There are roughly three million semi trucks or 18-wheelers registered in the United States today. These massive vehicles are generally 70 to 80 feet in length and weigh as much as 80,000 pounds or 40 tons.
While these trucks support a large portion of the nation’s economy, their size and prevalence on busy roadways increases the potential for serious accidents to occur. A semi truck accident can result in serious injury and even death to unsuspecting drivers. Because of this, it’s important to understand the different injuries truck accidents can cause.
When an accident with a semi truck occurs, it can have lasting effects on the victims. Oftentimes, these injuries are life threatening and require hospitalization and/or prolonged care. Some of the most common injuries sustained in truck accidents include:
The back and neck portions of the human body include small, fragile bones and ligaments that can easily be injured in an impact with a large truck. Whiplash can also occur when a victim’s head and neck snap forward while the torso remains in place. While these injuries may not appear immediately, those who suffer from them can experience pain and discomfort hours or even days after a truck collision.
Spinal cord injuries can result in partial, temporary, or even complete paralysis of the body. Because the spine is the information superhighway of the body, its nerves carry messages from the brain to the rest of the body. In the event the spine is injured, there is generally no easy fix. Spinal cord injuries can involve many months or years of treatments, surgeries, therapy, and much more, sometimes leaving victims permanently disabled.
One of the most unfortunate consequences of a truck accident can be a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These injuries can range from mild, temporary conditions like a concussion, to incredibly serious, life-altering disabilities including the potential for paralysis and/or permanent brain damage.
Because trucks are much larger than passenger vehicles, they often cause more serious damage on impact. One such impact-related damage is the potential risk of rupturing a truck’s large fuel tank. When this occurs, a fire can spread quickly, engulfing the truck and surrounding vehicles. This can leave victims with painful burns and scarring, including permanent disfigurement.
A semi truck accident can lead to a partial or full amputation due to body parts being crushed during or after the collision. Amputations require ongoing medical treatment and potentially adaptive devices like prosthetics. In addition to this, victims may also need caretakers to assist them with daily needs, often resulting in high medical costs.
Even if truck accident victims avoid obvious external injures, internal damage could still exist. Despite airbags being designed to protect against injury, the strong force of a deployed airbag can potentially cause blunt force trauma to the abdomen or other body parts. The force of impact can injure the bladder, liver, and/or kidneys as well.
Although broken ribs and other torso injuries are not considered internal injuries, harm to these parts of the body can be incredibly dangerous to vital organs. A broken rib can potentially puncture a lung or create further internal damage of which victims may be unaware.
Unfortunately, truck accidents result in the deaths of thousands of people each year. When this happens, its incredibly important that victims consider pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit. While no amount of money can replace a loved one, wrongful death claims can help to compensate survivors. Unpaid medical bills, funeral expenses, and other damages including pain and suffering can be compensated for in these particular lawsuits.
The injuries victims can sustain following a semi-truck accident can have lifelong effects that may require ongoing medical attention. When these unfortunate instances happen, it’s important to have an experienced Houston truck accident attorney by your side. At Ramsey Law Group, we know just how devastating these accidents can be and we will fight to hold the negligent parties accountable for their actions. If you or someone you know has been involved in a trucking accident, contact us today for a free consultation.