Commercial trucks are vastly bigger than passenger cars. The physics alone dictate that if a large truck gets in an accident, it is going to cause much more damage than a standard-sized vehicle.
A class eight heavy-duty tractor-trailer is nearly 60 feet long and weighs well over 30,000 pounds — and that’s before it is loaded down with cargo. When a truck that size slams into another vehicle, the injuries sustained by other drivers can be devastating. Conversely, truck drivers are riding much higher from the ground than the occupants of passenger vehicles and may not sustain any injuries at all, despite the passenger car occupant sustaining serious or fatal injuries.
When you are injured in a collision with a semi-truck, you should always seek a medical evaluation. Without a thorough medical evaluation of your physical condition, serious problems such as brain damage, internal injuries, muscle injuries, or other potentially serious injuries may be left unchecked until long after the accident. If this happens, additional health complications may compound the original injuries if treatment is delayed.
Understanding Your Truck Accident Injuries
If you are injured in an accident, the driver of the truck or the company he or she works for may be liable for damages related to your injuries. Here are some of the most common truck accident injuries and their effects on the human body.
Head and Brain Injuries — A head or brain injury can have long-lasting effects depending on the severity of the accident. Head injuries can be as mild as a concussion that fades in a day or two or as serious as mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which are conditions that can result in a variety of negative effects ranging from changes in personality to death. Truck accidents can cause severe injury to the head and brain of victims and these injuries are likely to be life-altering when they are incurred.
Broken Bones — The amount of blunt force trauma involved in truck accidents can shatter bones and leave drivers and passengers with multiple traumas that are likely to be severe.
Amputated Limbs or Extremities — Arms, legs, hands, or feet may be severed in a catastrophic impact, or have to be amputated after being crushed or severely burned.
Burns — Unfortunately, burns are more common in collisions with commercial trucks than in accidents involving passenger vehicles. Because trucks are larger and usually cause more damage in an impact, there is a greater risk of fuel tanks rupturing and causing vehicle fires. Not only may a fire destroy a motor vehicle, it can also cause extremely painful and disfiguring injuries from which victims may never be able to fully recover.
Spinal Cord Injuries — The impact in a commercial trucking accident may injure or damage the bones, muscles or nerves in the spinal cord. This can lead to partial, temporary or complete paralysis of various parts of the body. Even if the injuries are not permanent, they may cause severe pain and often require complex rehabilitation to achieve recovery. These types of injuries usually require sophisticated imaging such as an MRI scan in order to diagnose properly, and may require surgery to treat.
Neck and Back Injuries — These types of injuries are terribly common in most vehicle accidents because of the jarring force that affects drivers and passengers at the moment of impact. The structural systems that make up the neck and back are extraordinarily complex and injuries to these parts of the body can lead to debilitating pain and even paralysis if they are severely damaged.
Internal Injuries — The sheer blunt force trauma of a truck collision combined with the physical stresses incurred by the body’s interaction with safety equipment such as a deployed airbag can cause blunt abdominal trauma. These types of internal injuries can involve the bladder, spleen, liver, pancreas or kidneys, and can be very difficult to treat and lead to life-long physical limitation.
Torso and Rib Injuries — These types of injuries are particularly dangerous not only because blunt force trauma to the abdomen can be painful, but because these structures also surround vital organs. Broken ribs that are not identified and properly treated can puncture lungs or cause other severe damage to the human body.
Cuts and Lacerations — Although they may seem minor in comparison to internal injuries or head trauma, cuts can cause a lasting impact. Shattered glass, severed metal, or unrestrained objects within a vehicle can all cause cuts and wounds, ranging from minor slices to permanent injury to the eyes, head or body. Cuts can cause disfiguring scars or become infected and result in serious illness or death.
Seatbelt and Airbag Injuries — Seatbelts and other safety measures are important tools to save the lives of people involved in truck accidents, but they can also cause some injuries during the accident. Seatbelts by definition confine the chest and abdomen while airbags can deploy with enough speed to strip the skin off a driver’s hands, as well as causing blunt force trauma to the head. These types of accidents can also cause or contribute to injuries sustained to the chest, neck or back.
Wrongful Death — Unfortunately, the severity of damage involved in an accident with a commercial truck means that not everyone may survive a catastrophic crash. This is described in the legal system as a “wrongful death,” and may necessitate a claim on behalf of the victim’s family.
Aggressive, Knowledgeable Legal Advocacy That Works
Our Houston truck accident attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. who work with truck accidents and lawsuits take your injuries seriously. We understand that people dealing with the kinds of severe injuries sustained in a collision with a commercial tractor-trailer are in pain, often frightened, and emotionally and physically traumatized. This is why we pride ourselves on identifying and pursuing the liable party or parties to the fullest extent of the law.
Comprehensive compensation for a serious injury sustained in a truck accident is only fair. We are familiar with the challenges our clients face after suffering from truck accident injuries, which may include learning to cope with a permanent disability, so we work hard to get fair compensation for them. Our firm has litigated many multi-million-dollar jury verdicts and recoveries, and we continue to aggressively pursue full value for injury claims.
Need to hire a Houston truck accident lawyer? Find out more about what one of our highly-qualified personal injury lawyers can do for you in the wake of your commercial truck accident by calling us at . We offer a free consultation and there are no fees unless we recover compensation for your claim.