6 Common Injuries Sustained in Truck Accidents
As a passenger vehicle driver, occupant, pedestrian, or cyclist, it’s hard to think of anything more dangerous than being hit or colliding with a semi-truck or large truck. The large and heavy nature of trucks makes them capable of causing severe injuries and death in most accidents involving other smaller vehicles.
If you’ve been a victim in a collision involving a truck or lost a loved one in a truck-related accident, you should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation. Most truck-related accidents result in serious injuries with lifelong implications. Seasoned personal injury lawyers are the best-suited professionals to handle large truck litigation and ensure victims get fairly compensated on every end.
Truck accident statistics in America
The NHTSA defines large trucks as vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds. According to NHTSA’s traffic data safety facts, 4,761 people died in accidents caused by large trucks in 2017. This represented a 9% increase in accidents linked to large trucks compared to 2016. In a decade (between 2008 and 2017), there has been a 12% increase in the number of fatalities involving large trucks i.e., 4,245 to 4,761 in 2008 and 2017, respectively.
Of the total fatalities in 2017, 72% were occupants in other vehicles. Only 18% were large truck occupants (truck drivers and their passengers). The reset (10%) were non-occupants (pedestrians, cyclists, etc.).
Truck accident injuries
As per the IIHS, large trucks are 20-30 times heavier than the average car. They also take longer to stop (20-40% longer) depending on the weight of the cargo they are carrying. Heavy trucks packed with cargo take the longest time to stop completely. There is a clear link between the sheer size and weight of trucks and their probability of causing accidents. Truck drivers also play a role considering they spend more hours driving than the typical driver. It’s easy to see how why truck accidents happen and why they are more serious.
Here are common truck accident injuries sustained by passenger vehicle drivers, occupants, among other victims of truck-related accidents.
Neck and back injuries
The force generated by a speeding truck can cause back injuries (disc injuries and/or dislocation) that are hard to diagnose and treat. These injuries usually have long term effects like never-ending pain and distress. Less severe injuries include whiplash. Neck and back injuries from a truck-related accident can hinder your ability to work for weeks or months, or a lifetime in extreme cases.
Colliding with a truck can also lead to head injuries that are either mild and temporary or life-changing and permanent. Head injuries are caused on impact when an occupant’s head hits against any interior part of their car, such as the steering wheel. The injuries could also be caused by emergency braking or whiplash.
Head injuries must be treated with caution. A careful medical evaluation must be done since head injuries can take hours (sometimes days) to show symptoms. Common symptoms of head injuries include confusion, vision problems, concussion, swelling, internal bleeding, and nausea.
Spinal cord injuries
Spinal injuries are a major cause of paralysis. Injuries to the backbone muscles, or nerves can make you temporary or permanently disabled. Like head injuries, spinal cord injuries must be examined carefully and extensively as they aren’t readily apparent. While some spinal injuries can be treated successfully, they may require surgery and specialized rehabilitation, which is costly and lengthy.
Heavy trucks carrying flammable cargo, such as fuel, usually burst into flames after a collision. This is common even if the cargo isn’t flammable (i.e, if the truck has a lot of fuel and the fuel tank raptures on impact). The weight and speed increases fire risks significantly. Burns are common in accidents involving passenger vehicles and commercial trucks. The resulting injuries tend to have a long term effect that includes severe pain, psychological trauma, and disfigurement.
Truck accidents involving passenger vehicles can also cause internal injuries. The human body isn’t “designed” to withstand impact from a 10,000+ pound truck moving 50 mph+. Such an impact can cause internal injuries to the brain, heart, lungs, spleen, bowels and kidneys resulting in life-threatening conditions.
Injuries don’t have to be physical. The psychological effect of truck accidents also qualifies as injury. Accident victims may be terrified to go anywhere for a long time, making it impossible to lead a normal life. This explains why accident victims go through therapy.
If you/a loved one gets involved in an accident caused by a truck, you need the best, most experienced personal injury lawyers to fight for you. Trucking companies don’t accept liability without a fight and Insurance companies are known to offer unfair settlements. You need a seasoned lawyer to negotiate a settlement covering all the short-term and long-term effects of the truck accident injuries discussed above. If you’ve lost a family member/loved one, you should also be compensated accordingly with every consideration in mind.
Oberheiden Law has helped victims win $6 billion + in personal injury settlements. Get a FREE, non-obligatory truck accident consultation NOW!