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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (Table 1), big truck accidents injured around 100,000 people in passenger vehicles every year between 2017 and 2020.
Because big trucks weigh so much more than passenger vehicles, people who are involved in accidents with them tend to suffer serious, disabling, and often life-threatening injuries.
Here are some of the most common big truck accident-related injuries.
Even when using seatbelts and in vehicles equipped with airbags, people can suffer severe head and brain injuries when enough force is generated during crashes.
It’s common for truck accident victims to suffer brain injuries not from the blunt trauma of their heads contacting their steering wheels or dashboards, but from the sudden deceleration (such as when hit while in motion) or acceleration (such as when hit while stopped) of their crashes. The force of those movements can cause victims’ brains to move inside their skulls, which can cause bruising, bleeding, and even death of brain tissue.
In some cases, victims can suffer severe cuts and broken bones in their faces, ears, and heads during crashes—including from impact with airbags.
The sudden deceleration or acceleration that occur during truck accidents can also cause serious injuries to victims’ necks and backs, including their spines. Whiplash is a common injury suffered by truck accident victims due to the often-violent movement of their necks in an impact. In severe cases, victims can suffer spinal cord damage that results in partial or complete paralysis.
Truck accidents also place enormous physical stress on victims’ backs, which are full of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves that can all be damaged or even torn. People who suffer neck and back injuries in truck accidents often develop debilitating pain that can make it difficult or impossible to work or even walk without assistance.
Truck accidents can cause victims to suffer cuts and lacerations anywhere on their bodies. They may be injured by broken glass from their windshields, windows, or mirrors, or even by loose objects inside their vehicles that get thrown at them at high speeds during their crashes.
People who suffer from cuts and lacerations often deal with scarring, which can be disfiguring when it occurs on the hands, head, or face. They also may be at risk of suffering severe bleeding, which can be life-threatening if it isn’t stopped immediately. Some victims even require blood transfusions to replace their lost blood.
Broken bones can occur during truck accidents both from the impact of the crashes (for example, a driver may suffer broken wrists or forearms while holding onto the steering wheel at impact) or from blunt force from contact with the interior of their vehicles during the collisions.
These injuries can range in severity from simple fractures (where the bone breaks but remains inside the skin) to compound fractures (where the bone breaks and breaks through the skin). People who suffer compound fractures need immediate medical assistance due to the significant risk of bleeding and infection.
Because the impact of truck accident collisions is often so intense and violent, passenger vehicles involved in these crashes may catch fire. When victims are seriously injured, they may be unconscious or simply unable to exit their vehicles, especially if they’re severely damaged.
That puts them at extreme risk of being burned or inhaling superheated smoke if flames move from their engine bays to the inside of their vehicles. People who are burned or who suffer from smoke inhalation often need extensive medical treatment, including prolonged stays in hospital burn units and even plastic surgery to repair disfiguring burn scars.
Amputation can result from truck accidents both during the crashes themselves, as well as being medically necessary later due to damage to fingers and limbs. In some cases, victims suffer such extensive damage to their limbs that those limbs must be surgically removed.
All amputations are physically and emotionally traumatic, whether they involve a single finger or an entire arm or leg. People who suffer amputations frequently become partially or totally disabled, which can make it difficult for them to provide for themselves and their families.
It’s rare for someone involved in a crash with a semi-truck to walk away with only minor injuries, let alone emerge unscathed. At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we know all too well the types of catastrophic injuries that big trucks inflict on innocent drivers and passengers in crashes that happen every day all over Ohio.
If you or someone you love was injured in a truck accident, you need experienced and aggressive legal representation to get the money you deserve. Trucking companies, their insurers, and their own legal teams rarely play fair, and it’s their goal to pay victims as little money as possible. Let us be your legal advocates during this confusing and difficult time.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
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