Due to a semi-truck’s massive size and weight, trucking accidents can result in severe injuries and devastating physical, emotional, and financial repercussions for the victims.
After sustaining a severe injury in a truck accident, you must contact a seasoned truck accident lawyer to discuss your accident and injuries. You can recover compensation for them. The best way to secure that compensation is to speak with an attorney.
Common Types of Truck Accident Injuries
If you are in a smaller car or SUV during a truck crash, you are likely to suffer severe injuries. An 80,000-pound semi-truck can crush a small vehicle, with traumatic and chaotic consequences for car occupants.
Some common injuries from truck collisions include:
Head and Brain Injuries
Trucking accidents can cause traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and head trauma due to the force of impact. Victims may experience concussions, skull fractures, or even more severe injuries like hemorrhages or contusions. These injuries can result in long-term cognitive impairments, memory loss, personality changes, headaches, seizures, and motor skill deficiencies.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The violence of trucking accidents can lead to spinal cord injuries, which often have life-altering consequences. Victims may suffer from partial or complete paralysis, depending on the severity and location of the injury. Spinal cord injuries can profoundly impact a person’s mobility, independence, and overall quality of life.
Sometimes a truck accident crushes limbs so severely that surgeons must amputate them. Other times, the accident severs the limb. Either way, an amputation in a truck accident causes significant damage.
Neck and Back Injuries
Whiplash, herniated discs, and spinal fractures are common neck and back injuries sustained in trucking accidents. These injuries can result in chronic pain, limited mobility, and long-term complications. Victims may require extensive medical treatment, including physical therapy, chiropractic care, or surgical intervention.
Broken Bones and Fractures
The sheer extreme force of a trucking accident can lead to multiple bone fractures and breaks. Victims may suffer broken limbs, ribs, collarbones, arms, legs, or facial fractures. Fractures may require surgeries, prolonged immobilization, and rehabilitation to facilitate proper healing. In severe cases, victims may experience long-term complications or disability.
Internal Injuries and Bleeding
Trucking accidents can cause internal injuries, which may not be immediately apparent but can have serious consequences. These injuries include organ damage, internal bleeding, ruptured organs, or damage to the gastrointestinal system. Internal injuries may require immediate medical attention and surgical intervention to prevent death.
Burns and Lacerations
Victims of accidents involving fuel trucks or hazardous materials may suffer severe burns. Exposure to fire or chemicals can cause disfiguring burns, requiring extensive medical treatment, including skin grafts and reconstructive surgeries. Additionally, victims may sustain deep lacerations from broken glass, debris, or metal fragments, leading to scarring and potential infections.
Psychological and Emotional Trauma
Trucking accidents can leave victims with profound psychological and emotional trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and phobias are common psychological consequences of such traumatic events. These emotional injuries can significantly affect a person’s mental well-being, relationships, and ability to resume daily activities.
Tragically, some trucking accidents result in fatalities. These devastating incidents leave families grieving the loss of their loved ones. The surviving family members can pursue a wrongful death claim to seek justice and compensation for their immeasurable loss.
Prompt medical attention helps establish a causal link between the truck accident and your injuries. Medical professionals can thoroughly evaluate your condition, identify specific injuries, and provide expert opinions on the connection between the accident and the harm suffered. This medical evidence is invaluable when proving negligence or fault in a legal claim.
Seeking medical attention after a truck accident is essential for protecting your legal rights. Every state has a specific deadline, known as the statute of limitations, for filing a personal injury claim, such as those arising from a truck accident.
By promptly seeking medical attention, you ensure doctors correctly diagnose, treat, and document your injuries within the required timeframe. Failing to seek timely medical attention may jeopardize your ability to seek compensation for your injuries.
Receiving prompt medical attention not only aids in your recovery but also significantly helps maximize the compensation you may deserve.
Comprehensive medical documentation provides a clear picture of the extent of your injuries, necessary treatments, and ongoing medical expenses. This evidence helps your legal team negotiate with insurance companies or present a strong case in court, seeking fair compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Seeking immediate medical attention increases the chances of early detection and intervention of severe and life-altering injuries, aiding in a more successful recovery. Timely medical care can prevent complications, manage pain, and facilitate rehabilitation, promoting your overall well-being and quality of life in the long term.
