Truck accidents are no ordinary road mishaps. They often result in catastrophic outcomes, especially for those in smaller vehicles. The colossal size and weight of trucks make accidents involving them particularly devastating.
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, it’s crucial to understand the potential injuries you may have sustained and the legal implications that follow. Truck accidents can result in life-altering injuries due to the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks.
At GJEL Accident Attorneys, we have extensive experience representing victims of truck accidents in California and surrounding neighborhoods, ensuring they receive the compensation they deserve.
Understanding Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are significantly different from other vehicular accidents. Given their sheer size and weight, trucks can cause catastrophic damage, turning lives upside down in neighborhoods across the city of California.
Truck accidents are more common than we’d like to admit. According to National Safety Council, 117,300 large trucks were involved in crashes resulting in an injury, a 12% increase from 2020. Since 2016, the number of trucks involved in injury crashes has increased by 15%, and the involvement rate per 100 million large truck miles driven has increased by 3% to 36. Starting with the 2016 data year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began using a new Crash Report Sampling System (CRSS) to estimate the number of nonfatal crashes. CRSS uses a different sampling design than previous estimates and is not directly comparable to earlier data years.
Common Injuries in a Truck Accident
Ever wondered why truck accidents are usually more devastating? Well, the answer lies in the truck itself. Its enormous size and weight make it a deadly machine on wheels when things go wrong. A truck accident’s impact can lead to severe, sometimes life-threatening, injuries.
Let’s break down some of the most common ones:
1. Head and Brain Injuries
Head and brain injuries are prevalent in truck accidents and can range from concussions to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Even a minor collision can cause head injuries due to the force involved. Symptoms of head injuries include headaches, dizziness, confusion, and memory loss. It can also have life-altering consequences. Victims may experience a range of symptoms, from persistent headaches to cognitive impairment, mood swings, and behavioral changes.
In severe cases, a brain injury can lead to a vegetative state or even death. The road to recovery can be long and challenging, often requiring intensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and therapy. If you or your loved one experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately and contact a truck accident lawyer to assess your legal options.
2. Spinal Cord Injuries
Truck accidents often lead to severe spinal cord injuries that can result in partial or complete paralysis. The impact of a collision can cause damage to the delicate spinal cord, affecting motor and sensory functions. If you suspect a spinal cord injury, refrain from moving and wait for medical professionals to arrive. A prompt diagnosis and treatment are vital for potential recovery and long-term care.
All spinal cord injuries require emergency medical attention. Truly, there is no such thing as minor spinal cord damage. Any spinal cord injury has the potential to cause catastrophic, life-changing damage to the victim. Some of the common effects of a spinal cord injury include:
- Severe pain and suffering;
- Loss of muscle control;
- Loss of full cognitive abilities;
- Personality changes;
- Sexual dysfunction;
- Inability to control bladder or bowels;
- Partial paralysis; and
- Complete paralysis
3. Neck and Back Injuries
In truck accidents, the sudden impact can lead to severe neck and back injuries. These injuries can be debilitating, leading to long-term pain and discomfort. It can involve damage to the bones, muscles, nerves, or other tissues. The severity and implications of these injuries can vary widely, depending on the type and location of the injury.
Neck injuries are among the most difficult types of injuries to recover from. A broken neck can be completely debilitating. To make matters even more challenging, recovery from a neck injury can be an inconsistent, up-and-down process. Victims often require extensive medical and rehabilitative care. The path to rehabilitation can be long and frustrating.
Back injuries are common consequences of truck accidents, often leading to severe pain, mobility issues, and a decreased quality of life. While most back injuries heal themselves, many times, a serious accident can lead to a severe back injury and further medical problems. It can involve damage to any part of the back, including the bones (vertebrae), discs, muscles, and nerves. The type and severity of the injury depend on the nature of the accident, the force involved, and the individual’s health condition.
4. Broken Bones and Fractures
The impact of a truck accident can lead to broken bones and fractures. Broken bones and fractures are injuries where the continuity of the bone is disrupted. They can range from simple fractures, where the bone breaks but doesn’t shift, to complex ones, where the bone shatters into multiple pieces or pierces the skin.
The consequences of broken bones and fractures can be significant. They may require surgery, physical therapy, and a lengthy recovery period. Depending on the location and severity, they can lead to permanent disability, chronic pain, or even life-threatening complications.
Further, such injuries can also cause significant emotional distress and financial strain due to medical bills and loss of income. Prompt medical attention is necessary to set and treat broken bones properly. If you suspect a fracture or broken bone, avoid moving the injured area and wait for medical professionals to provide appropriate care.
5. Internal Injuries
Truck accidents can cause internal injuries, including organ damage, internal bleeding, and punctured lungs. Internal injuries involve damage to internal organs, blood vessels, or internal bones such as the ribs or pelvis. They can be caused by blunt force trauma, penetration injuries, or sudden and severe twisting of the body. These types of injuries, which may not be immediately apparent, can be life-threatening and require urgent medical attention as it can have severe, long-term effects on a person’s health.
