions, yet even concussions may alter the brain’s functions for several months after the crash. Other head-related injuries are brain cell death or permanent head damage. Broken facial bones are also prevalent in truck collisions and may be caused by the crash’s impact or result from airbag injuries.
The soft cushion material between vertebrae in the spine may be pushed outward during a truck accident, making it to herniate or bulge. This usually irritates the nerves neighboring the affected area, leading to severe pain in most cases.
TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injuries)
A traumatic brain injury is a severe condition that may be caused by either closed-head injuries or open-head trauma (when the skull is penetrated). It arises when the victim’s head receives a sudden and violent blow. A TBI requires urgent medical attention and mostly results in permanent, life-changing medical conditions. Subdural hematoma, coma, and bleeding of the brain or its lining may occur due to a TBI. TBIs may also lead to lasting mood and personality changes. Other side effects include:
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Concentration problems
- Loss of consciousness ranging from thirty minutes to several hours
- Memory loss
- Confusion causing anger or anxiety
- Inability to develop new memories
- Ongoing headaches
- Light & sound sensitivity
Even though spine injuries are among the most severe kinds of back-related injuries, the back is also susceptible to injuries of the soft tissues and bones. Back injuries could lead to impairment and chronic pain.
Broken Bones and Bone Fractures
A truck accident may cause broken arms, legs, ribs, hands, wrists, face, pelvis, or fractures in nearly any body part. This usually happens when a victim attempts to brace themselves against vehicle parts before an accident or if they’re tossed in different directions during the crash. Physical therapy, casts, and surgery are often needed when treating bone fractures. Certain fractures don’t heal correctly, which leaves the victim with permanent impairments.
You could sustain burns when the truck in question is transporting dangerous, flammable materials or in case it bursts into flames due to the spillage of gasoline. Burns can be deadly or may lead to permanent disfigurement or scarring. They’re also extremely painful in most cases, and they leave you susceptible to infections or other complications.
If the tendons and muscles supporting your spinal cord are pulled, torn, or twisted because of the impact of a crash, you could sustain a strain. This may cause back pain and might result in difficulty sitting, standing, or walking. A considerable amount of time is required to heal strains and restore body function.
Limb Loss and Amputations
In specific cases, limbs may have to be amputated for the greater good of your health. For instance, if your leg, hand, or arm was severely burned or crushed, you might undergo amputation.
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that occurs when your head suffers a blunt blow. Common signs and symptoms that indicate you have sustained a concussion are headaches, confusion, blurred vision, temporary loss of consciousness, and dizziness.
Cuts and Lacerations
Cuts and lacerations, based on how severe they are, may have a serious impact on you. For instance, the shattered glass may lead to injuries ranging from minor cuts to permanent eye damage. Cuts and lacerations may also cause disfiguring scars that may forever undermine one’s life.
A truck accident could also cause internal injuries. The blunt force trauma of a truck crash, together with the body’s intersections with the automobile, like a deployed airbag, may cause blunt abdominal trauma. When this happens, body organs can be lacerated or damaged, leading to internal bleeding. These kinds of injuries are usually hard to treat and might result in long-lasting limitations. Internal injuries involve damage to the spleen, liver, bladder, kidneys, pancreas, heart, lungs, and bowels.
Foot and Ankle Injuries
Feet, ankle strains, toe fractures, and sprains are also common in truck accidents. Toes and feet may be severely injured in an accident.
Disfiguring Facial Injuries and Scars
Facial injuries in truck accidents can be a result of broken glass or by the impact with a dash, steering wheel, airbag, side window, truck/car seat, windshield, or any other hard surface. Disfigurement resulting from facial injuries might need surgical correction and may leave the victim with lasting scars.
Knees may be hurt in truck accidents when they smash into any vehicle part. Knee wounds range from bruises to multiple fractures. The cartilage or meniscus in the knee may tear if the knee is turned abruptly or twisted during the accident.
Injuries to the shoulder may happen due to force absorption after bracing the hands against the dashboard or steering wheel in a truck accident. The shoulder locks in position and receives excessive force from the impact of the accident.
Injuries to the Chest
Injuries to the chest are mostly in the form of bruises or contusions, even though severe injuries are also likely to occur. Severe injuries to the chest may include broken ribs or injuries to the internal organs. The truck driver or driver of any other involved car commonly sustains chest injuries because of the small space between their chest and the steering wheel. Seatbelts commonly cause bruising to the chest during the crash. Chest injuries may also result from the airbag’s deployment when an accident between the truck and another vehicle occurs.