Damages in a Truck Accident Claim
Damages are the amount of money you seek based on your accident-related bills and expenses, injuries, and other ways you have suffered.
Most large truck accident victims seek monetary recovery for:
Your damages include all of your accident and injury-related medical and related other expenses, both already incurred and expected in the future.
Include the following:
- Doctor’s visits
- Emergency care
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Rehabilitative therapy, such as physical therapy
- Medical and assistive devices
- Home health aides to assist
- Retrofitting your home, such as the necessary construction of a wheelchair ramp
Your truck accident attorney can consider other expenses you might forget.
You can seek compensation for past and future income lost from work. This can include income lost due to the crash or the time you need to recover and heal or attend related medical appointments.
Your lost income can include:
- Reduced earning capacity: In some cases, the injuries sustained in a truck accident may result in long-term or permanent impairments that affect your ability to perform your job at the same capacity as before the accident. Suppose your earning potential decreases due to the injuries. In that case, you can seek compensation for the reduction in your future earning capacity.
- Lost business opportunities: If you are self-employed or own a business, a truck accident may disrupt your ability to generate income. Lost business opportunities, contracts, or projects that you cannot pursue or complete due to the accident and resulting injuries can be part of your claim.
- Bonuses, overtime, and benefits: When assessing lost income, it’s essential to consider the base salary and any additional earnings and benefits you should have received if the truck accident had not occurred. This includes bonuses, overtime pay, commissions, and other employment benefits directly impacted by your inability to work.
- Future earnings: If your injuries permanently impact your ability to work or limit your career prospects, you may be entitled to compensation for the future earnings you should have reasonably expected had the accident not occurred. Calculating future earnings involves assessing your age, occupation, education, work experience, and anticipated career trajectory.
You may seek compensation for damaged, destroyed, or lost property. This can include your vehicle, wedding ring, bicycle, groceries in your car, or anything else of value.
Pain and Suffering
Since truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, you deserve recovery for your pain and suffering, humiliation, mental anguish, and the loss of enjoyment of life if you cannot do things you once enjoyed.
Loss of Consortium
You can also pursue damages on behalf of your spouse if the truck crash affected your marriage or rendered you unable to maintain intimate relationships.
You may also recover additional damages. When you review your case with an experienced truck accident lawyer, they can ensure that you recover compensation for all reasonable expenses and losses.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, including truck accident cases, refers to the legal deadline for a person to file a lawsuit seeking compensation. The specific statute of limitations can vary depending on the state where the accident occurred and other details.
Consider the following:
- State laws: Each state has its own laws that govern the statute of limitations for personal injury cases. These laws set forth the time limits for an injured party to file a lawsuit. The statutes of limitations can vary from state to state, ranging from one to six years or more.
- Discovery rule: In some cases, the statute of limitations may be “tolled” or paused if the injury wasn’t immediately discoverable. This is known as the discovery rule. For instance, if an individual has exposure to a toxic substance in a truck accident that later causes an illness, the statute of limitations may begin when the illness is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered rather than when the exposure occurred.
- Minors: The statute of limitations may be longer for truck accidents involving minors. In many jurisdictions, the clock starts ticking when the child reaches the age of majority (18 years old). This allows them to file a lawsuit within a certain number of years after turning 18, no matter when the injury occurred.
- Government entities: When filing a personal injury claim against a government entity or agency, such as a city or state, there may be specific rules and deadlines to follow. These can include shorter statutes of limitations and notice requirements, which must be strictly adhered to to preserve the right to sue.
Failing to file a lawsuit within the prescribed time limit can result in the court dismissing your claim, barring you from seeking compensation for your injuries.
To know which statute of limitations will apply to your case, consult a knowledgeable truck accident attorney as soon as possible after an injury.
Your lawyer can explain the applicable statute of limitations, start your claim within the appropriate time frame, and guide you through the legal process to protect your rights and maximize your chances of obtaining full and fair compensation for your injuries. You can rely on your lawyer to be a trusted advocate during this difficult time.
Contact a Skilled Truck Accident Attorney Today
Truck accidents can cause many types of injuries, varying in severity and long-term implications and damages. Truck accident victims should seek prompt medical attention and comprehensive care to address their injuries and avoid unnecessary complications.
Additionally, consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to navigate the legal complexities and ensure fair compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial damages.