A big rig accident typically involves terrifying physical forces, including a massive difference in weight between the commercial vehicle and smaller cars. This difference may be as stark as several tons, and in these cases, a car or passenger truck doesn’t stand much of a chance. That’s why the rate of serious and fatal injuries tends to be higher when commercial vehicles are involved. In fact, nearly 90 percent of people killed in crashes involving a commercial vehicle are drivers and passengers of other vehicles. And those who survive such a terrifying wreck may face serious complications that linger for the rest of their lives.
WHAT KIND OF INJURIES MAY RESULT FROM A BIG RIG ACCIDENT?
Severe physical trauma is common when a commercial vehicle rams into others. A commercial truck may pin other vehicles against guardrails, run them off the road, or jackknife into them. Even a simple rear-end collision can crumple a compact car and warp its cabin. Crushing injuries are, therefore, common, and people are regularly pinned inside their cars until responders can extricate them from the wreckage. These injuries often include extensive broken bones, including the kind of fractures that lead to permanent loss of strength and mobility. Severed ligaments, organ damage, and deadly internal bleeding can also result from these devastating crashes, and all can lead to permanent complications, such as chronic pain and immobility.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), though, are particularly worrisome, and are frequently seen in victims of truck crashes. During a big rig accident, people inside passenger cars are tossed around, thrown into twisted metal and glass, crushed against the road or the inside the cabin, or even ejected several yards through the air. Such violence can cause severe damage to the brain or spine, and both possess a limited capacity for recovery.
A mild TBI may be a concussion or minor whiplash, and may involve short-term loss of memory or an inability to focus. In general, people can recover from a mild TBI without lingering complications, though multiple TBIs will worsen a victim’s prognosis, no matter how mild they are. Moderate and severe TBIs, though, have much worse outlooks, and are more common when a big rig accident occurs. Brain lesions, vertebrae fractures, and bleeding inside the brain can result in widespread tissue destruction, affecting systems throughout the body. In fact, a serious TBI can have unpredictable and profound effects, like removing a victim’s ability to speak coherently, learn new skills, retain memory, or even stand up straight. Loss of limb function, paralysis, shooting pains, persistent nausea, and shifts in personality are all known complications of moderate and severe TBIs. Victims may become more aggressive, incapable of assessing risk properly, or lose their ability to recognize those they know and love. It is a scary medical condition.
And when a big rig accident harms a victim in such a long lasting way, the driver, their employer, or the vehicle’s manufacturer must be held responsible for any negligence involved on their part. A settlement can help provide for a victim’s medical expenses, suffering, and loss of wages, helping them concentrate on recovering as much as possible.