Arm and Leg injuries
Injuries to the extremities usually occur due to similar forces that cause head injuries. Unnatural and unexpected stops or direction changes lead to the legs and arms to move involuntarily, which usually causes harm to them. If it is an accident between a truck and a car or any other vehicle, passengers occupying the front seats and drivers often hit their knees on the bottom of the dashboard.
Scrapes and bruises to the legs and arms are also very common. Truck accident-related injuries may not be immediately evident. Symptoms may delay showing for a considerable amount of time. Whether it’s minor or significant, it’s critical to seek immediate medical attention irrespective of how okay you might feel.
Whiplash refers to a soft tissue injury to the neck. It occurs when the victim’s head is thrust forward unexpectedly during a crash and snaps to a stop suddenly. Whiplash results in mild to severe symptoms, including:
- Numbness in the upper body and arms
- Numbness & pain during neck movements
- Limited range of motion in the neck
- Pain in the upper limbs
Airbag & Seat Belt Injuries
Safety equipment like airbags and seatbelts are crucial as they help save lives in crashes. But the impact of a collision can often result in injuries caused by these safety devices. Seat Belts help to hold the occupant’s body in position during a crash to prevent them from being thrown from the auto. But when their body is tossed against the seatbelt, it could injure the abdomen or chest. Common seat belt injuries are broken ribs, shoulder injuries, bruising, lacerations, and abrasions.
Similarly, airbags deploy with significant force. When this happens, blunt trauma to the neck, chest, back, or head may result. The speed at which an airbag deploys may also lead to skin burns or abrasions. It is critical to remember that, whereas safety devices can cause injuries, it is more dangerous to disengage your airbag or drive without a safety belt.
A dislocated jaw happens when the lower mandible is ripped apart from one or both of the joints connecting it to the skull base. This could be severely painful. It might heal on its own when fixed back into position or may need significant surgical procedures.
Treating injuries to the jaw is based on their severity. Injuries like scrapes may need only basic first aid, whereas others may need anything from simple sutures to plastic surgery. Jaw and teeth disorders might require dental work, dental reconstruction, or mouth guards.
Truck accidents are ten times more likely to kill a victim than accidents with other vehicles. It is a sobering fact. When your loved one dies after a truck collision, you can hold the negligent party responsible. Indeed, you can’t replace a loved one you have lost, but you could seek the necessary compensation for you and the remaining family members to move forward.
Even if a victim isn’t severely physically hurt after a truck crash, he/she will be traumatized due to the incident’s whole experience. Unsurprisingly, psychological injuries are one of the most common truck accident injuries sustained by victims. One doesn’t have to evade bodily injuries to sustain psychological harm. In fact, when severe injuries or damage are involved, the mental and emotional trauma is significant. Psychological injuries may include:
- Long or Short-Term Emotional Distress: The emotional impacts of a crash are usually overlooked, particularly if there are bodily injuries to treat and take care of. Based on the type and severity of emotional harm, they may have severe effects on a truck collision victim, just like physical harm, and the effect might even last for an extended period if left untreated.
- Depression: When you experience lasting bodily pain and difficulty performing what are supposed to be your usual tasks and duties, it could take a toll on your emotions. Therefore, victims of severe truck accidents and injuries can experience significant episodes of depression.
- Anxiety: After being in a severe truck accident, whether hurt or not, a victim may go through varying intensities of anxiety. It could range from discomfort while aboard an auto to extreme panic attacks while returning to the accident site.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD may arise after any form of substantial trauma involving harm or threats of harm. Even though most people do not think about this disorder until it occurs to them or a person they know, truck crashes qualify as a highly traumatic incident. Research has revealed that a high number of truck-related accident victims experience PTSD.
Treating psychological harm usually involves cognitive and behavioral therapy in combination with drugs. The treatments are also highly effective when combined with treatments for bodily injuries (because lasting pain may be a significant contributor). If they aren’t treated, psychological injuries may turn chronic and begin to interfere severely with the victim’s daily life. If you’re suffering from psychological or emotional issues after a truck collision, you must seek immediate and comprehensive medical attention. Caring for your mental health is as crucial as caring for your physical wellbeing.
