Every accident involving a semi-truck or other large, commercial vehicle has the potential to be not just dangerous but life-altering. Oftentimes, people are lucky to walk away from a truck-related crash with nothing more than broken bones or a concussion. However, each accident is different, and anyone injured by a commercial vehicle is likely to face a years-long road to recovery.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Here, we provide an overview of some of the most common truck-accident-related injuries—and advice on how you can take definitive action to protect yourself from further hardship.
Almost any bone can break in a major crash. However, your ability to recover quickly depends both on the location of a fracture (or fractures) and the treatment you receive. Some bones can heal rapidly, requiring little more than temporary immobilization or a removable cast. Others can take months to fully repair, demanding physical therapy and rehabilitative services.
Blunt-force trauma or punctures can lead to organ damage. Although skeletal structures may partially protect your brain, heart, and lungs from injury, other organs are comparably exposed and can be easily damaged in an accident. Organ damage can be minor, but it often demands invasive corrective surgery to repair.
Head injuries can be diagnosed following any motor vehicle collision. However, they are especially common in the aftermath of truck-related accidents. The sudden impact caused by a large vehicle can cause the head to shake violently, potentially damaging not only your skull but your brain, too. A physician might find that you have suffered a type of brain injury.
- A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that affects brain function. While most concussions heal without intensive medical intervention, symptoms can linger for days, weeks, or even months, interfering with daily life and presenting safety risks.
- Traumatic brain injuries often result after sudden jolts, bumps, or hits to the head. Some traumatic brain injuries, like concussions, are typically mild. Others have the potential to cause life-long health problems, including paralysis and death.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can vary in severity and outcome, depending on where along the spine the injury was sustained. No matter its location, however, any spinal cord injury should be considered serious and treated as such. Since spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis or loss of motor and muscle functions, they need to be treated immediately. If they cannot be corrected, then an accident victim may need expensive long-term care.
If an accident happens at high speeds, or if the truck was carrying combustible cargo, you may suffer burns from an ensuing conflagration. Burns can be difficult—and painful—to treat. If you were exposed to intense fire and flames, even skin grafts harvested and implanted by a highly skilled surgeon may not restore your initial appearance, leading to permanent disfigurement.
The force of impact or the collapse of a car’s frame can lead to the loss of a limb. Sometimes, physicians may have to medically amputate to save your life or prevent the spread of necrosis. Adjusting to life without a limb can be unthinkably difficult.
Even if you are not grievously injured in the immediate aftermath of an accident, you may be exposed to toxic fumes spread by fire or a truck’s degrading cargo load. If you develop breathing or other respiratory tract problems after an accident, you should immediately visit a physician.
When a semi-truck hits a passenger vehicle, the occupants of the passenger vehicle are at high risk of sustaining a fatal injury as a result. Even when someone survives a crash, a severe injury related to the crash could prove to be fatal at a later date.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
The first thing you should do when you have been involved in any sort of accident is to see a doctor. This is especially true following truck-related crashes since the signs and symptoms of certain injuries—like brain damage or respiratory tract infections—may not be evident for days or weeks afterward.
The next step you should take if you were hurt in a truck accident or lost a loved one to a driver’s negligence is to call an attorney. You should not have to pay your own way to recovery. A Missouri truck accident attorney can help you investigate the circumstances of your accident, formulating a potentially multi-pronged lawsuit against a negligent driver, their employer, and maybe even the manufacturer of a failed mechanical part.
No matter how serious your injuries are, a lawyer enhances your chance of collecting fair compensation.