Big Rig Accident Lawyer Talks About the Devastating Consequences
The sheer size and weight of trucks means they can and often do cause serious damages and multiple fatalities in the event of accidents. Nearly 4,000 people are killed and 130,000 more are injured in commercial truck crashes each year in the United States. The survivors often sustain catastrophic injuries that leave them disabled for many years or even a lifetime. If you have sustained catastrophic injuries in an accident, you may pursue compensation for your damages with help from a skilled big rig accident lawyer.
Catastrophic injuries resulting from truck accidents include traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries, paralysis, severe burn injuries and amputation injuries.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most common injuries resulting from truck accidents. It usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. Mild TBI can cause a few minutes to several days of unconsciousness and a change of mental state. Severe TBI can result in long periods of unconsciousness, coma and even death.
Physical symptoms of severe TBI include repeated vomiting and nausea, convulsions or seizures, weakness or numbness in the fingers and toes, inability to wake up from sleep and loss of coordination. Cognitive or mental symptoms include profound confusion, slurred speech, agitation, unusual behavior and coma. Many victims suffer from lifelong mental or physical impairment makes them unable to work and live a meaningful life.
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
The spinal cord is a complex mass of nerves that runs down the middle of the back. A spinal cord injury (SCI) usually occurs because of a sudden severe blow to the spinal cord. This can impair sensory and motor function, and even result in partial or complete paralysis.
There are two classes of SCI: complete injury and incomplete injury. In a complete injury, nerve signals cannot travel past the injured area, resulting in a total loss of sensation and muscle function in the areas below the injury. In an incomplete injury, nerve signals can travel past the injured area, resulting in partial loss of sensation and muscle function. SCI often causes paralysis of the body below the injured area.
- Severe Burn Injuries
When a collision with a truck results in a fire, occupants of involved vehicles can sustain severe burn injuries. Burns are classified according to their severity: first degree, second degree, third degree and fourth degree. First degree burns affect only the outer layer of skin; the burn site is red, painful and with no blisters. Second degree burns result in blisters and some thickening of the skin and moderate pain. Third degree burns result in widespread thickness with a white and leathery appearance. Fourth degree burns are like third degree burns, but they affect tendons and bones, causing extensive damage.
Third and fourth degree burns are severe burns. They cause so much damage to the tissues and nerves that the victim may not feel pain. Severe burns can result in death if not treated in time. Survivors of severe burns are often scarred or disfigured for life.
- Amputation Injuries
Victims of truck accidents often sustain loss-of-limb and amputation injuries. In some cases, the arms and legs of the victims are severed during the accident. In other case, the bones of the arms and legs are so badly damaged by the force of impact that amputation becomes the only option. In both cases, victims end up losing their limbs.
If victims do not receive medical attention quickly, they may bleed to death. Lack of proper treatment can result in infections, which can further aggravate the injury. Victims who lose their limbs become either partially or fully disabled for life. They may also suffer from lifelong trauma, which can wreck their lives.
Severe injuries are often costly in terms of money as well as peace of mind. The good news is that you can get compensation for your damages if you can prove that the other driver was at fault. But the claims process can be complicated, so do not file a claim without talking to a qualified big rig accident lawyer first.