Truck accidents are often catastrophic, life-altering events. Each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer traumatic head and brain injuries. These injuries can make it difficult for people to resume living normal, healthy lives, even after months of intensive rehabilitation. Diagnosing, treating, and taking care of a traumatic head injury can be burdensome, both for the victim and their family.
If your loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury in a truck accident, you should not have to accept paying out-of-pocket for an injury caused by someone else’s negligence. This is what you need to know about traumatic brain injuries and your options for getting justice.
How Traumatic Brain Injuries Happen
Traumatic brain injuries happen when the head is violently shaken, stricken, or punctured. They may or may not be accompanied by skull fractures and breaks.
Like any other type of injury, traumatic brain injuries can be mild, moderate, or severe. In the best-case scenario, someone may simply experience low-grade swelling. But in more severe cases, a person’s skull may be fractured, compromising their cognitive faculties and ability to perform everyday tasks.
Truck accidents are sometimes responsible for causing these sorts of injuries. After all, semi-trucks—like most commercial vehicles—are considerably larger than other forms of private transportation. If you get hit by a fully loaded semi-truck, you are bearing the cumulative force of tens of thousands of pounds of machinery, mechanical parts, and cargo.
The Different Types of Traumatic Head and Brain Injury
There are two different types of traumatic head injury:
- Open-head injuries, when a fracture or other injury penetrates the skull and causes bone fragments to pierce the brain; and
- Closed-head injuries, which do not result in cranial fractures but can still lead to severe injury and impairment.
Common Traumatic Head and Brain Injuries
Truck crashes can cause a variety of serious injuries, including several types of traumatic head and brain injuries. They include:
- Concussions. These can be caused by a blow to the head or severe shaking. A concussion can manifest through physical signs, such as headache and nausea. Severe concussions can also cause mental and cognitive problems, such as trouble concentrating or remembering past events.
- Skull fractures. When the force of impact causes the bones of the skull to break, you have a skull fracture. Surgery is often required after a skull fracture, especially if doctors believe that fragments of the cranium have displaced into the brain.
- Hematoma. When excessive internal bleeding causes the blood vessels to clot, it can cause a hematoma. When clotting is too excessive, it can cause the brain to swell, potentially leading to permanent brain damage.
- Hemorrhages. Hemorrhages are excessive, uncontrollable bleeding in the brain and can be serious, potentially fatal events.
- Other traumatic brain injuries. Any type of brain injury can impact almost every facet of a person’s life. Someone who has a serious traumatic brain injury may lose verbal, spatial, and visual function, as well as their practical independence.
Why You Need an Attorney
If you are trying to take care of a loved one with a serious brain injury, you already know how expensive and time-consuming treatment can be. You may have to reduce your work hours or hire outside assistance to ensure that your loved one receives the right care and attention.
But if you are planning to pursue compensation through the truck company’s insurance agency, you will likely be offered a settlement that is not adequate to meet your long-term needs.
Missouri truck accident lawyers know the trucking industry’s rule-book inside and out. We are experts in identifying the cause of an accident, determining liability, and pursuing a settlement that not only covers your loved one’s past medical expenses but the costs of their future care, too. You may be able to collect damages for medical expenses, in-home care services, and even emotional pain and suffering.
Since Missouri does not have a hard cap on damages in personal injury and accident claims, your attorney will calculate your damages and present the insurance company with a fair settlement offer. If they are unwilling to negotiate, we can take them—and the trucking company—to court.
Why You Can’t Afford to Wait Too Long
Missouri has a statute of limitations that governs how long a truck accident victim or their family members have to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you wait too long to seek relief, you may never get it. Once the statute of limitations passes, you will no longer be able to pursue your claim, even if you have the best legal counsel and the best evidence.