Semi-trucks are bigger and heavier than anything else on the road.
When truck accidents happen, they do severe damage to whatever and whomever they come across.
And more often than not, truck accident injuries are more severe than those suffered in car-on-car wrecks.
Truck accidents are incredibly scary because they’re more likely to result in death or serious injury than accidents between passenger cars.
A tractor-trailer can weigh more than 30,000 pounds, which means your passenger car won’t put up much of a fight.
The average passenger vehicle weighs only around 4,000 pounds.
But aside from the weight factor, the driver in a large commercial truck is usually riding high up in the cab, while the driver and passengers of the car are much lower to the ground, protecting the truck driver from injury.
These factors and more can lead to devastating results if you’re in an accident with a tractor-trailer.
From internal injuries to broken bones, cuts, brain injuries, paralysis, burns, and even death, truck accident injuries can inflict excruciating pain.
You need an experienced and knowledgeable Atlanta truck accident lawyer.
In the article below, we will discuss several of the most common truck accident injuries.
Truck Accident Statistics
All accidents involving semi-trucks are much more likely to result in death or serious injury than accidents between passenger vehicles.
And, they are far more dangerous to those in the car than in the truck.
The National Institute of Traffic and Highway Safety reports that 73 percent of all tractor-trailer accident injuries and fatalities are suffered by people in the vehicle hit by the truck.
The truck drivers often make it out without injury.
The truck drivers themselves are a major contributing factor in more than half of all truck accidents, with speed being the most common cause of truck accidents in the country.
If you’ve suffered an injury in a truck accident, you’re likely in a position to seek compensation for the truck driver’s negligence and the harm it has caused.
But it’s not all bad.
Even though more trucks are on U.S. roads now than ten years ago, there are fewer tractor-trailer-related fatalities and accident injuries today.
Here are a few more nationwide truck accident statistics, taken from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- One percent of truck crashes are fatal.
- Twenty-three percent of semi-truck accidents result in injury.
- Truck crash injuries accounted for eight percent of all fatal crashes and three percent of all automobile injuries in the U.S.
- Sixty-three percent of tractor-trailer accidents occur on rural roads.
- A truck colliding with another vehicle was the first event in 74 percent of tractor-trailer wrecks.
- Truck rollovers were the initial crash event in only five percent of accidents.
Want to know more about how to drive around trucks? Read our blog post, “How to Share the Road with Semi-Trucks.”
Common Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents
Truck accidents are usually caused by driver error, either yours or the truck drivers. Many of these accidents are preventable.
These are the two most common causes of truck accidents:
Trucking companies often require their drivers to deliver goods to a particular destination within a strict time frame.
That means that quite often, truck drivers are traveling long distances with few breaks and little rest.
The number of miles a driver has to complete often requires several days on the road, leaving the drivers with little time to sleep and take breaks.
And their quality of sleep isn’t always adequate on the road, either.
As a result, they lose concentration, focus, and coordination while they’re driving.
Truck drivers are slower to react to road situations, and the likelihood of them falling asleep while driving goes way up.
Fortunately, there are laws and regulations in place to restrict the hours a trucker can drive in a single shift, how much sleep is required during their trip, and when rest breaks must be taken.
However, many companies and drivers don’t follow these rules, and driver fatigue remains a big problem.
Distracted driving is a problem for everyone everywhere.
It occurs is when a driver is focused on an activity that diverts their attention away from their primary task of driving.
We all know that driving long distances can be boring and dull, and that’s all truck drivers do.
To make it worse, truck drivers may not have a good radio signal in rural areas, only adding to the boredom.
Boredom often leads a trucker to risk texting, checking their phone for a podcast or music, eating, or doing something else to stay awake.
Even if there is a good signal on the radio, the simple act of finding a radio station they want to listen to takes the driver’s eyes and concentration off the road.
Types of Truck Accident Injuries
Tractor-trailer accident injuries can be catastrophic.
If you’re in an accident with a semi-truck and survive, it could still leave you with horrific injuries that could take years or decades to recover from.
Many truck accident victims who survive their accidents still find themselves with a decreased quality of life for years after.
