Because of their overwhelming size and weight, motor vehicle accidents involving semi trucks are often very destructive when they occur.
The attorneys at Davis Law Group, P.S., have over 20 years of experience handling these cases. The following are some of the most common types of injuries sustained in a semi-truck accident.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
A Traumatic Brain Injury, often referred to as a TBI, is a very common type of injury after a semi-truck accident. Brain injuries can happen when the skull slams into a hard surface like the dashboard or steering wheel. Even if the bones of the skull don’t fracture, the delicate tissues of the brain can get jostled around inside, causing a concussion or a more serious condition like bleeding inside the skull that can cause permanent brain damage or death if left untreated.
Brain injuries can also be caused by the head whipping back and forth rapidly, which causes the brain to slosh inside your skull and slam against the hard bone. Some brain injuries are diagnosed quickly in the emergency room. Others are harder for doctors to recognize; you may only notice that you have a concussion when you feel dizzy, confused, or have a hard time remembering things in the days or weeks after your accident.
Brain injuries aren’t something you should try to diagnose or treat yourself. Always go to a doctor as soon as possible if you suspect that you have a brain injury.
Semi-truck accidents often cause catastrophic damage to smaller passenger vehicles, and unfortunately, there’s a high likelihood that a crash victim will need to be evaluated in urgent care for potentially broken bones. In a traumatic accident, the damage to the vehicle can impact your bones, causing them to crack, split, or even shatter. In semi-truck accidents, broken bones and other internal injuries can happen not just from the impact of the truck itself, but from subsequent collisions with a guardrail or other nearby vehicles.
While bones can repair themselves over time with help from medical professionals, a broken bone can leave patients with long-term consequences. Victims may end up with temporary or permanent pins, rods, and screws embedded in their bodies. They may need several surgeries to remove bone chips and reset shattered bones that cannot be re-aligned externally, and the bones may also fail to knit properly or may grow back in an incorrect alignment. If your vertebrae – the bones that protect your delicate spinal column – are damaged, you may suffer from long-term pain or disability as bony defects deform your discs or press against your nerves.
Semi-truck accidents are one of the more common types of incidents that can cause limb loss. This may occur during the accident itself. It may occur weeks or even months after an accident if a medical professional determines that the damage done to a limb is so severe that it cannot be rehabilitated. These injuries are among the most traumatizing to accident victims as they not only take a physical toll, but also cause serious mental anguish and emotional damage.
The loss of a limb can significantly change the course of an accident victim’s life, as these injuries typically prevent victims from being able to participate in their favorite activities or perform job duties. The cost of long-term medical care and physical assistance can also be drastic, making the injury even more traumatizing.
The nervous system is a delicate web of cells that transmit sensations from an area of the body to the brain. When these nerves are damaged in a traumatic accident, you may experience pain or other discomfort, like tingling, numbness, or weakness in the affected area. Your central nervous system includes your brain and spinal cord, and your peripheral nervous system is all the nerve cells that control all your movements and transmit sensory information to your brain.
There are many ways that your nerves may be damaged after an accident. In very severe cases, they may be severed. They may also be impinged when a traumatic injury to part of your body, like your shoulder or the openings in your vertebrae where nerves exit the spinal column, causes a deformity that presses directly on your delicate nerve tissue. Neurological injuries are difficult to self-diagnose. Because nerves transmit pain signals from parts of your body to your brain, you may believe that something is wrong with your muscle or bone when a damaged or impinged nerve is the source of the pain. As you follow up with your doctor after the accident, make sure to mention any episodes of numbness, tingling, or weakness that could be a sign of a neurological injury.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Your soft tissues are your muscles, tendons, cartilage, blood vessels, skin, fat, and other tissues that connect, support, and surround your bones and organs. While these tissues have some ability to heal themselves, there is a high likelihood that you will be dealing with at least some form of soft tissue injury after being involved in a collision with a semi-truck.
Injuries to the soft tissue can be harder to diagnose than bone breaks. You may feel pain, but it may be difficult to pinpoint exactly where that pain is coming from. Is it damage to your muscle fiber, your tendon, or perhaps the nerve that runs through that area? Sometimes pain can be referred, meaning you may feel pain in one area of your body because of tension or damage in another area.
In many cases, doctors won’t be able to give you a scan to immediately diagnose a soft tissue injury. If you’re feeling persistent pain, keep a journal of your symptoms, check in with your primary care provider regularly, and don’t minimize or exaggerate your symptoms.
Your doctor may refer you to a massage therapist, a physical therapist, or another health care provider who can help you manage your symptoms and recover your strength after an accident. Even if it is annoying or difficult to do so, it is generally best to follow your doctor’s instructions when you’re recovering from a soft tissue injury. From a legal standpoint, juries may become suspicious of your reported injuries if you do not follow your doctor’s instructions or if you repeatedly skip appointments.
Tallying up all the possible injuries after a semi-truck accident could fill this entire site. In the interest of saving some space for all the information about who’s going to pay for your medical care after all these injuries, I will list a just few other types of injuries:
- Dental injuries: Cracked teeth, damaged joints in the jaw
- Internal injuries: Bruising, bleeding, or crushing damage to the abdomen and organs
- Spinal cord injuries: Injuries to the spinal cord may result in loss of feeling or paralysis
- Respiratory injuries: A punctured or collapsed lung may occur in a truck crash
- Vascular: Damage to your veins and arteries
- Burn injuries: Flammable chemicals from a semi truck may cause burns
- Psychological: Post-traumatic stress disorder, other anxiety disorders, new phobias or aversions
- Reproductive: Physical damage to the genitals, loss of ability to enjoy sexual intercourse
- Dermatological: Road rash, burns, scarring
- Wrongful Death: Victims of a semi truck accident may pass away
Legal Help After A Semi-Truck Accident
Because semi-truck crashes are so catastrophic, it is important to call an experienced semi-truck accident attorney immediately to go over your legal rights. There is often a great deal of evidence and witness testimony that needs to be preserved to ensure your claim is properly handled, which only increases the importance of hiring the right lawyer for your case.
The attorneys at Davis Law Group have the necessary experience and resources to fully evaluate your claim and give you the legal help you deserve. Call the Davis Law Group at (206) 727-4000 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.