By Metier Law Firm
Commercial trucks are necessary to transport goods, but they also pose significant risks due to their size and weight. Driver fatigue, distracted driving, poor maintenance, overloaded trucks, and inclement weather are just a few of the common causes of truck accidents. Often, many of these factors combine to lead to catastrophic or fatal crashes. Thousands of truck accidents occur every year, leading to fatalities or injuries that are often more severe than those from standard car crashes, as the sheer size and momentum of trucks can make them deadly on impact. In 2021, 117,300 accidents involving large trucks led to injuries, with 5,700 of these incidents tragically resulting in fatalities, as reported by the National Safety Council.
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Truck accidents can lead to all kinds of injuries, some of which can have life-altering consequences. These include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, neck injuries, bone fractures, internal injuries, burns, and disfigurement. The symptoms of these injuries may not be obvious at the scene of the crash.
The symptoms of traumatic brain injuries can vary from person to person but commonly include:
A traumatic brain injury can permanently change your life. You may be unable to work, and normal, everyday tasks can be frustrating, difficult, or impossible to complete. Your cognitive abilities, temperament, and personality can change. Traditional treatments include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and psychological counseling, though more serious injuries can require emergency surgery.
From the brain stem to the tailbone, the spinal cord is our body's information and sensory highway. Truck accidents can produce tremendous forces capable of causing severe injury to the spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries caused by truck accidents can lead to nerve damage, loss of sensory functions, or paralysis.
The sudden jolt or collision from a truck accident can lead to whiplash—a rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, causing strain or sprain to the cervical spine and surrounding muscles. Whiplash is often seen as a minor injury but can lead to chronic pain and other complications if not treated properly.
Spinal cord injuries sustained in truck accidents can have a profound and often devastating impact on mobility and daily life. Basic tasks like bathing, dressing, and toileting may require assistance. Many people are unable to return to their previous lines of work and may face long periods of unemployment or underemployment. Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are more common among people with spinal cord injuries.
Prompt medical attention is crucial in diagnosing and treating spinal cord injuries. Treatment can include immediate interventions like decompression surgery, long-term physical therapy, and medication for managing symptoms. Even with treatment, some spinal cord injuries may result in permanent disability.
With the force exerted in truck accidents, broken bones are, unfortunately, a common outcome. Fractures can range from hairline fractures and simple (closed) fractures, to compound fractures, comminuted fractures, and displaced fractures in different parts of the body, including:
Immediate medical intervention is often required to stabilize fractures. Depending on the severity, treatment may involve surgical procedures such as the insertion of rods, plates, or screws to align the broken bones properly. The recovery process can be prolonged, involving rigorous physical therapy to regain mobility and strength. In addition, there's the possibility of long-term complications like arthritis, chronic pain, or nerve damage, which can severely affect a victim's quality of life.
Think of the body as a well-packed suitcase. A sudden jolt like those caused by a truck accident can cause the contents to shift violently, leading to organ damage or internal bleeding. These injuries can be particularly dangerous because they may not be immediately obvious following a truck accident. Immediate medical evaluation is crucial for diagnosing and treating these injuries effectively. Here are some of the common types of internal injuries that can occur:
The symptoms of internal injuries might not be immediately apparent, delaying crucial medical intervention. Emergency diagnostic tests like ultrasounds, CT scans, or MRIs are often needed to identify the source and extent of internal injuries. Treatment frequently involves emergency surgery to repair damaged organs or blood vessels. Even after successful intervention, the risk of complications remains high, including shock, infection, organ failure, and death. In addition to the immediate medical costs, victims of internal injuries due to truck accidents may also face long-term health issues that require ongoing care and substantial financial resources, adding to the already considerable physical and emotional toll.
Burns and disfigurement caused by truck accidents are severe, life-altering injuries that often require immediate and extensive medical treatment. Truck collisions can lead to fires or explosions, especially if the vehicles involved are carrying flammable materials. Victims may suffer from varying degrees of burns, ranging from first-degree to third-degree burns, each requiring a different level of medical intervention.
Burns can lead to permanent disfigurement, affecting not only the physical appearance but also the functional capability of the affected areas. Recovery is generally a prolonged process involving physical therapy, pain management, and psychological support to address emotional and mental health challenges such as anxiety and depression. Treatments often include skin grafting, surgical reconstruction, and long-term wound care, all of which can be physically and emotionally traumatic.
The long-term consequences of burns and disfigurement can extend beyond the immediate medical issues to impact a person's self-esteem, social interactions, and overall quality of life. Coupled with the enormous financial burden of specialized medical care and potential loss of income, these injuries can be devastating for both the victim and their family.
Injuries from truck accidents can require extensive, long-term treatment. Victims may also face significant financial burdens from medical bills, lost wages, and ongoing rehabilitation costs. Trying to navigate the legal maze after a truck accident, especially in pain, can seem hopeless.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you should have experienced and board-certified lawyers like the ones at Metier Law Firm to stand beside you and guide you. Contacting an attorney early will lead to the best possible results. Call us today for a free consultation at (866) 377-3800.
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