The most common types of truck accident injuries that cause this pain and suffering include:
Back and Neck Injuries
These injuries can include minor neck or back pain and more severe injuries, like dislocated discs in the spine.
Your back and neck are critical in just about every movement you make, so these injuries can prevent you from returning to work and daily activities.
During a truck accident, the impact is powerful, so you have a much better chance of breaking bones in a semi-truck accident than in a wreck involving just cars.
Trauma to your head in a truck accident can result in a brain injury, which may be life-altering.
Brain injuries can even occur if you didn’t experience direct trauma to the head due to an injury like whiplash.
Head, brain, and neck injuries aren’t always immediately apparent, and sustaining a brain injury does not mean being knocked unconscious.
Symptoms that will eventually develop can include confusion, nausea, vision problems, and various cognitive difficulties.
Head injuries are some of the most unfortunate injuries sustained in truck accidents, causing a loss of cognitive and motor functions.
Some people are never the same after suffering a brain injury.
It’s not uncommon for blunt trauma from truck crashes to cause internal bleeding to organs like the bladder, liver, kidney, pancreas, and spleen.
These injuries are challenging to treat and life-threatening. That’s why you should always see a doctor after an accident.
Since a semi-truck is obviously larger, it often causes more damage upon impact than a passenger car would.
That creates a greater risk of rupturing fuel tanks.
A vehicle fire can spread fast, engulfing both the truck and surrounding passenger cars.
The vehicle’s driver and passengers in the accident with the truck could suffer painful burns that can leave permanent disfigurement.
Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis
Truck accident injuries to the spinal cord are especially devastating, often leading to paralysis.
However, the damage to your spinal cord isn’t always initially apparent.
This is why anyone who suffers an injury in a truck accident should still get medical attention as soon as possible, no matter how they feel afterward.
You want to be sure to get any injuries to the spinal cord treated as soon as possible.
Amputation and Disfigurement
Amputation or disfigurement could happen because of the impact alone.
It could also be the result of another injury like a severe burn.
If you need an amputation or suffer disfigurement, you will likely require continuing medical treatment.
You might also need adaptive devices like prosthetics to function in your daily life.
Some victims even need caretakers to assist with their daily needs, and those costs add up fast.
Never sell yourself short after an accident.
Make sure you work with a lawyer that will work for the money you’ll need to be well-cared for throughout the rest of your life.
The unfortunate truth is that thousands of people die each year in truck accidents.
Tractor-trailer accidents are ten times more likely to kill you than crashes with other cars.
If you’ve lost someone you love in a truck accident, it might be wise to consider a wrongful death lawsuit.
Although no amount of money can bring your family member back, a wrongful death claim is meant to compensate survivors of someone who died prematurely because of another person’s negligence.
When a truck accident kills a loved one, you need an experienced truck accident attorney that can hold the company responsible.
Your lawyer will never be able to replace what you have lost. But they can still seek the compensation necessary for your family to try to move forward.
You will likely have unpaid bills from medical costs associated with the crash, funeral expenses for your loved one, and other damages, including your pain and suffering.
What Should You Do After A Truck Accident Injury?
If you or a loved one is ever injured in a truck accident, the first thing you need to do is get the medical attention you need.
After that, the bills will begin to arrive, and you will need a plan to cover costs. That’s why finding a truck accident lawyer who can get you the compensation you deserve is the second thing you should do after your accident.
Personal injury lawyers specializing in truck accidents will be experienced in determining future long-term costs associated with severe injuries and will include them in the calculations for your compensation.
They’ll also know how to handle the trucking companies and any other responsible parties, and they will hold them accountable.
By getting the personal injury lawyer you need, you can be closer to physical and financial recovery.
If you need a lawyer after a truck accident, contact the Angell Law Firm today. They will stop at nothing to get you the compensation you deserve.
Bryce is considered a highly esteemed trial lawyer and a passionate client advocate amongst his peers in the Atlanta legal community. Never afraid to go the extra mile for his clients, Bryce Angell works tirelessly to ensure that each client’s personal injury case gets the attention that it deserves.