Truck accidents involving passenger vehicles often result in catastrophic consequences. Commercial trucks, weighing up to 80,000 pounds or even more with oversized load permits, can outweigh a passenger car by 20 to 30 times. This substantial weight disparity places passenger vehicles at a higher risk of absorbing the majority of the impact during a collision, leading to severe damage and injuries. In this article, we will explore the common types of injuries that victims may sustain in truck accidents and discuss the legal considerations for seeking compensation.
Neck and Back Injuries
Truck accidents, even seemingly minor ones, can cause various injuries to the neck and back. Whiplash, a common injury in truck collisions, involves the muscles in the neck and can result in pain and stiffness. More severe accidents can lead to severe neck and back injuries, including herniated or ruptured disks, slipped disks, dislocations, and spinal cord injuries. Injuries to the spinal cord, such as nerve damage or a severed spine, can cause permanent disabilities like paralysis. If you believe you have sustained spinal injuries in a trucking accident, it is crucial to consult with our skilled spinal cord injury lawyers in Denver, who can guide you through the legal process.
The gravitational forces exerted during a truck accident can propel occupants of a passenger vehicle in different directions, leading to significant bodily impacts with the vehicle’s interior. These impacts, such as hitting the windshield or steering column, can be forceful enough to cause bone fractures. Additionally, if a passenger is ejected from the vehicle, the impact with the road surface can also result in broken bones. In a trucking accident, any bone in the body, including the skull and spine, is susceptible to fractures.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Truck accidents can cause painful and debilitating soft tissue injuries. Pulled, strained, or sprained muscles can result in temporary or permanent disability for the victim. Other soft tissue injuries, such as hematomas, bruising, and contusions, can also cause significant pain and suffering. Swelling, pain, and loss of body part function often accompany soft tissue injuries sustained in a truck crash.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Head and brain injuries are relatively common in truck accidents, especially when the trailer of a big rig crashes through the top of a passenger vehicle. These accidents can cause open head injuries, where the impact cracks or punctures the skull and affects the brain. They can also result in closed head injuries, which do not involve skull fractures but can still impact the brain. Traumatic brain injuries can lead to various conditions, including:
- Diffuse axonal injury
- Hematoma or hemorrhage
- Swelling in the brain
- Brain death
- Skull fractures
These injuries can cause permanent physical and cognitive disabilities. They occur when the head strikes an object during the collision or when the head and neck experience rapid whipping motions, damaging the brain stem. It’s important to note that brain injuries may or may not cause immediate loss of consciousness and can have delayed symptoms. Each brain injury is unique and requires appropriate medical attention and legal consideration.
Cuts, Scrapes, and Lacerations
Truck accidents can result in cuts, scrapes, and lacerations due to broken glass or jagged metal. These injuries can cause significant bleeding, severed arteries, and permanent scars. Severe lacerations may require immediate emergency care and treatments such as stitches. If a laceration occurs in a critical area, it can lead to substantial blood loss and complications, such as cardiac arrest. Victims may experience lifelong scarring or disfigurement due to lacerations. Additionally, contact with the road surface can cause scrapes and road rash.
Truck accidents can tragically lead to fatalities. In 2017 alone, 4,657 fatal traffic accidents involved large trucks in the United States. Fatal injuries resulting from truck accidents can include brain trauma, internal organ damage, internal bleeding, or a severed spine. In such cases, family members of the deceased may pursue civil lawsuits against the responsible truck drivers or trucking companies to seek compensation. Wrongful death damages can cover funeral costs, burial expenses, medical bills, lost income, lost inheritance, mental anguish, and other related damages.
Truck accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, varying in severity from minor to catastrophic. Neck and back injuries, bone fractures, soft tissue injuries, traumatic brain injuries, cuts and lacerations, and wrongful death are among the most common consequences of these accidents. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a truck accident, it is essential to consult with an experienced Denver truck accident attorney from Front Range Injury Attorneys. Our dedicated legal team can provide you with the guidance and support needed to pursue compensation and ensure your rights are protected.