What Are the Most Common Injuries Sustained in Truck Accidents?

What Are the Most Common Injuries Sustained in Truck Accidents?

A man and woman on a phone call after their car was involved in an accident with a truck in the background.

Driving a car is always a hazardous activity. Driving a car around a 75-foot-long wall of metal 14 feet high that weighs 80,000 pounds and traveling at highway speeds is deadly. A commercial driver’s license is required to operate a semi-truck because they are so dangerous. Professional drivers are the only ones able to handle these large vehicles. They are held to a much higher standard than regular drivers. Serious truck accidents still happen due to operator error, fatigue, distractions, blind spots, and even road rage. Road and weather conditions exacerbate the danger of sharing the roadway with trucks.

Why Are Trucking Accidents a Serious Issue?

There were 38.9 million trucks in use in 2020, according to the American Trucking Association. They drove a combined total of 302.14 billion miles in that year alone and are a necessary part of the country’s economy. Cars and trucks share the road every day, but sometimes things go wrong. It can take almost 200 yards for a fully loaded semi-tractor trailer to come to a complete stop on the interstate in good travel conditions. In contrast, it would only take a car about half that distance. So, what happens when the truck driver isn’t paying attention, is speeding, or is following another vehicle too closely? It’s easy to see why trucking accidents are such a serious issue.

There were 101,000 police-reported injury crashes involving a large truck in 2020, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Many of the survivors of these crashes were left with overwhelming medical bills, and to make matters worse, they could not return to work while they recovered from their injuries, if they could return at all. Some victims need round-the-clock care and can no longer provide for their families.

If you have sustained injuries from a crash involving a commercial vehicle, contact the truck accident attorneys at Goldblatt + Singer: The St. Louis Injury Law Firm at (314) 231-4100 as soon as possible so we can begin evaluating your case to determine if you are entitled to financial compensation.

At Goldblatt + Singer, we go beyond compensation for property damages. We also help you recover damages such as:

  • Lost wages from when you were unable to work during a hospital stay and subsequent recovery time
  • Estimate future lost wages that will occur as a result of your injuries
  • All medical bills that have already accumulated, as well as from future treatment
  • Any rehabilitation, such as physical therapy and special equipment
  • Prescription medication that you now need
  • Compensation for loss of quality of life and any pain and suffering

Common Truck Accident Injuries

The injuries sustained from truck accidents are often monumental, primarily if they occur on a highway. These injuries include, but are not limited to:

1. Whiplash

A neck sprain from being in a rear-end collision is called whiplash. This injury happens because your head is not restrained in your vehicle and rapidly moves back and forth like a cracking whip. When hit from behind, your car is instantly jolted forward, and your unrestrained head falls back, hyperextending your neck. Immediately after this motion, your head is thrust forward, causing hyperflexion of your neck as your chin falls towards your chest. All of this happens very quickly. It can also occur in head-on collisions, just in the opposite order. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of whiplash can include the following:

  • neck and shoulder pain
  • stiffness
  • loss of mobility in the neck and shoulders
  • numbness traveling down the arms
  • dizziness
  • fatigue

These symptoms usually develop within the first few days after the injury. Most people take weeks to recover. Some people suffer from chronic pain for years after the accident occurred. The severity of the injury and preexisting conditions increase the recovery time.

2. Head Injuries

Hitting your head on the steering wheel, dashboard, windows, or any other object in your vehicle can have devastating consequences. Concussions are the most common head injuries that result from collisions. They occur when your brain moves inside your skull because of a trauma or from a rapid acceleration-deceleration of your head. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) defines a concussion as “an injury to the brain that results in temporary loss of normal brain function.” Take all head injuries seriously and get evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible following an accident.

3. Broken Bones

The possibility of being left with multiple fractures after a collision with a commercial truck is exceptionally high. Trucks are so large and heavy that they effortlessly plow through traffic, decimating other vehicles and their passengers as well. The force of the impact alone often causes your bones to break, especially if you have an underlying condition such as osteoporosis. Smaller cars are especially vulnerable because they only have so much space to crumple before they close in on their passengers. Injuries from being crushed in trucking accidents are extremely serious and require multiple surgeries and extended recovery times. They can even lead to amputation.

4. Lacerations

The National Institutes of Health says that a laceration is a cut or a tear in the skin and underlying tissues. Broken glass, crumpling vehicles, and objects from inside or outside the cars becoming projectiles are just some of the ways people receive torn skin and muscles in a truck accident. Many victims have to live with disfiguring scars and decreased range of motion in the areas surrounding their lacerations.

5. Spine Injuries

Truck accidents have claimed the lives of many people. Damage to the spine completely changes the life of the injured person. They are still alive, but the life they had before the collision is over. Complete or partial paralysis affects not only the victim but their family as well. Loss of voluntary movement and sensation means the wounded party will need assistance in everyday tasks that they used to take for granted. They will need caregivers and special equipment such as wheelchairs and other adaptive equipment. The financial burden can be just as crippling as the injury itself. The emotional toll damages relationships and the victim’s sense of self-worth as their autonomy has instantly vanished.

6. Organ Damage

Invisible life-threatening internal injuries may never fully heal. High-speed accidents wreak havoc on delicate soft organs. These injuries leave truck accident victims with chronic pain and fatigue because of decreased organ function. You may even find yourself on a transplant list. Damaged organs take anywhere from weeks to years to mend and may require multiple surgeries and hospitalization. The most common organ damage sustained from trucking accidents are:

  • Bruised Kidneys – Your kidneys filter your blood of extra fluids and wastes. They keep your electrolytes balanced and remove excess acid from your body. They even help to control your blood pressure. Treatment for damage to one or both of these vital organs can require dialysis or surgery and possibly a transplant.
  • Collapsed Lung – Pressure on your chest from your seatbelt, airbag, or another impact can cause your ribs to fracture and puncture your lungs, causing them to collapse. The intense jolt of a collision can also cause atelectasis or pneumothorax.
  • Ruptured Spleen – The spleen is a highly vascular organ. It works to filter damaged or old red blood cells while also controlling the levels of platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells in circulation. Trucking accidents often cause damage to this organ. A ruptured spleen is common and can happen at the time of the accident or possibly weeks later, causing rapid internal bleeding. People who have had their spleen removed are at higher risk of infection.

Other injuries can include damage to your liver, ruptured bowels, or a cardiac contusion. There are also complications, such as blood clots, damage to hearing and eyesight, and heart attacks that may result from the accident.

Get the Legal Help You Need by Contacting Goldblatt + Singer: The St. Louis Injury Law Firm

All of these injuries leave you with a reduced quality of life. If you have been in a commercial truck accident, Goldblatt + Singer will work to get you reparations so you can focus on healing. Stress after an accident will increase your recovery time. Your body releases the hormone cortisol as a result of stress, and cortisol increases pain and inflammation over time. Let us minimize your stress by contacting us as soon as possible so we can handle the complexities of your case and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.

Trucking accidents are serious, and Goldblatt + Singer will investigate what caused the collision and build your case. Truck accident victims should only have to worry about getting better. We understand that your recovery is the most important priority. Our experienced team of attorneys is dedicated and reliable. Legal representation through our firm gives you peace of mind knowing that we are working for the best possible settlement on your behalf. Contact the truck accident attorneys at Goldblatt + Singer: The St. Louis Injury Law Firm at (314) 231-4100 to schedule a free consultation. We will review the details of your accident and discuss how we can support you through the legal process.

Related Posts:
St. Louis Truck Accident FAQ
St. Louis Motorcycle Accident FAQ

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