Trucking collisions are among the most catastrophic accidents in the United States, and many victims sustain injuries or pass away from their related injuries. Common types of injuries suffered in trucking accidents include head injuries, spinal cord injuries, back injuries, broken bones, and burns.
Because many of these injuries are life-altering, the injured victim could end up with extensive medical bills or miss work. A truck accident lawyer could help them recover compensation after suffering damages because of these injuries.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-451-7900
Common Injuries That Victims Suffer in Trucking Accidents
Injuries people sustain in truck crashes can vary in severity. Because trucks are larger than typical cars, people often sustain more serious injuries in these collisions.
Common types of injuries suffered in trucking accidents include the following:
Johns Hopkins Medicine states that head injuries are one of the most common causes of disability or death in the United States. There are several types of head injuries, such as concussions, skull fractures, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and intracranial hematomas.
Truck collisions can cause traumatic brain injuries due to the truck’s force and weight. When someone sustains a traumatic brain injury, they must seek medical care immediately. The more time the brain has time to swell, the more serious damage the brain injury can sustain.
Symptoms of traumatic brain injuries include:
- Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours
- Headache that won’t go away and continues to get worse
- Continuous nausea and vomiting
- Numbness in the fingers and toes
- Fluids draining from the nose or ears
Any blow to the head that causes a behavioral, physical, or cognitive change should prompt someone to seek medical attention. People who suffer from head injuries due to truck crashes could file a claim against the liable party to recover compensation for the medical loss they sustained.
Spinal Cord Injuries
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), damage to the tight bundle of cells and nerves that sends and receives signals from the brain to the rest of the body constitutes a spinal cord injury. They could limit someone’s strength or cause complete immobility below the injury site.
When someone sustains a spinal cord injury, it’s crucial they don’t make any movements that could further worsen the injury. It’s important to know the signs of a spinal cord injury to take proper precautions.
- Extreme pressure on the neck or back pain
- Weakness in any part of the body
- Difficulty walking or balancing
- Impaired breathing
Unfortunately, signs of a serious spinal cord injury sometimes don’t appear immediately. If someone suspects they have a spinal cord injury, it’s imperative they seek medical attention immediately. These injuries could cause someone to undergo many surgeries and rehabilitative treatments to recover.
Bones, muscles, and tissues make up the structure of the back. Any of these can sustain damage in a trucking accident.
Lower back injuries are some of the most common, in addition to:
- Sprains and strains: Muscle sprains and strains occur when ligaments tear from their attachments. This injury can result from a sudden injury, such as a force during a trucking collision.
- Herniated discs: This injury occurs when a fragment of the disc’s nucleus pushes out of the annulus and into the spinal canal through a tear.
- Fractures: A spinal fracture is a dislocation or fracture to the backbone. It can also occur anywhere along the spine.
Regardless of the injury, it can cause someone a lot of pain and require extensive medical treatments to correct the issue. Even after treatments, the injured victim could continue to live with back issues for the rest of their life.
Broken Bones or Fractures
When a large truck crashes into another vehicle, the victim might sustain broken bones and fractures. While many people think broken bones or fractures can heal after a few weeks, they can cause serious complications, especially if the broken bone occurs in the skull or around vital organs. In addition, broken bones and fractures could require surgery.
People who sustain broken bones in trucking accidents could require extensive medical treatment. Their injuries could also prevent them from working. If this happens, they can file a truck collision claim against the liable party to collect compensation for the damages they incurred.
Burns are tissue damage that results from exposure to intense heat or chemicals. In a truck collision, a burn can happen if someone comes in contact with a hot engine, a hazardous chemical spill, or the crash causes a fire. Depending on the severity of the burn, they can heal over time or require immense medical treatments. Treatments vary based on the location and severity of the burn.
These injuries can affect someone for the rest of their life. They could require many medical procedures to treat the burns and could have permanent scarring.
Victims Could Recover Compensation for Their Injuries
The types of injuries suffered in trucking accidents can affect someone’s life forever. They can force someone to deal with immense financial, physical, and emotional losses. Because of this, people who sustain injuries in trucking accidents could seek compensation from the liable party for their damages.
Damages are the compensation the liable party must pay if the courts order it or if there is a settlement agreement. The amount of compensation someone could recover varies based on different circumstances. Typically, an attorney can help the injured victim determine how much compensation they could recover for their damages.
Examples of damages in a trucking crash case include:
- Medical bills: This category may include the costs of any truck accident-related medical care, such as emergency room care, ambulance transportation, hospitalizations, surgeries, diagnostic tests, rehabilitative treatments, and ongoing doctor’s visits.