You Need an Attorney’s Help If You Have Sustained Truck Accident Injuries
Truck accident injuries, whether minor or severe, are compensable. However, there are various things you should and shouldn’t do. What you do or don’t do can break or make the outcome of your personal injury suit or insurance claim, meaning you may not be compensated for your injuries or be awarded little. One of the most critical actions you must take is hiring an experienced personal injury attorney.
Once the truck accident personal injury lawyer begins to work on your claim, you can concentrate on healing from the injuries you sustained. In the meantime, your lawyer will move fast to collect details from you, eyewitnesses to the accident, and the police. Additionally, a lawyer will manage your insurance claim by handling the at-fault party’s insurance company on your behalf.
Typically, truck accidents are more complicated than other vehicle collisions. Your lawyer may need to hire experts and investigators to collect and review the trucking company’s maintenance records, driver’s logbook, data from the truck’s EDR (Event Data Recorder), and other proofs.
As your attorney investigates your crash, they’ll help you determine who ought to be held responsible for your injuries and other losses. In most truck collision cases, several parties can be liable, for instance:
The truck driver: The truck driver’s negligent acts often cause truck crashes, which later result in injuries. Distracted driving, speeding, failure to yield, driving when tired, and failure to look left & right before entering an intersection play a role in accidents.
Cargo handlers or loaders: Much of the weight in a truck is from the load they transport. In case cargo handlers load a truck improperly, a cargo spill or shift may occur, causing a crash that may result in severe injuries. Most trucking companies outsource cargo loading to third parties. And in other situations, companies hire trucks to haul the cargo they own and load. Careless or negligent cargo loaders may be held liable for the role they played in truck crashes.
Trucking Company: The Company that owns the truck or hires the truck driver is responsible for the truck and the trucker. Often, trucking companies pressure drivers to violate rules and make deadlines or cut corners as far as truck maintenance is concerned. Certain companies hire poorly trained or unlicensed drivers.
Since commercial trucks represent significant investments, trucking companies usually have insurance policies with much higher coverage limits compared to standard vehicle insurance policies. Whereas the availability of higher insurance could permit a higher compensation amount in your truck crash claim/suit, it also gives the trucking companies a higher incentive to fight your claim.
More reasons for hiring a lawyer include:
Attorneys Understand the Claim Filing Process
Unless you are an attorney yourself, you don’t have the experience or knowledge necessary to increase the chances of winning your claim, beginning with the filing procedure. Litigating a truck accident claim needs knowledge of federal and state trucking industry statutes, traffic rules & regulations, as well as the necessary steps to bring a successful lawsuit/claim. Filing the claim by yourself will expose you to dangers that may make the courts dismiss your case, a step that might be detrimental to your future wellbeing.
You may miss deadlines, leave out critical information, or make serious errors that cause a denial or delay of your case if you try filing by yourself. You’ll also miss the chance to move your claim through in the fastest and most effective way, something an attorney can effortlessly do on your behalf.
Bringing your claim through an attorney puts the appropriate paperwork before the right personnel and at the right time. All these work in your favor. Set off the compensation process on the right foot by hiring an attorney from the beginning.
A Lawyer Can Preserve Proof
The most critical piece of evidence in a truck crash case is the black box data. California has laws that make this box the trucking company’s property. This means that the company may be within their legal right to destroy it or erase the data contained in it.
An attorney can prevent the company from destroying this critical proof. They may also direct the involved parties not to remove the box from the truck or retrieve/erase its data. Preserving the black box data is critical for many truck accident-related claims.
An Attorney Will Not Miss Filing Deadlines
The statute of limitations to file a personal injury suit for the injuries you sustained in an accident is two years. Missing this deadline almost always makes the court refuse to hear your case. And even if it agrees, the liable party’s lawyer can use the missed deadline to convince the judge to dismiss the case. In case you miss the deadline, you may lose the chance to recover damages forever, irrespective of how solid your case is.
Find a Truck Accident Injury Attorney Near Me
At the Truck Accident Injury Attorney Law Firm, we fight for the rights of truck accident victims in California. Our lawyers have in-depth experience with truck crash cases. We’ll fight on your behalf to ensure you obtain the highest possible compensation amount regardless of the injuries you sustained. Call us now at 888-511-3139 if you have a truck accident case. We will provide the attention, care, and high level of service you deserve.
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