A typical truck weighs over 30,000 pounds, while passenger cars weigh about 3000 pounds. You are more susceptible to sustaining serious injuries in a truck accident due to the weight of a truck and the fact that the driver sits higher up in their cab than you.
Usually, truck accidents cause fatal injuries to victims. Even if you survive the incident, you could suffer from long-term impairments, financial hardships, emotional distress, and a lower quality of life. You want to bring a lawsuit, especially if someone else's negligence led to your accident.
At the Foos Gavin Law Firm, we can help you gather evidence to show that someone else’s negligence caused the truck accident. We will fight for your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation. Read along to learn the various truck accident injuries we could chase damages.
Various Laceration Types
A laceration is a wound caused by a sharp object, such as a glass or metal, tearing through the skin. In the context of truck accidents, lacerations are common injuries that various factors can cause.
For example, if a truck collides with a car, the impact force can cause debris to fly through the air and strike the vehicle's occupants, leading to lacerations. Similarly, if a truck rolls over, the occupants of the truck can be thrown around inside the cab and sustain lacerations from coming into contact with sharp objects.
Over 250,000 car fires occur yearly in the United States, resulting in hundreds, if not thousands, of fatalities. In Sacramento, CA, automobile fires claim more lives annually than apartment fires. The number of survivors, many of whom have severe burn damage, is over 50,000. A substantial fraction of road accident fires are caused by truck accidents.
The most frequent ignition sources in a truck-auto accident are fuel tanks damaged in rear-end accidents, sparks from severed or shorted wiring, and gas leaks from punctured hoses or lines. Car fires spread fast and engulf an entire vehicle in flames before the occupants can flee, regardless of the cause. These dangerous, high-temperature fires could cause burn injuries to truck accident victims or rescuers who save them.
Burns are categorized based on the victim's age, location, depth, and amount of tissue damage they cause. The total body surface area that has been burned is calculated for adult victims using a "Rule of Nines" chart, which divides the body into sections representing 9% of its surface area. A Lund-Browder chart calculates a burn's total surface area for children, considering that their body proportions differ from adults.
Burn injuries can be categorized as follows:
First-degree burns. These burns are the least severe and injure the victim's epidermis, the outer skin layer. First-degree burns typically take a few days to heal.
Second-degree burns. These burns damage the dermis and are more severe than burns of the first degree. Additionally, the burns harm sweat glands and hair follicles.
Third-degree burns. These burns are more severe than burns of the first and second degrees. The burns obliterate the dermis, epidermis, and nerve endings.
Fourth-degree burns. All skin layers are damaged by fourth-degree burns, which also harm tendons, bones, and muscles.
Beyond the reconstructive surgery required to simply restore basic functions, burn victims may require cosmetic surgery, depending on the severity of their injuries, to regain their sense of self-worth. Many people decide to pursue compensation because of the severe effects of burns on victims and the hefty cost of many of these surgeries.
Compensation for Burn Injuries
Anyone responsible for the accident might be liable if burns were sustained in a truck collision. In addition to receiving compensation for lost wages and any impairment in their earning potential, they are also entitled to past, present, and future medical expenses related to their burns. Damages for softer types of harm, such as pain, and suffering, are also recoverable.
Internal Organ Injuries
Any wound or damage experienced inside the body is an internal injury. Internal injury can frequently be concealed beneath or disguised by the consequences of exterior wounds and being enclosed. The blood and bruising from an external wound can mask the visible signs of an internal wound. For instance, blood from a chest wound may collect over a clear puncture wound in the belly. It is challenging to distinguish between blood from the laceration and blood from a deeper wound brought on by the puncture into the abdomen since the blood from the two sources mix.
An otherwise "fixable" injury could prove fatal if an internal injury is not promptly identified or is completely disregarded. Furthermore, even if the injuries are discovered quickly, they frequently necessitate significant surgery, which carries additional hazards.
Types of Internal Injuries Truck Accidents Cause
Depending on the nature and circumstances of the impact, a truck accident victim may sustain various interior injuries. The most typical ones are:
Your blood veins, arteries, and internal organs might suffer blunt trauma and perforation damage in a truck accident. When this happens, there will be a lot of bleeding. If the bleeding source isn't discovered and stopped immediately, you risk dying without seeing a drop of blood. If an artery is cut or perforated, internal bleeding can kill you in minutes if it is not stopped.
If your ribs are broken in a vehicle accident, you could find it difficult to breathe, move, or even unwind when lying down. In more severe situations, cracked ribs may cause punctures to the lungs or other protective organs.
Every organ in your body has a specific, vital job to do. A wounded organ cannot perform its normal functions and keep your body functioning as it should.
Internal organs are generally sensitive. The most vital ones, the heart, lungs, and brain, are somewhat shielded by bone, but other abdominal organs can readily be pierced, crushed, or hurt in a vehicle accident.
Depending on the injured organ, it might need to be mended or removed entirely. Even worse, your heart, lungs, and brain are still susceptible despite the protection offered by the ribs and the skull. In reality, the protective shell can become a weapon of death when a significant impact forces these bones to fracture since the sharp fragments can pierce and puncture the inside organs.