- Future medical bills: This damage accounts for costs for any required medical care the injured party will need in the future.
- Lost income: This category covers income the injured party couldn’t earn because of missed work while they recovered from their injuries. Lost income may include tips, bonuses, hourly pay and salary, commissions, employee benefits, and business opportunities.
- Future lost income: Future income covers the money the injured party will lose if they cannot return to work in the same capacity or at all.
- Loss of enjoyment: If the injured party’s injuries don’t allow them to participate in activities or hobbies they once loved, they could recover loss of enjoyment damages.
- Pain and suffering: Injured parties may qualify to recover pain and suffering damages due to the physical pain, discomfort, and inconvenience they went through because of their injuries.
- Emotional distress: The trauma from the truck collision could invoke emotional distress. Compensation for this loss may account for coping with phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleeplessness, and anxiety.
- Wrongful death damages: If someone lost a loved one in a truck collision, the surviving family members could benefit from a wrongful death case. Common recoverable damages in these actions may include funeral and burial expenses, final medical expenses, loss of income or financial support, and/or loss of household services.
Truck collision attorneys can advocate for their clients to recover the damages they deserve. The injury victim shouldn’t have to pay for the actions of someone else.
Identifying Who to Hold Accountable for Injuries Suffered in a Truck Accident
Truck collision cases can be difficult to navigate. It’s best to start with the basics to figure out what led up to it.
Evidence that can point to the cause includes:
- Truck maintenance logs
- Photos of the crash scene
- Medical records
- Traffic camera footage
- Dashcam footage
- Black box information
- Statements from witnesses
- The police report
Once the truck crash attorney analyzes the evidence, they may identify whose negligence led to the collision.
It could include:
- The truck driver: If they were fatigued, distracted, failed to yield, under the influence, or failed to properly merge or change lanes
- The trucking company: If they didn’t carefully vet or train truck drivers
- The cargo company: If the employees failed to properly load and secure cargo on the truck
- The parts manufacturer: If they produced faulty brakes or another component and sold it to the trucking company
- Another motorist: If they failed to comply with the rules of the road
Let’s say that a truck driver was distracted, ran a red light, and T-boned the injury party. In most cases, the truck driver’s employer would be liable for the resulting injuries and damages due to the principle of vicarious liability. Basically, it’s when employers take financial responsibility for their employee’s lack of care.
If more than one party bears responsibility for the crash, the attorney can pursue each one accordingly.
Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help Those Injured in Truck Collisions
When someone sustains an injury in a truck crash, an attorney can take critical steps that can help them recover the compensation they deserve and move forward after a traumatic event.
They can rely on a lawyer to:
- Speak to the opposing counsel or insurance company. Attorneys can take over communications to ensure the injured party doesn’t say anything that could hurt their case. Another benefit is that they can fully focus on recovering rather than dealing with the stress of their case.
- Stay mindful of timelines and ensure the case meets the statute of limitations. Each state sets a different timeline that injury victims can file a lawsuit against the liable party—and a claim against a government agency usually gives you a much shorter deadline. Once the statute of limitations is up, the opportunity to recover compensation lowers. Attorneys can file everything on time, so their client doesn’t miss out on the chance to receive compensation for their damages.
- Identify damages and quantify their value. By doing this task, attorneys can make an educated estimate of how much compensation to seek in the case.
- Negotiate with the other parties. Truck crash attorneys commonly handle many similar cases and have strong negotiation strategies to reach a fair deal for their clients.
- Build a case to take to trial if the two parties cannot reach a settlement agreement. Having a strong case in a trial can make the difference between recovering fair compensation or none at all. Attorneys usually have the experience needed so their clients can obtain the compensation they’re entitled to recover.
Finding the right attorney can make a huge difference in the case. Fortunately, many personal injury attorneys’ offices offer free consultations so injury victims can learn about if they’re the right fit before committing.
On top of the free case review, they usually offer their services on a contingency-fee basis. Instead of taking a fee from the client up front, the law firm finances the case from start to finish and only collects payment if they recover compensation. That way, the attorney can start working on the case promptly, and the client takes little financial risk.
Working With a Truck Accident Attorney if You Have Sustained Injuries
Many law firms offer free consultations to those who have sustained injuries in truck accidents. During the consultation, you have the opportunity to ask questions about your case and get information about your legal options.
When you choose someone to represent you, you can rest assured that they can take care of the legal aspects of your case. You can focus on recovering from your injuries while they focus on legal matters.