Victims of truck accidents who suffer internal injuries may be entitled to compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. It’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help navigate the legal process and pursue the compensation you deserve.
6. Burns and Lacerations
If a truck accident involves a fire or hazardous materials, burns and lacerations can occur. Burns can range from first-degree to third-degree, requiring extensive medical treatment and potential surgeries. Lacerations can lead to severe bleeding and scarring. These injuries can be extremely painful, can lead to significant physical disfigurement, and often necessitate long recovery periods.
Beyond the physical consequences, the victims of such injuries often face psychological challenges, including dealing with changes to their appearance and mental health issues such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The Aftermath of a Truck Accident
Post-accident, victims may face a mountain of medical bills, loss of income due to time off work, and reduced quality of life. Navigating this tumultuous period can be tough, but understanding your legal rights can provide some solace.
The physical trauma is often immediately apparent, but the emotional and financial toll these accidents take on victims, and their families unravel over time, creating a harrowing aftermath. Here are some effects of being involved in a truck accident.
The sheer magnitude of a truck’s size and weight means even a low-speed collision can cause severe, sometimes life-threatening, injuries. Survivors might face a broad spectrum of injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, bone fractures, internal injuries, or even disfigurement.
The road to recovery can be long and arduous, involving surgeries, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and, in some cases, lifelong care. Additionally, the pain and discomfort accompanying these injuries can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, often leading to sleep disorders, appetite changes, and mobility issues.
Beyond the physical injuries, truck accidents often inflict deep emotional and psychological wounds. Survivors might grapple with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, or emotional distress. The traumatic memories of the accident can instigate the fear of driving or even riding in a vehicle, affecting daily routines and independence.
As if the physical and emotional burdens weren’t overwhelming enough, the financial implications can add another layer of stress. The medical costs associated with truck accident injuries can skyrocket, including expenses for hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and psychiatric help for mental trauma.
Moreover, victims often face income loss due to missed work during recovery. In severe cases, if the injuries lead to long-term or permanent disability, the victim might lose the ability to earn a living entirely.
Navigating the Legal Maze
In the midst of this chaos, victims and their families also have to navigate the complex legal system to seek compensation for their injuries. Determining liability in truck accidents can be complicated, involving multiple parties, such as the truck driver, the trucking company, or the manufacturer of a faulty part.
This is where an experienced truck accident attorney becomes invaluable. They can help collect evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent victims in court if necessary.
The aftermath of a truck accident is undeniably challenging, but with a strong support system and the right legal guidance, victims can rebuild their lives and move forward.
Immediate Steps Following a Truck Accident
- 1. Ensure Safety: If possible, move to a safe location away from traffic to prevent further harm.
- 2. Seek Medical Help: Even if injuries are not immediately apparent, it’s crucial to get a medical examination as soon as possible.
- 3. Report the Accident: Notify the police and provide a truthful account of the incident. Obtain a copy of the police report for your records.
- 4. Gather Information: Collect the contact and insurance details of all parties involved. If possible, take photographs of the scene, your injuries, and any damage to your vehicle.
- 5. Consult with a Lawyer: To protect your rights and interests, it’s advisable to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
Legal Implications of Truck Accident Injuries
Truck accident injuries can have significant legal implications. In truck accident cases, multiple parties could potentially be at fault. These include the truck driver, the trucking company, manufacturers of truck parts, and maintenance providers. Each case is unique and requires thorough investigation to determine liability.
Compensation can cover the following:
- Medical Expenses: This includes the costs of immediate medical care, rehabilitation, and future medical costs related to the accident.
- Lost Earnings: If the accident results in your inability to work, either temporarily or permanently, you can claim for lost wages and future loss of earnings.
- Pain and Suffering: This refers to compensation for physical discomfort, and emotional distress suffered as a result of the accident.
- Property Damage: If your vehicle or other property was damaged in the accident, the cost of repair or replacement can be claimed.
Role of Personal Injury Lawyer in Truck Accidents
A skilled personal injury attorney can play a crucial role in a truck accident case. They can help:
- Establish liability by investigating the accident.
- Gather and present evidence to support your claim.
- Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
- Advocate for your rights and interests in court, if necessary.
Choosing the Right Truck Accident Lawyer
Choosing the right attorney is paramount in achieving a favorable outcome. A proficient truck accident attorney should have a deep understanding of injury law, a solid track record, and a willingness to fight for your rights.
GJEL Accident Attorneys is a California Truck Accident Law firm with a 99% success rate. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a semi-truck or commercial truck, we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Accidents happen, but when they involve a truck on California’s highways, the consequences can be devastating. The aftermath of such an incident can be overwhelming – dealing with injuries, medical bills, and loss of income, not to mention emotional trauma. This is where the role of a seasoned truck accident attorney becomes indispensable.
GJEL Accident Attorneys: Your Trusted Partners in Personal Injury Cases
Our firm has decades of experience serving all corners of the city, offering expert legal advice and dedicated representation. We understand the intricacies of truck accident cases and are committed to achieving the justice you deserve.
Contact our skilled truck accident attorneys at GJEL Accident Attorneys today to discuss your case and learn how we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.