The kidneys may sustain damage and bleed internally during a truck collision if the lower back or flank region is struck or touched. A kidney transplant or dialysis may be necessary to treat renal damage caused by a truck accident.
Due to the intensity of the collision or the impact during an accident, the liver may be ripped. Internal bleeding may result from this, needing to be repaired surgically immediately. Damage to the liver can be devastating if neglected.
In a truck accident, the spleen may be hurt or ruptured, causing internal bleeding that causes the abdomen to bleed profusely. Splenic rupture frequently necessitates surgery and can be fatal if left untreated.
Compensation for Internal Organ Injuries
Internal organ injuries may result in high medical costs and lost productivity at work. A victim might even lose the ability to engage in particular recreational activities and have their career prospects harmed. Among other damages, they are entitled to reimbursement for their medical care, lost wages and earning potential, pain and suffering, and lost quality of life.
Trucking companies and insurers offer little compensation to settle a case quickly and affordably. However, this may not fully reflect the effects of internal injuries. Victims might think about getting legal representation to bring a lawsuit. This typically increases their chances of getting compensated fairly.
Broken and Fractured Bones
An abrupt impact from a truck collision could fracture or destroy a victim's bones. Some injuries happen when a truck runs over a passenger car or pushes it into another car or item, crushing it. When a sufferer experiences whiplash—a violent jolt forward and backward—broken bones may also happen.
Vertebrae are susceptible to breaking due to pressure on the spinal column. At the point of impact, bones may break when a victim collides with interior car components like the dashboard or steering wheel.
Common Bones Fractured in Truck Accidents
Although any bone can fracture in an accident, the most typical places where people may experience fractures are described below:
Skull and Facial Fractures. Most skull and facial fractures occur when a driver is not buckled up and hits the windshield during an accident. Significant skull fractures may result in problems such as brain damage.
Pelvis Fractures. Pelvic fractures can occur in car accidents but are more common in motorcycle accidents. A pelvic fracture will probably require bed rest and physical therapy to recover from.
Hip Fractures. Your thigh bone and pelvis are joined at the hip by a joint. Falls or automobile accidents can fracture the hip. You may need emergency surgery to secure the bones in place with plates or screws and physical therapy to aid in your recovery of mobility because the hip is a complex structure.
Back Fractures. Vertebral fractures and disc tears are frequent injuries in head-on or rear-end collisions. Most of these fractures can be treated with rest, physical therapy, and a back brace, but occasionally surgery may be required to restore the surrounding soft tissues and broken bones.
Arm Bone Fractures. Three bones make up your arms: the humerus in the upper arm, the radius, and the ulna in the lower arm. When you instinctively reach out in front to brace yourself in a collision, a fracture can occur to any of these bones. Arm fractures are common in auto accidents and typically heal with casting.
Types of Fractures
A fracture may occur in many ways. The following are some of the most typical fracture types in auto accidents:
Transverse fractures. A bone can transversely fracture into two pieces. Most of the time, the bones will fracture at a 90-degree angle. There may be a need for surgery and immobilization for transverse fractures.
Stress fractures. These fractures, which resemble buckled bones, frequently affect young infants. One side of the bone breaks when there is a stress fracture, while the other buckles. The injured limb must typically be immobilized with a cast, boot, or splint for stress fractures.
Oblique fractures. An oblique fracture is a diagonal break in the bone that can happen when the bone is stabilized before being bent under force. Surgery is usually necessary for an oblique fracture to realign the bones and secure them with screws.
Hairline fractures. A minor break in the bone is known as a hairline fracture. In certain instances, a victim may think the discomfort is brought simply by bruising, allowing the crack to persist until medical attention is sought.
Compound fracture. When a bone fractures and protrudes through the skin, it suffers from a complex fracture. The seriousness of compound fractures necessitates rapid surgery and medications to prevent infection.
Comminuted fracture. This happens when a bone splits into three or more pieces, usually after applying a lot of stress. In many cases, comminuted fractures are irreparable, necessitating amputation of the damaged limb.
Whiplash is a type of neck injury that is commonly associated with car accidents, including those involving trucks. It occurs when the head and neck are suddenly and violently thrown in one direction and then in the opposite direction, like the cracking of a whip. This rapid back-and-forth movement can cause the neck's muscles, ligaments, and tendons to stretch beyond their normal range of motion, leading to pain, stiffness, and other symptoms.
Amputation and Disfigurement
In Sacramento, automobile accidents frequently result in disfigurement and amputation injuries. In such accidents, the impact force can be so strong that it disables limbs or permanently damages the body.
Understanding what injuries fall under this category according to California law is crucial.
Amputation means amputating a limb. This covers everything, including the arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, and ears. Amputations may be necessary due to infection after an accident, particularly ones involving huge trucks and tractor-trailers, to preserve a patient's life and save a leg.
Permanent harm to the skin, muscles, fascia, ligaments, or bones is considered disfigurement. It might result from burns, nerve damage, lacerations and scarring, abrasions, or other significant wounds, and plastic surgery might be necessary to undo the harm partially.
