The Most Common Serious Injuries in a Trucking Accident
An Overview of Trucking Accidents in the U.S.
Accidents involving large trucks are a far-too-common occurrence in the United States. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that there were 411,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2014 alone. Because of the size and weight of large trucks, these wrecks are much more severe than accidents involving only cars or smaller vehicles.
In fact, according to the FMCSA, 4,000 people are killed each year in trucking accidents, on average. Pedestrians and passenger vehicle occupants account for more than 80% of these fatalities.
Compared to the number of trucking-related fatalities each year, the number of injuries resulting from truck accidents is even higher. After a steady decline starting in 2002, injuries stemming from trucking accidents have been on the rise since 2009, and more than 100,000 people have been injured annually as a result of trucking accidents since 2010.
Common Injuries Associated with Trucking Accidents
While every truck wreck is unique, certain injuries are more common than others in a large truck crash. Below are some of the most common injuries that victims suffer in these collisions.
- Neck and Spinal Injuries: When involved in a trucking accident, a vehicle will usually come to an abrupt and unexpected stop or experience a radical change in direction. This sudden change of momentum can cause a victim’s head to move in unnatural ways, resulting in muscle strains and tears in the neck, spine, and back.The massive force of a truck can also bend or crumple a car’s frame severely, or throw a car with great force into an object such as a tree or concrete median. The resulting injuries to the neck and spinal cord can often leave victims with some degree of permanent paralysis (paraplegia, tetraplegia, monoplegia, or hemiplegia).
- Head and Brain Injuries: In a trucking accident, a victim’s head can suffer an impact with a window, steering wheel, or other object. The resulting trauma might take the form of visible cuts, bruises, or lacerations, but it can also occur as a closed head injury that damages the brain but can’t be detected through a visual inspection of the victim.A closed head injury can take the form of a concussion or a more severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Possible long term effects of TBIs are symptoms such as a change in cognitive ability, memory loss, difficulty focusing, an inability to process emotions, slurred speech, and more. These injuries will often lead to lifelong cognitive disruptions and physical limitations for the victims who suffer them.
- Amputations: Losing one or more limbs or extremities is unfortunately all too common for victims of a trucking accident. Such amputations can occur directly during the accident from crushing or shearing forces, or they can occur later as the result of complications from an injury (for example, if a limb is cut off from adequate blood flow for too long).Victims who suffer from amputations often need to go through extremely intensive recovery and physical therapy processes, and they frequently need to relearn how to perform the most minor daily tasks, such as getting dressed or brushing their teeth. Their activities and mobility will most likely be severely limited compared to what they were before the accident.
Of course, the physical injuries that occur during a truck wreck are often only part of the battle for victims. Many people who survive these crashes deal with emotional and mental health challenges like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety that compound their physical pain and suffering. And many trucking accident victims don’t survive their injuries, leaving behind grieving loved ones who have to deal with loss of companionship and the absence of the victim’s income even as they struggle to pay for funeral expenses and enormous medical costs.
Injured in a Trucking Accident? Contact the Truck Wreck Justice Team Today
If you or your someone you know has suffered the effects of a devastating large truck or bus crash and the medical bills are piling up, Truck Wreck Justice Attorney Morgan Adams is here to help. With years of experience and a sole focus on large vehicle cases, Morgan Adams has the resources to act as your ally and advocate throughout the process of filing and litigating a truck wreck injury claim.
Please contact Truck Wreck Justice at (866) 580-4878 or fill out our online contact form if you need help. We offer free initial consultations to assess your situation and discuss your legal options, and we handle cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that you won’t pay attorney’s fees unless we achieve a financial recovery on your behalf.
Traffic safety facts: 2014 data. (2016, May). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812279
Large truck and bus crash facts 2014. (2016, April 15). Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts-2014