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Common Injuries From Truck Accidents: Recognizing and Responding to Injuries

Common Injuries From Truck Accidents: Recognizing and Responding to Injuries by  X. Lightfoot and Jeremy Wilson

Truck accidents are harrowing events that often result in severe injuries and tragic consequences.

As legal professionals specializing in personal injury cases, it’s crucial to grasp the common injuries stemming from truck accidents and provide guidance to those affected. In this article, we identify some of the prevalent injuries we see in our practice, and discuss the appropriate legal recourse for victims.

The Impact of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents cast a long shadow due to the massive size and weight of commercial trucks. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), in 2021, there were 5,700 fatal crashes involving large trucks in the United States that resulted in 5,788 deaths. This figure reflects an 18% increase from 2020 and a 49% increase over the last 10 years. Additionally, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that occupants of passenger vehicles are more likely to suffer fatal injuries in crashes involving large trucks than in crashes with other passenger vehicles.

The statistics paint a stark picture of the disproportionate impact truck accidents can have on road safety. These incidents often result in catastrophic injuries, extensive property damage, and significant financial losses for victims and their families.

Common Injuries and Their Frequency

The topics below cover some of the common injuries that we sadly see in truck accident cases.  The injury statistics cited are not based solely on truck-accident injuries.  However, they provide a sense of how serious and prevalent these types of injuries are in our society.  Unfortunately, many of the total numbers of these injuries stem from auto accidents, including truck accidents.

Spinal Cord Injuries:

Truck accidents often result in spinal cord injuries, including those that can result in partial or complete paralysis. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) estimates that there are approximately 17,730 new spinal cord injury cases each year in the United States. These injuries often require extensive medical care, rehabilitation, and long-term support services.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs):

TBIs are a significant concern in truck accidents, with potentially devastating consequences for victims. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were approximately 214,000 TBI-related hospitalizations in the United States in 2022. Recognizing symptoms such as loss of consciousness, confusion, dizziness, and memory loss is crucial for early diagnosis and intervention.

Broken Bones and Fractures:

Truck accidents can cause severe musculoskeletal injuries, including broken bones and fractures. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) reports that approximately 6.3 million fractures occur each year in the United States. Prompt medical treatment and rehabilitation are essential for ensuring optimal recovery and preventing long-term complications.

Internal Injuries:

Internal injuries, such as organ damage and internal bleeding, can be common in truck accidents and can be life-threatening if not promptly diagnosed and treated. The American College of Surgeons estimates that trauma accounts for 41 million emergency department visits and 2.3 million hospital admissions annually in the United States. Recognizing symptoms such as abdominal pain, swelling, and bruising is critical for early detection and intervention.

Emotional Trauma:

Beyond physical injuries, truck accidents can also cause significant emotional trauma, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Victims may experience flashbacks, nightmares, and difficulty coping with daily activities. Mental health support and counseling can be essential for addressing these emotional scars.

Recognizing Injuries and Seeking Medical Attention

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of injuries following a truck accident is crucial for timely medical intervention and legal recourse. Even seemingly minor injuries can have long-term consequences if left untreated. Victims should seek medical attention promptly and document their injuries through medical records and reports to support their legal claims.

Legal Recourse for Victims

Personal Injury Claims

Victims of truck accidents may pursue personal injury claims against the at-fault parties to seek compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement and other damages. An experienced attorney can assess the case, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies to secure a favorable settlement or represent you in a lawsuit, including a jury trial, when necessary to achieve the best result.

Wrongful Death Claims:

In cases where truck accidents result in fatalities, surviving family members may file wrongful death claims to hold the negligent parties accountable and seek compensation for funeral expenses, loss of income, and the loss of the relationship suffered by the victim’s legal beneficiaries. While no amount of compensation can undo the loss, it can provide financial stability and a sense of justice for the victim’s family.

Joint and Several Liability:

In some cases, multiple parties may share responsibility for the accident, including the truck driver, trucking company, maintenance crews, or other motorists. Identifying any and all potentially liable parties is essential, as it determines each party’s share of liability and impact on the compensation awarded.

Providing Support Beyond Legal Assistance

In addition to legal support, victims of truck accidents may benefit from accessing various resources to aid in their recovery. Support groups, rehabilitation services, and vocational counseling, and other resources can offer valuable assistance in navigating the physical, emotional, and financial challenges following a truck accident.

Truck accidents are a sobering reality on our roads, often resulting in devastating injuries and irreversible consequences. By understanding the common injuries stemming from truck accidents and the legal recourse available, victims can take proactive steps to protect their rights and seek justice.

As legal professionals, it’s our responsibility to advocate for our clients’ best interests and guide them through the complex legal process with compassion and expertise. Together, we can work towards ensuring that victims receive the compensation they deserve and rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of tragedy. Remember, you’re not alone—attorneys like those on our team are here to help you every step of the way.

© 2024 Ward and Smith, P.A. For further information regarding the issues described above, please contact X. LIGHTFOOT or JEREMY WILSON.

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