Amputation Or Disfigurement Injuries Are Unique
Amputations and disfigurement injuries are distinct from most other accident injuries because they cause long-lasting, irreversible harm. Most accident-related injuries result in temporary limitations on one's capacity to lead a normal life, financial losses, initial pain and suffering, and some loss of wages. The main differences between amputation and disfigurement injuries are the increased medical costs paid and the long-term physical and psychological pressures experienced.
An amputation could mean:
Reduction in the enjoyment of sports and other activities.
Permanent loss of the ability to generate income.
Physical treatment and rehabilitation.
Relearning some physical skills.
Placing a prosthetic limb in place.
Psychological and physical trauma.
Limited physical mobility.
A disfigurement injury can mean:
A prerequisite for cosmetic surgery.
Extensive aftercare medical services.
Psychological and physical trauma.
Embarrassment or lack of self-esteem.
Limited physical mobility.
Both times, there will probably be significant medical expenses, especially when you factor in the required follow-up and ongoing care.
Claims Based on Amputations in Truck Accidents
Any party responsible for the victim's amputation may be liable for economic and non-economic damages. Non-economic damages try to compensate for a victim's intangible losses, while economic damages consider any monetary costs associated with the accident. For those who have suffered an amputation, some possible damages include:
Loss of enjoyment, especially if you cannot partake in pre-accident activities.
Psychological stress, for example, anxiety and depression.
Pain and suffering.
Lost wages and future ability to earn.
Spinal Cord Injuries
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, car accidents are the most common reason for spinal cord injuries, notably those involving big trucks. The force of impact in a truck accident is frequently substantially more than in a smaller automobile wreck since commercial trucks are so much heavier than passenger vehicles. Because of this, the resulting harms, like spinal cord injuries, are also substantially more severe.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that over 300,000 truck accidents occur annually in the United States, killing nearly 4,000 people and injuring 100,000 more. If an average-sized passenger car collides with an average-sized commercial truck that weighs more than 10,000 pounds, the impact is like a bulldozer.
When rear-ended truck accident victims hit a car or an object in front of them, they risk spinal cord injuries. Vertebrae in the spine and neck can fracture, paralyzing a person from the neck down.
Passengers in the salon car could be pushed or tossed in such a way that the spinal cord's mid and lower vertebrae fracture. Such injuries often result in paraplegia or quadriplegia for the victims. While people with quadriplegia can lose functionality from their neck and shoulders to their toes, people with paraplegia commonly lose feeling and ability from their waist area down to their toes. Victims become unable to breathe on their own, experience bowel and urine incontinence, and are unable to walk or move their limbs.
Head and Brain Injuries
In a truck accident, you could sustain different head injuries, including:
Open Head Injuries
These wounds develop when the head of a truck accident victim collides with a hard interior object, like the windshield, dash, or steering wheel. This frequently causes skull fractures and puncture wounds, which can cause further health issues like infections.
Closed Head Injuries
These are the most frequent truck accident injuries, which happen when the brain collides with the skull's interior. This generally occurs in a truck accident when a huge commercial vehicle rear-ends a passenger car. The accident victim's head may quickly jolt forward due to the power of the hit, pushing the brain up against the skull. This may result in fluid on the brain, hemorrhage, edema, and tissue damage.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Even though truck accidents can result in a wide range of illnesses, traumatic brain injuries are among the most serious. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that motor vehicle accidents account for 14% of all emergency room and hospitalizations for traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Traumatic Brain Injury Types
The two most common motor vehicle incidents resulting in brain injuries are front and rear-end truck collisions. Any part of the brain or head, such as the stem and skull, can be affected by traumatic brain injuries or TBIs.
Mild traumatic brain injuries
The least serious sort of brain injury is a mild TBI. When injury results in either no loss of consciousness or a very brief loss of consciousness, measured in seconds to a few minutes, the TBI is classified as mild. An example of a mild brain injury is a concussion.
Moderate traumatic brain injuries
When someone loses consciousness between a few minutes and a few hours, they have had a moderate TBI. Physical, cognitive, and behavioral deficits may follow and linger for months or become permanent. Confusion may last for days or weeks.
Severe traumatic brain injuries
Severe TBIs impair truck accident victims' logic, memory, and communication capacities. Headaches, impaired vision, forgetfulness, lightheadedness, and sleeplessness are typical symptoms. Seizures, vomiting, lack of coordination, and slurred speech can all be symptoms of severe brain injuries.
Find a Competent Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
Few crashes pose a greater risk to your life than truck accidents. Truck-accident-related injuries have the potential to alter your life permanently. You may be entitled to compensation if you are seriously hurt after being hit by a truck. You might not be aware of the truck driver's possible violations because of the traumatic events that followed the accident.
We thoroughly understand the regulations governing truck operations at Foos Gavin Law Firm. We can assist you in determining the role that various at-fault parties had in the collision and help you file a personal injury claim for damages. We are dedicated to serving customers looking to file claims after being involved in truck accidents in Sacramento, California. Call us at 916-779-3500, and let us help you with the claim.